I have asked a question at Math.SE which has been subjected to lot of criticisms due to my improper notation and presentation. Later due to kind advice of Mr.Willie Wong, I tried my level in re-editing the question properly, if you still expect some more changes please do inform me.

I have done my duty, its your decision to open it or keep it closed, Ball is in your court sir.

Thank you,

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    $\begingroup$ You insist on peppering your questions with a lot of irrelevant commentary ("I'm going to ask a very useful question (according to me..."; "Answer this and help the people learn mathematics"; Argumenta ad Misericordiam; and you are particularly fond of playing the martyr). Have you ever considered asking a question in a way that does not involve songs and dances? $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 17:16
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    $\begingroup$ Iyengar, I'll only tell you this once: I have read many of your stories on MO and here (both meta and main sites). You should realize that while the internet can be a place to find sympathy in neither MO nor MSE are places for that. Nobody really cares about your life story and whether or not you have a degree. People do care that your questions are badly phrased and you seem to live in some delusions that trivial solutions to problems which are complicated exists and haven't been found yet. These are the reasons your questions are often downvoted, unanswered and closed. (cont) $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 17:40
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    $\begingroup$ (cont) I don't think that you're a stupid person, nor I have anything personal against you. It's not your English nor the overzealous approach you have towards number theory. It's the fact that you have to put everything as it it was sacred, throw yourself at everyone feet; request that certain people will look at your posts; or argue that "this question is very useful". Just ask a question, some background added - mathematical background - and that's it. Don't be overpolite and don't be overzealous. It's just plain annoying. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 17:43
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    $\begingroup$ "A person like me should add such pepper to get help sir." No. That's precisely the point. You are playing the martyr, yet again, in the hope that people will answer out of you shaming them into answering you through begging. Interesting questions get answered; thoughtful questions get answered. Self-flagellation and self-castigation and lots of irrelevant commentary isn't the way to get people interested. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 17:52
  • $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila : But what is the problem with my question now, I have edited and removed all unnecessary material, Why is it still getting down -votes, I have just followed suggestion of Mr.Willie Wong and I re-edited .Thats It . $\endgroup$
    – IDOK
    Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 17:53
  • $\begingroup$ @ArturoMagidin : But to add something would you be in same way, if you are in my situation sir ?. You are in a sophisticated place with all sorts of books and references with you, you have lecturers at the time when you were young , and thats why you don't know about my problem. Its the wearer of the shoe who knows how it pinches $\endgroup$
    – IDOK
    Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 17:59
  • $\begingroup$ @ArturoMagidin : I have recently read your CV sir, you are really a great person, proficient in many languages and in mathematics too ( I read about your awards and positions ). But anyway it was a complete fault of me to comment such great person with my words, atleast I must ( worst case ) give respect to your knowledge and age, I would have the feeling of guilty until you forgive my mistake, please do it sir. I am sorry again. $\endgroup$
    – IDOK
    Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 18:10
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    $\begingroup$ Which part of "Don't be overpolite and don't be overzealous" are you having trouble understanding? I find your fawning over people as annoying as your continuous attempts to elicit sympathy by playing the martyr. You going on and on about how great I am and how bad your situation is doesn't endear you to me; frankly, it makes me feel like you are trying to manipulate me into doing what you want. And that's why it is annoying; I don't like being manipulated, I don't like feeling like someone is trying to manipulate me and take advantage of me. And you invariably make me feel like you are. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 19:00
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    $\begingroup$ @Iyengar: I guarantee that there is never any reason to say "beg", "touch your feet", or "repent" on this website. When someone helps you here, do not lavish them with praise. It doesn't matter that you think they are displays of respect - to the people who receive them, they are not. If you really respected them, you would listen to their request. A simple "thank you" is far more respectful than paragraphs of worship mixed with self-deprecation. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 3, 2012 at 19:53
  • $\begingroup$ @ZevChonoles : I have re-edited my question, aren't you not satisfied still ? . If so suggest me improvements if you are free. Thank you. $\endgroup$
    – IDOK
    Commented Feb 4, 2012 at 16:02
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    $\begingroup$ Dear @Arturo, thanks for the beautiful expression Argumenta ad Miseriocordiam: I didn't know it but it makes me feel a few centuries (or millenia) younger... $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 4, 2012 at 19:27
  • $\begingroup$ @Georges: Can't claim it is original with me; we used to see it all the time in alt.atheism, back when I was a regular. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 4, 2012 at 20:29
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    $\begingroup$ The question is now reopened. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 6, 2012 at 8:40

1 Answer 1


I personally think that there is a perfectly valid question hiding behind the words. So this post is split into two parts. The first part consists of what I think might be an appropriate formulation of the question. The second part, mainly directed at Iyengar, consists of a breakdown of what I assume are the major problems people here have with his formulation.

Part 1: Title: "Popular Math books with Depth" [community wiki]

I'm interested in books such as "Fearless Symmetry" by Avner Ash and Robert Gross that.

  1. require little background knowledge beyond highschool math,

  2. provide lots of intuition, and

  3. still develop their topic with some depth.

Any mathematical area is fine with me.

Part 2: The problem starts with the title "Existence of Good mathematical books". There are a lot of mathematical books out there, and restricting oneself to the ones that are not universally agreed not to be good isn't of much help. People can have different views on what makes a book good and you are ultimately imposing your opinion on the matter on other people. The two sentences

I am going to ask a question about some mathematical references. Actually its a search of mathematical books that are good.

are completely unnecessary. People will see exactly what you are going to do, even if you do not announce it in advance.

But if you carefully observe the things, any mathematical book just speaks about theory , " raw theory ", they just speak about the equations and directly go into their applications ( Problems and theorems ), with-out giving a proper intuition, without telling what is going on behind every concept and every equation .

This is you giving your opinion on the majority of mathematical literature. Even if your asessment would be correct, it is clear from the context that you consider this to be bad writing, which can offend those who write such books and those who enjoy such books. There are different intuitions behind a topic. Also, people with some mathematical experience can often supply the intuition themselves and get distracted by verbosity. Some books are written as references for material mostly familiar already.

The most wonderful book I have ever read in my life was Fearless Symmetry by Avner Ash and Robert Gross, which is a greatest book that gives an intuition behind the need to consider fields, need for Galois theory etc.

One "greatest" is enough. This of course is again a value judgement others might disagree with. Also, it is not in any way part of a question.

I wanted to know whether any such rare books exists in other areas too.

Whether such books are rare or not is something you can only judge when you have seen most of them- in which case you probably wouldn't need to ask the question in the first place.

Which possess the following characteristics :

  1. A very good introduction to the concept, giving the reasons behind introducing theory X or some jargon Y in the particular field.
  2. A fantastic intuition by providing a view of concept from a different perspective, rather than the general picturization of concepts given in the normal books.

Ask for "intuition" and "perspective", whether one thinks it is "very good" or even "fantastic" is ultimately too subjective to be useful. Also, leave out your judgement on "normal books".

  • $\begingroup$ And sir, I am unable to make my question community wiki. can you suggest me how to do it ? $\endgroup$
    – IDOK
    Commented Feb 4, 2012 at 6:06
  • $\begingroup$ Apparently, communit wiki works differently here than on MO. Only moderators can make a question CW (or a very large number of edits). $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 4, 2012 at 13:17

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