On days like this I wish I was a mathematician

Titles of the references on the Hawaiian earring Wikipedia page, clearly designed to make math actually seem fun:

“The big fundamental group, big Hawaiian earrings, and the big free groups”

“Anomalous behavior of the Hawaiian earring group”

“The fundamental groups of one-dimensional wild spaces and the Hawaiian earring”

“The singular homology of the Hawaiian earring”

“The topological Hawaiian earring group does not embed in the inverse limit of free groups”

Author: Mike White

Genomes, Books, and Science Fiction

2 thoughts on “On days like this I wish I was a mathematician”

  1. Very true. Coming from a soon-to-be-rightfully-titled mathematician, the Hawaiian earring group is one of the less well-understood spaces out there. In fact, the last quotation pretty much sums up everything we know about it, and in a sense it says, “this space is so wild and pathological that it’s beyond what mathematics has a grasp on right now.”

    But of course, this comes from a guy who truly does think mathematics is actually fun. (and I could rant all day about how everyone else would too)

  2. I will grudgingly admit that math can actually be fun… lately I’ve been having fun learning about the mathematical properties of the high-dimenssional spaces used in statistical mechanics.

    But mainly, I envy mathematicians their titles. It would be fun if I could tell people I work on big, wild Hawaiian earrings instead of something incomprehensible like the cis-regulatory logic of Hedgehog gradients in Drosophila.

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