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May 3, 2003

Which Springer-Verlag Graduate Text in Mathematics are you?
Posted by Teresa at 08:12 PM *

Thank you, but Making Light already took the test for determining your place in the afterlife according to Dante’s Divine Comedy, which in my opinion just automates and regularizes what everyone does when they read it anyway. I hope but do not presume that the test results were accurate, and therefore won’t report them.

But never mind that. What I actually want to recommend to your attention is the shorter and weirder Springer-Verlag GTM Test:
You are lost in a forest. What do you do?

— Navigate your way to safety using the sun as a compass.
— Keep wandering—you’ll find your way out eventually!
— Sit and wait for a search party to find you.
— I’m not lost in a forest, I’m sitting at my computer.

It insists that I’m Saunders Mac Lane’s Categories for the Working Mathematician. It’s wrong. I’m Teresa Nielsen Hayden, and I’m sitting here at my computer.
Comments on Which Springer-Verlag Graduate Text in Mathematics are you?:
#1 ::: Kenneth G. Cavness ::: (view all by) ::: May 03, 2003, 11:17 PM:

I was Knot Theory. I just wish I knew what that means...

#2 ::: Ter ::: (view all by) ::: May 04, 2003, 02:52 AM:

I'm Knot Theory, too. I bet it's the supermarket question.

#3 ::: Thomas Yager-Madden ::: (view all by) ::: May 04, 2003, 04:06 AM:

Algebraic Geometry: A First Course Which, if this is supposed to be grad school, I can't help thinking sounds a little remedial.

#4 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: May 04, 2003, 04:35 AM:

It insists that I92m Saunders Mac Lane92s Categories for the Working Mathematician

Hey, that's the one I got too! Does this make us twins?
MKK

#5 ::: Kelly Link ::: (view all by) ::: May 04, 2003, 12:39 PM:

I'm also Categories for the Working Mathematician. We should form a society, or perhaps a band.

#6 ::: Davey ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2003, 09:08 AM:

I can also be Categories, but just by navigating my way through the forest instead I become Foundations of Differentiable Manifolds and Lie Groups (which I couldn't navigate my way through with a GPS).

#7 ::: lnh ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2003, 11:32 AM:

Knot Theory as well, which is odd as I never got anywhere in topology--my graduate math program was in computational methods. Still, this is one of the better what-are-you tests I've seen.

---L.

#8 ::: Alan Bostick ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2003, 11:44 AM:

I, too, am Foundations of Differentiable Manifolds and Lie Groups, perhaps due to navigating through the woods.

Funny thing, though: I've more personal experience with differentiable manifolds and Lie groups than I do with navigating through the woods.

#9 ::: Janni ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2003, 12:06 PM:

I'm Measure Theory, which if I'm reading right is a sort of flakey, head-in-the-clouds kinda math text.

#10 ::: Steven desJardins ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2003, 12:17 PM:

I'm also Measure Theory, which sounded to me like an unconventional and intriguing look at a normally mundane subject. I'm almost tempted to run out and get a copy.

#11 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2003, 02:34 PM:

This reminds me of my astrologer-friends description of the three temperaments (Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable). Three Boy Scouts, one of each temperament, are lost in the woods (separately).

The Cardinal Boy Scout picks a direction, and uses his compass to walk a straight line until he gets out of the woods.

The Fixed Boy Scout makes a signal fire and waits for rescue.

The Mutable Boy Scout decides to live in the woods.

#12 ::: Adam ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2003, 03:36 PM:

I'm "Linear Representations of Finite Groups" -- My mathematical education stopped at probability and statistics, so I'm barely numerate... I thought "Linear Representations of Finite Groups" sounded dull and simple, then I looked into it. Wow. Almost wishing I had gone on to math.

I could have truthfully answered several of the questions in different ways, so I tried a few honest alternative answer sets: I am also "An Introduction to Knot Theory" or "Modern Graph Theory."

I found some very interesting stuff on graph theory through google, and I'm now tempted to buy some books and pick up my math education where I dropped it fifteen years ago.

Thanks for posting this item -- I had no idea it would lead to this much entertainment.

Yours sincerely,
Linear Representations of Finite Groups

#13 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2003, 03:41 PM:

Interesting, I'm also Saunder Mac Lane's Categories for the Working Mathemetician. Wierd for someone who got a 450 on her Math SAT.... but nearly perfect on the Verbal portion.

#14 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2003, 05:04 PM:

I'm Foundations of Differentiable Manifolds and Lie Groups. Whatever that/those is/are.

#15 ::: Andy ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2003, 05:07 PM:

Hmm, I seem to be Linear Representations of Finite Groups as well. This is one of the better online tests I've taken as I admire how a small number of questions produces these results.

#16 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2003, 06:32 PM:

I'm A Basic Course in Algebraic Topology.

This reminds me that I owe my nephew a letter (or e-mail); he's recently decided to be a math major. {croggle} I need to tell him about this test!

#17 ::: jam ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2003, 06:55 PM:

Oh dear. I'm David Eisenbud's _Commutative Algebra with a View Toward Algebraic Geometry_. This is not true. First, I learnt what little commutative algebra I know from Atiyah's's book (which wasn't publiished by Springer, though). Second, I'm a complex analyst by training: Kleinian groups and Teichmuller space.

Well, it could have been worse. I could have labelled a K-theorist.

#18 ::: Peg ::: (view all by) ::: May 05, 2003, 11:58 PM:

Measure Theory. Which, given the name of my journal, is fitting.

#19 ::: Passing Stranger ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2003, 07:24 AM:

I'm sending you this note via comments instead of email, because this morning I can't access my regular email account, but for some reason I can still cruise the Web. Anyway, I was experimenting with the "poetry" site at http://cmdrtaco.net/poemgen.cgi, a link gleaned from BoingBoing.net, and playfully inserted the URL for your weblog into the poetry generator. You might be amused at this e.e. cummings-like word doily it created. (ObMathText: I came out as Categories too.)

Making Light today,
is little supply clerks are gone in to go,
because wego off even ministries and
Scraps wander
off. in an undisclosed
seven figure theysaid Sgt.
Spencer Willardson
of the glossy catalog of the
kitchen, sitting patiently, awaiting their books were shooting at
the Home or
writing, in 1883. Since these
people Well, April 22, 2003 Telltales
10:000 8220;a very
popular for the
wyvern is failing
to several very lighthanded.
I don92s see, from
their war because Ifound
in such as kids, back
to
another showed a nasty bastard and the 13th century manuscript
was rewritten as
badly as a red velvet dress stood up.

#20 ::: Janet Croft ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2003, 12:32 PM:

I'm also Foundations of Differentiable Manifolds and Lie Groups. Sounds like sychronized team lying about car parts is my role in life.

#21 ::: natasha ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2003, 07:50 PM:

If I pick the Alhambra, I'm Modern Graph Theory. If I go with the 2nd choice Pyramid of Giza, Representation Theory: A First Course.

#22 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2003, 10:34 PM:

I got Saunders Mac Lane's Categories for the Working Mathematician, which I suppose isn't unreasonable. I didn'[t like most of the answers available.... e.g., shopping I do a relative of a random walk as I remember what I was gong to the store to get, and try to remember where in the store those things might be, and than I get reminded of something else.... reading the paper, I don't really turn to any of those sections. Etc.

On the other hand, my degree's in applied math, so... most of the others things people listed are Theoretical Math texts, not aimed at applied mathematicians.... for all I know, the book above might be, too, but... [Graph Theory does have a lot of applications, however. Algebraic Topology is definite theory, so is Lie Groups, Measure Theory, etc.]

#23 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: May 06, 2003, 10:34 PM:

I got Saunders Mac Lane's Categories for the Working Mathematician, which I suppose isn't unreasonable. I didn'[t like most of the answers available.... e.g., shopping I do a relative of a random walk as I remember what I was gong to the store to get, and try to remember where in the store those things might be, and than I get reminded of something else.... reading the paper, I don't really turn to any of those sections. Etc.

On the other hand, my degree's in applied math, so... most of the others things people listed are Theoretical Math texts, not aimed at applied mathematicians.... for all I know, the book above might be, too, but... [Graph Theory does have a lot of applications, however. Algebraic Topology is definite theory, so is Lie Groups, Measure Theory, etc.]

#24 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: May 07, 2003, 01:04 AM:

Andy, there'd be small excuse for a mathematician who couldn't generate complex results from a short list of questions.

#25 ::: Steven Sheets ::: (view all by) ::: May 11, 2003, 07:01 PM:

I, too, am the Differential Manifolds book. This makes me happy because this is a very good book and got me through my manifold theory class.

#26 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: May 15, 2003, 11:32 AM:

It appears that I am William S. Massey's A Basic Course in Algebraic Topology.

Of course, I am so innumerate I'm not even sure what Algebraic Topology is. So a basic course would be just about right.

I hope I'm tastefully designed, with a well-made index and many useful illustrations.

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