How to Get an Arxiv Endorsement

When people find out that I post papers in Arxiv, I always get asked how I got an endorsement. I get the impression that people are either (1) not confident enough about their work and think that nobody will endorse them or (2) they don’t know how where to get an endorser. As to (1), you don’t need to come up with a revolutionary paper to get an endorsement. You only need to pass Arxiv’s modest standards, which means that your paper contains decent mathematics and not a purported proof to a long-standing open problem. In other words, you only need to show that you’re not a crackpot. As to (2), getting an endorser is easy – here’s how.

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2015 MSP Annual Convention

MSP 2015

Conference photo. Taken from https://www.facebook.com/MathSocPhil

Recently, I attended the annual convention of the Mathematical Society of the Philippines in Laoag City and thankfully, I do not regret having done so. I initially had second thoughts about attending because (1) I am not presently connected with any university so I have to shoulder all expenses on my own and (2) I’ve long called off going to conferences where talks cover a wide range of topics because I usually spend most of the time sitting in lectures where I have no idea what the speakers are talking about. As to (1), fortunately enough I ended up spending only P7000, which the P3500 registration fee, the P1500 round trip bus fare from Manila to Laoag and the remaining P2000 which I spent for meals outside the conference, lodging and bus and trike fares to tourist destinations. As to (2), I can definitely say that I got more from both the plenary and parallel sessions than when I first attended MSP way back in 2010 when I was a fresh graduate. In addition, meeting peers of my age and knowing that they are actively doing research has given me a much needed boost to continue doing my own work. Continue reading

Should we stop teaching PEMDAS?

A segment from ABS-CBN’s noontime show “It’s Showtime” has been creating a buzz lately. In the segment “Isang Tanong, Isang Milyon”, the hosts asks a contestant to evaluate the expression “1000 – 500 x 2”. The contestant answers “1000” and wins the round. Netizens, however, cry that the answer is wrong because of that thing called PEMDAS. In fact, the comments in this page reveals that netizens do not only think that the PEMDAS should have been applied, but also that anyone who argues that the answer is 0 is an idiot who was probably sleeping during math class when PEMDAS was taught. Reading the commentsmade me realize that PEMDAS has become a sort of infallible doctrine. Is Showtime wrong in giving 1000 as the right answer? Well, as far the “status quo” is concerned (i.e., of PEMDAS being the golden rule that must not be broken), “1000 – 500 x 2” equals “0”. That’s loud and clear, and there shouldn’t really be any debate about it . That’s what we Filipinos know and accept. Hence, the contestant should have lost the round. Continue reading