I’m sure many readers here also read Tim Gowers’s blog, and so are aware that his long-awaited Tricki is now live. The idea is that it should serve as a mathematical problem-solving resource, and I’m very excited by its potential as a research tool. In contrast to Wikipedia, the idea of the Tricki is to organize the material by the problem that it’s used to solve.

I often find myself faced with an easily-stated problem in an area of mathematics with which I’m unfamiliar (combinatorics, say). I think the Tricki could be a comprehensive alternative to my current strategy in these situations, which is to pester someone in my department who I hope might know the answer.

But what the Tricki needs next is articles. Tim is doing a titanic job writing articles on all sorts of elementary pieces of mathematics, which I’m sure will be the kernel of a great foundation for the site, but I hope the Tricki will be more than just a resource for undergraduates struggling with their analysis homework. I reckon every research mathematician has a Tricki article in them, and so I encourage everyone out there to get busy on their article today!

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I agree. And for those of you who want to contribute, but aren’t sure what to write about, keep in mind that a trick is just a technique that you haven’t seen before. If you’ve recently written a thesis or a paper, or you’re in the process of writing one, there are probably a few techniques in there that are worth adding to the tricki. With a little thought, it’s easy to come up with lots of things to put on the Tricki.

Comment by Jesse Johnson — April 20, 2009 @ 12:42 pm |