Thursday, August 28, 2003

The Springer GTM Test

All those who have studied mathematics at the undergraduate level or above know Springer Verlag to be the premier publisher of math books in the world, and the sight of one of those yellow-and-white covers in a bookshop is enough to set off a Pavlovian response in any true devotee of the Queen of the Sciences. As such, it was with great pleasure that I came across the Springer GTM Test, which purports to tell you which item in the Graduate Texts in Mathematics series you correspond to. According to the test, the following describes me:

If I were a Springer-Verlag Graduate Text in Mathematics, I would be Frank Warner's Foundations of Differentiable Manifolds and Lie Groups.

I give a clear, detailed, and careful development of the basic facts on manifold theory and Lie Groups. I include differentiable manifolds, tensors and differentiable forms. Lie groups and homogenous spaces, integration on manifolds, and in addition provide a proof of the de Rham theorem via sheaf cohomology theory, and develop the local theory of elliptic operators culminating in a proof of the Hodge theorem. Those interested in any of the diverse areas of mathematics requiring the notion of a differentiable manifold will find me extremely useful.

This is odd, as I don't even particularly like differential topology! The point of the exercise, of course, is to poke fun at all the ridiculous "Which X are You?" tests that are out there - this one has about as much validity as all of the others.