Measure Theory and Disposable Teachers

Wheeden and Zygmunds book
Wheeden and Zygmund's book

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I’ve been working hard this week at learning more about measure theory. It’s a really interesting research subject and there are quite a few things that I didn’t know about it. In class, we are currently seeing the Lebesgue measure and topics. I’ve read up on the Borel, Haar, Radon, and Daniell measures.

I’ve got quite a few books in this area, including Paul Halmos’ Measure Theory¹ that I got for $6. The Measure and Integral² book that is used in my real analysis class is finally available. I have it photocopied, but I’d rather buy it. It’s a bit more expensive, but not that much. It’s $46. Einstein has it for $69.

The real analysis professor spends 3hrs a week copying that book onto the blackboard. It’s really strange. He doesn’t give any further examples and quite a few of my classmates abandoned the class after the first week.

As I mentioned before, the classes are what you make of them. At my level, having a great professor doesn’t really matter, unless he’s my thesis adviser. I’m actually lucky that 2 out of my 3 profs are good. Since I am going to specialize in analysis, probably abstract analysis and topology, the real analysis class is fundamental to my mathematical development, as it introduces all sorts of concepts that were probably not seen at an undergraduate level. We’ve started the Lebesgue integral and I hadn’t seen it before.

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Cheap Graduate Texts In Mathematics in Taiwan

I picked up Paul R. Halmos’ A Hilbert Space Problem Book, 2nd edition from Springer Verlag vol 19 in their Graduate Texts in Mathematics. This is an original hardcover, which sells for $63 in the US. I got it for $6.18. I also got Halmos’ Measure Theory, vol 18 also at Springer Verlag, for $22. This is also an original hardcover.

I don’t know why these books are so cheap. Maybe someone ordered them and then decided not to buy them. The store was quite small and filled with undergrads trying to get their books. Maybe they don’t have enough space to store these books, that’s why they are bargain based. They have a limited appeal since they are books for graduate math students. Also, they are quite abstract and delving into pure mathematics, which some graduates might find unappealing with the trends in numerical analysis and education².

I also got Francis Hirsch’s and Gilles Lacombe’s Elements of Functional Analysis for $6.18. This was a softcover reprint of the origin vol 192 in Springer Verlag. The original hardcover sells for about $90³.

I had to order Thomas W. Hungerford’s Algebra, vol 73 in the same series at Springer Verlag. This was more expensive at $40. However, I found a softcover reprint for $35. That’s quite expensive for a math book in Taiwan. I ordered the hardcover since it was only $5 more.

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Failing At Buying Class Books

I tried and failed at trying to get Complex Variables by Berenstein & Gay in Springer Verlag today. I didn’t really know where to go and none of the places I went to had any books. I should have just gone back to the one that my classmate showed me.

I checked online and the original hardcover of this book retails for about $100. I wonder how much it will cost here. I’ve learned that counter fitting is rife in the universities, as students are pretty poor. They can’t pay for books. Usually, they will borrow the book from a library, drop it off at a copy shop and have them copy it as well as bind it. The results are good but I prefer buying originals, as I see these books as reference for later things.

The other side of this is that there are actually real looking counterfeit books that are available here. They have been printed here and are extremely cheap. I paid $13 for Principles of Mathematical Analysis by Walter Rudin. It’s a counterfeit book, but looks pretty good. I don’t mind that. The other was is actually an original from Springer Verlag. It’s Topology by Klaus Jänich. I paid $22 for this one.

The bad part was that none of those books were actually class books. Oh well, I was looking for Measure and Integral by Wheeden and Zygmund and Real and Complex Analysis by Rudin.

While I was at ESLite, I saw Dan Brown’s latest book, The Lost Symbol. At the last moment, before leaving the library, I bought it. It was only $20. I almost bought Day Watch by Sergey Lukyanenko and Vladimir Vasilyev. I saw Twilight Watch right beside it, but then I decided that I still had to read Night Watch again before starting out on those books.

I also struck out on getting Kafka on the Shore by Murakami and more Palahniuk novels. I could spend hours in book stores and art supply stores.

For some reason, I escaped the rain. I have been using my scooter as a locker. It’s much more convenient to put my motorcycle jacket in my scooter. However, it’s already packed to the rafters with my rain gear, that I absolutely need, and an umbrella. I’ve gotten tired of always getting wet. Strangely enough, if I compact it enough, the jacket fits in pretty snugly into the compartment.