# Quora: What is an ALGEBRA structure

What is an algebra? by Tikhon Jelvis https://www.quora.com/What-is-an-algebra/answer/Tikhon-Jelvis?ch=3&share=2dd8711d&srid=oZzP

“Basically, an algebra is just an algebraic structure. It’s some set A along with some number of functions closed over the set. It’s a generalization over the structures we normally study: a group is an algebra, a ring is an algebra, a lattice is an algebra… etc.

Algebras have different “signatures” which specify the functions it has. For example, a group is an algebra that has an identity element, a function of one argument and a function of two arguments.

That is, a group with a carrier set A is just a tuple:
⟨A, 0:A, −:A→A, +:A×A→A⟩

For uniformity, we can write all of these as functions in the form An→A, where n is the “arity” of a function—the number of arguments it has. The identity element is a function A0→A, which just identifies a single element from A. Thus, we can talk about the signature of an algebra as the arities of its functions.

A group would be (0, 1, 2) while a ring would be (0, 0, 1, 2, 2).

Generally, the functions of an algebra have to be associative. Sometimes, we also look at other laws—for example, we might want to study algebras with commutative operations like Abelian groups.

So the intuition for an algebra in general is that it’s any structure like a group, a ring or whatever else we like. As the name “structure” implies, these additional operations on a set expose the internal structure of its elements: a group describes symmetries, a lattice describes a partial order and so on.

The study of algebras, then, can be thought of as the study of “structured sets” in general.”

# \$3 million Award for 2 Mathematicians The 2 mathematicians showed that: even very complicated polynomials have just a finite number of solutions.

http://www.livescience.com/61103-2017-breakthrough-mathematics-awarded.html

# BM Category Theory II 8: F-Algebra, Lambek’s Lemma , Catamorphism, Coalgebra, Anamorphism

[Continued from previous BM Category Theory …] $\boxed { \text {type Algebra f a = f a} \to \text {a} }$

Intuition: [Artificial Intelligence] You teach the computer like to a Primary 6 kid, that Algebra is a type of expression (f) which, after evaluation,  returns a value.

If a = i (initial) [or u (terminal)], $\boxed { \text {(f i} \to \text {i )} \implies \text {f = Fix-point} }$

Intuition: Fix-point because, the Initial “i”, after evaluating the expression f, returns itself “i”.

Lambek’s Lemma $\boxed { \text {Initial Algebra is an Isomorphism} }$

Note: Endo-functor is a functor (equivalent to function in Set Theory) within the same Category (Endo = Self = 自)  Video 8.1 F-Algebras & Lambek’s Lemma

Video 8.2 Catamorphism & Anamorphism

foldr ~ catamorphism (浅层变质) of a Fix-point endo-functor on a List.

Examples: Fibonacci, Sum_List

Remark: Cool Math! the more  advanced concept it is, the more closer to Nature (eg.Geology, Biology) : Catamorphism 浅层(风化)变质, or “thin-layer change in nature” (in Functional Programming languages: foldr or map) eg : add1 to a list (1 5 3 8…)
= (2 6 4 9 …)   $\boxed { \text {type Coalgebra f a = a} \to \text {f a} }$

Intuition: Reverse of Algebra, given a value, Coalgebra returns an expression (f). Anamorphism (合成变质) ~ unfoldr

Example: Prime numbers

Remark: Anamorphism (合成变质) or “synthesised change in nature“: eg. Start from a  “seed” prime number “2” generates  all other infinite prime numbers (3 5 7 9 11 13 17 …) Note: In Haskell, no difference between Initial and Terminal Fix-points. However, since Fix-point is not unique, in Category Theory there is the Least Fix-point (Initial) and Greatest Fix-point (Terminal).

Ref:

Reading “Understanding F-Algebra ” by BM: https://bartoszmilewski.com/2013/06/10/understanding-f-algebras/

Anamorphism : https://zhuanlan.zhihu.com/cofree/21354189

F-Algebra & F-coalgebra: http://stackoverflow.com/a/16022059/5822795

# Initiation aux Mathématiques Modernes – (TV 1969)

This French Classic (8 series lectures) on “Introduction to Modern Maths” made in 1969 is still valid today for Modern Maths students who need to be “initialized” for abstract, rigorous math, different from high-school maths.

Partie 1 : ensembles et parties

View the other 7 series below:

Initiation à l’algèbre (TV 1969): http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLGwb7STcll74lv38PsnYmB4sr5fpWTEsq

# Analysis -> (Topology) -> Algebra

Mathematics is divided into 2 major branches:
1. Analysis (Continuity, Calculus)
2. Algebra (Set, Discrete numbers, Structure)

In between the two branches, Poincaré invented in 1900s the Topology (拓扑学) – which studies the ‘holes’ (disconnected) in-between, or ‘neighborhood’.

Topology specialised in
–  ‘local knowledge’ = Point-Set Topology.
– ”global knowledge’ = Algebraic Topology.

Example:
The local data of consumer behavior uses ‘Point-Set Topology’; the global one is ‘BIG Data’ using Algebraic Topology.

# The Beauty I See in Algebra

The beauty I see in algebra: Margot Gerritsen at TEDxSTANFORD:

From equations to matrices… to Google search, MRI body scan, …