Help:Survey article lookup

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This page is intended for people using Groupprops to look up survey articles. Please also read Groupprops:Survey article for how survey articles are written on Groupprops

The need for a survey article

What you should expect

Definitions and facts, as they are listed in Groupprops, are generally very specific pieces of information, that are valuable in their own right, but do not completely encompass mathematical knowledge. A lot of mathematical knowledge is related to techniques for applying concepts, varying existing ideas, comparing and understanding the differences between concepts, and seeing analogies. Instead of integrating all these into the definition articles themselves, the approach that Groupprops has taken is to develop separate articles, under the broad header of survey articles, that address such issues.

Thus, if you want to learn more about what happens in and around a specific idea, or about the relation between multiple ideas, then survey articles are the place to look for.

What you should not expect

Survey articles are meant to augment the wiki, but they are not intended to be a substitute for independent write-ups/articles. In other words, a survey article is not equivalent to an article somebody might publish in an expository journal, or put up on a webpage, or put up as course notes. If you're looking for the kind of treatment that you expect in course notes or in a chapter of a book, then the survey articles may disappoint you.

The difference is that survey articles are still embedded in the wiki context; they are not meant as stand-alone references that develop the basics from scratch and gradually go up from there. Rather, they are meant as secondary reference material, in the following senses:

  • For people who are already familiar with the basic ideas and definitions, and want a quick review/understanding of how a particular definition/term is applied.
  • For people who are following a primary source (such as course notes, or a textbook, or lectures) and are curious about questions like: how do we apply the specific ideas we have learnt in class? or what all are the things that happen around the concept or term that has been defined here? or what makes this proof work? By using the survey articles here to answer this curiosity, the student may then proceed to the primary learning source with greater understanding and appreciation and may be able to pick more of the finer points.

The Groupprops wiki is currently nowhere near a stage where it can be used as a primary learning tool, although we are, via our guided tours, trying to help people construct their own primary learning source by charting navigation paths in the wiki.

Lookup by the type of survey article

Survey articles are classified as follows: