soft question – On “familiarity” (or How to avoid “going down the Math Rabbit Hole”?) – Mathematics Stack Exchange

Anyone trying to learn mathematics on his/her own has had the experience of “going down the Math Rabbit Hole”. 

For example, suppose you come across the novel term vector space, and want to learn more about it. You look up various definitions, and they all refer to something called a field. So now you’re off to learn what a field is, but it’s the same story all over again: all the definitions you find refer to something called a group. Off to learn about what a group is. Ad infinitum. That’s what I’m calling here “to go down the Math Rabbit Hole.”…

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