Becoming a mathematician - how important is IQ?


by Levis2
Tags: degree, intelligence, mathematician, phd, university
Levis2
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#37
Jan14-11, 09:21 AM
P: 43
Quote Quote by arildno View Post
By seeing,relative to other kids your age, what you are competent at, not the least what you've managed on your own.
THAT's the indicator for level of maturity.

And teachers have certainly an "instinct" for that, an instinct distilled from many years of experience, so that they know what they normally can expect from a 16-year old and what is extremely uncommon.

However, it might be that the most that you can hope for is a few conversations with professionals who can give you good,relevant reading tips.

That should be a realistic goal, and quite attractive in itself, agreed?

I believe that lectures at Danish universities are public and, in principle, open for all to listen to.
But it doesn't follow that your school will allow you attendance in school time, or that it is possible for the university to regard you as a regular student (for example, grading papers, allowing you to sit exam and so on).

But there is no harm in exploring such possibilities, is there?

PS:
Ask your Mom and Dad as well. Moms and Dads want to be involved in such decisions, that's their nature...
In my case it might just be the majority of the other students in my class that share a mathematical disability lol .. i don't know, but compared to them, i'm 10 years ahead lol :)

And reading tips would definetly be of imminemt value! And you are correct, that the university lectures are open to the public, but i don't think my school would tolerate the absence :) My chemistry teacher thought that it was ridicolous for my to stay on 1st year chemistry, so he wanted to move me to 2nd year. This was not possible, because i would then be registered for 1 year absence in my regular chemistry clases lol .. And that will get me expelled :)

I just think it would be hard only to attend the lectures at a university - i really cant say since i havent been to one, but i could imagine that the exercises they do aswell will make the information stick. Might be hard to get a good understanding without them, especially for a 16-year old !:) But if i am allowed by my school, i will definetly take advantage of the opportunity.
arildno
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#38
Jan14-11, 09:32 AM
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It seems that your science teachers know exactly how outstanding you are.

Now, school rules are to be followed. But in following them, they might on occasion..bend a little bit..

In particular if someone with scientific authority outside the local school environment (say, a university professor) can confirm, through his observations what the level of your abilities are right now.
That would carry some punch with the head-master, in connection with your regular science teachers' assessments.

But, anyhow, I think your first step is to have a good, long talk with your regular maths teacher, and explore realistic options for self-study and getting contact with university people.
I'm sure he already has a bad conscience about you; his job is to help ALL his students, but within the strictures of the normal teaching duties, he is at a loss for helping you on YOUR level at the same time as well.

You're quite right that self-study has its limitations.
But it will be much you CAN study on your own profitably, and a professional can help you sort out which themes you ought to begin with (i.e, suitable for self-studying)
arildno
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#39
Jan14-11, 09:41 AM
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And, Levis2:
Reproducing theorems of Archimedes, setting up proper diff.eqs and developing a correct formula for arc lengths are NOT common among 16-year olds, it is quite unique, IMO.
Levis2
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#40
Jan14-11, 09:45 AM
P: 43
Quote Quote by arildno View Post
And, Levis2:
Reproducing theorems of Archimedes, setting up proper diff.eqs and developing a correct formula for arc lengths are NOT common among 16-year olds, it is quite unique, IMO.
It probably isn't .. most of the guys in my class are fighting adding two vectors with eachother, so probably not :)
arildno
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#41
Jan14-11, 09:48 AM
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So, you DO know a little bit of vectors already!

I'm not so sure you would find that part of the university maths particularly hard to follow.
Levis2
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#42
Jan14-11, 10:08 AM
P: 43
Quote Quote by arildno View Post
So, you DO know a little bit of vectors already!

I'm not so sure you would find that part of the university maths particularly hard to follow.
yea you know, add, substract, multiply with a number, how vectors are defined by a*vector-i including the proofs (lol worlds simplest haha:) etc .. Orthogonal vectors and so on :) Not enough for college though.
arildno
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#43
Jan14-11, 10:56 AM
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One more thing to remember:
When YOU prove some theorem that already has been proven before, it doesn't follow that the guy making the first proof was smarter/more professional than you.

Thus, when doing proofs or devoloping formulae, remember that you are not just training to become a mathematician, you are being one as well!
annelies 123
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#44
Jan22-11, 10:52 AM
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Hi!
I think that I'm really understanding your situation.. I'm also 16 years old, but I'm already tested when I was young and I'm having an IQ that is more than 140, my parents don't want to tell the exact results of the test. So I skipped 2 classes and now I'm at University and I'm studying maths. But even I'm sometimes thinking will I be good enough to reach something with maths.. I still don't know but I'll hope so.. For now I'm still before my classmates they have to study for it every day and for me just paying attentions in the lessons is already good enough.. The reason for me why I couldn't be much betteris because languages and things like that couldn't intrest me so I negliged it in primary and secondary school but after some time everyone has to work a little bit so I didn't have the time to study math at myself.. If you can I'll surerly say do that! Competing in national and international matholympiads is also great I think.. Try it, I can't compete anymore cause you can't be participating and already be at highschool..

I can also tell you a story from someone else, he's only 16 too but he's just in the normal class at school. At home he learns lots about maths I think if he should make examens of the first year at university that he would have enough points.. He's learning so much.. Last year he went to the IMO but didn't got a medal but that's kind of logic he was only sixteen and other people were already 18 or sometimes 19..
If you have some questions I'd love to answer cause I think I'm in the samen situation..
Brandon_R
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#45
Jan22-11, 11:20 AM
P: 27
Don't worry about your scores on the IQ Test. As Mark Twain puts it, there are three kinds of lies in this world - lies, dammed lies and statistics. If you have the passion to learn mathematics, then by all means follow it.
annelies 123
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#46
Jan22-11, 11:45 AM
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Quote Quote by Brandon_R View Post
Don't worry about your scores on the IQ Test. As Mark Twain puts it, there are three kinds of lies in this world - lies, dammed lies and statistics. If you have the passion to learn mathematics, then by all means follow it.
I'm following it ;) but you even have kind of reliable test on the internet mensa is the best site i've found.. it says not your IQ but wether you could be highintelligent. To be sure you have to do some real test and so on..
micromass
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#47
Jan22-11, 11:48 AM
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I'm sorry, but there is no internet IQ-test that is reliable. Not even the mensa-test. IQ-testing is a very standardized procedure, and anything not following that standard, can not be reliable.
I have serious doubts about the tests validity and unbiasedness...
annelies 123
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#48
Jan22-11, 12:02 PM
P: 5
Quote Quote by micromass View Post
I'm sorry, but there is no internet IQ-test that is reliable. Not even the mensa-test. IQ-testing is a very standardized procedure, and anything not following that standard, can not be reliable.
I have serious doubts about the tests validity and unbiasedness...
okay I haven't done research on he reliabilty but if i say you that i've recomended this test a couply of times to peught they might by hyperintellingen. the test has always been right in the cases i know. after that most of them did a qualified test and it gave the same results ;)
elfboy
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#49
Jan22-11, 11:41 PM
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Quote Quote by Levis2 View Post
Hello - im a 16 year old danish boy. I'm in what is equivalent in denmark to the 10th grade in the US, and i simply love math. It's funny though, since before i attended 10th grade, i dreaded math due to it being so boring - but i think that was due to the simple arithmetics we did in my previous school. Once i encountered a more pure math in 10th grade, i was sold!

My number 1 goal in this world - the thing that matters most to me - is becoming a mathematician. I want to take a phd in math, and teach at a university, and if im lucky, end up making a useful contribution. That's what matters most to me of all things atm.

But there's a problem - im not a child prodigy. I can't do topology or real analysis, and my iq is only 130 !!! Ever since i took that iq test, i have been so scared of not being able to make contributions to math, or even complete my degree in college. I'm afraid that it will get too complicated when i'm not that intelligent.

Funny stuff is though, that i have taught myself basic calculus, and can set up differential equations on the saltconcentration in, lets say a lake, based on differences in in-and-out flows of water etc. My teacher says he's never seen anyone like me in 9 years of teaching in high schools, but i presume he hasn't met any real good mathematicians lol .. I have also invented a formula by myself for calculating the area of a triangle if one only knows its sides. It looks this this;

A=1/2*c*squareroot(a^2-(c-(b^2+c^2-a^2)/2c)^2)

Where c has to be the biggest side in the triangle. The order of a and b doesnt matter :) All of this is easy stuff though ... nothing worthy a true mathematician :(

Now my question is, can i take a phd in math and become a mathematician, even though i'm not that intelligent? And if i'm barely able to do my phd, will i then be a garbagety and lousy matehmatician ?

it's a thought that takes up a lot of space in my head atm .. i'm so worried that i wont be able to take a degree or contribute to the art of mathematics :(

Help!
you have along way to go

to succeed in math you must work very hard
Waxbear
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#50
Jan24-11, 10:29 AM
P: 42
Hey Levis. Im a dane too, and i am currently on my first year of a bachelors degree in physics. I just took my exam in Linear Algebra today (i noticed your remark on how simple vector operations are :) ) and i feel that i can safely tell you, that if you are already this proficient with mathematics (just the fact that you know enough calculus to be constructing differential equations) and if you continue to challenge yourself like this until you reach your first year of university, you are going to have a pretty easy time here.

by the way, im studying at KU. What gymnasium are you at?
Levis2
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#51
Jan28-11, 01:16 AM
P: 43
Quote Quote by Waxbear View Post
Hey Levis. Im a dane too, and i am currently on my first year of a bachelors degree in physics. I just took my exam in Linear Algebra today (i noticed your remark on how simple vector operations are :) ) and i feel that i can safely tell you, that if you are already this proficient with mathematics (just the fact that you know enough calculus to be constructing differential equations) and if you continue to challenge yourself like this until you reach your first year of university, you are going to have a pretty easy time here.

by the way, im studying at KU. What gymnasium are you at?
Im at HTX Slotshaven EUC in holbęk :)

Just to give you guys an update; I contacted my teacher, and he was feeling the same way you guys were. He has asked the advisors at the university of Copenhagen, whether i would be able to start even though i haven't got a high school exam. Usually you can, if you can show the same qualifications as one with a high school exam - this is not a problem in math, but i'm not that good in danish class... So i can't be admitted this way. The advisors are currently working on getting me admitted through somekind of loop hole in the university regulations. If that's not possible they will attempt to get me a dispensation.

If all this works out - and i'm afraid it's not possible though - i will most likely be able to start university after the summer break :) If so, i will by then have read all the mathematics for high school, so i'm able to follow and complete any kind of admission tests, they might give me :)
Einherjer
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#52
Jan29-11, 03:26 AM
P: 5
Okay, first of all. Your IQ is so profoundly irrelevant that it is hard to even get started. The IQ only measures one thing, and that is your ability to solve IQ quizes. A skill like any other. If you train consistently on IQ quizes anybody can get an 300 IQ score.

You can't do statistics with only one data point.
qspeechc
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#53
Jan29-11, 08:35 AM
P: 792
Hi Levis2.
I have some book suggestions if you are interested. Have you done Euclidean geometry with proofs? This is really where mathematics starts. If not may I suggest Harold Jacobs' Geometry:
http://www.amazon.com/Geometry-Harol...6311363&sr=8-3
(better than his Geometry: Seeing , Doing, Understanding.). If you think that is too simple then try Moise's Elementary Geometry from an Advanced Standpoint:
http://www.amazon.com/Elementary-Geo...6311468&sr=1-2

Some other books to read before you start calculus:
Principles of Mathematics by Allendoerfer and Oakley (2nd edition or later). Covers high school math up to the point where you can start studying calculus, but written for bright young students like yourself.
What is Mathematics? by Courant (you don't need the updated version by Stewart). Written by one of the greatest teachers ever. Will start you thinking like a mathematician.

Good luck and work hard.
inknit
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#54
Jan29-11, 08:59 PM
P: 59
Kid, calm down. If math is your passion, by all means pursue it, but don't make your life goal becoming the next Einstein.


Btw, if you're really intelligent, why not study theoretical physics?


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