Is mathematics a young man's game?


by Functor97
Tags: game, mathematics, young
chiro
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#19
Dec3-11, 08:07 PM
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Quote Quote by Functor97 View Post
I can assure you i do love mathematics. Doesn't everyone want recognition for doing what they love?
The truth is that most people don't get recognition for what they do.

Teachers in high schools put up with so much crap just to get to that one student that gives a stuff and everyone else thinks their job is easy and that they have too many holidays.

Same goes with many professions.

My advice is to give up the idea that you will get a lot of recognitio, because most people don't get it even if they really deserve it. Many will get it after they have died but usually not before.

You'll be a lot happier if you find something you enjoy and like using to help other people: the rewards will come usually from things that are un-announced.
Functor97
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#20
Dec3-11, 08:07 PM
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Quote Quote by sutupidmath View Post
I do not have much to add, other than the fact that not too long ago (about 3-4 years) I was in a similar position as yourself. During high school I was mislead (mainly by my math professors) to think of myself as a person with high talent in mathematics. So, at that time I always pictured myself as a person who would one day make some breakthroughs in mathematics. Later on, I discovered the harsh truth, that this is very unlikely to happen (while not impossible, never say never ;) ). For a while I started doubting myself to a point where I even considered not pursuing a degree in mathematics at all.

Fortunately, in the comming years I have come to love mathematics for its own sake, and while being internationally recognized for my work would most certainly bring home a great feeling, this is not the reason I study mathematics now.

Your work should be a natural result of your passion for mathematics, not the other way around. That is, you should not be driven to study mathematics by the idea that one day you will be internationally recognized as a great mathematician, on the contrary, studying mathematics should be only a result of your passion and love for it, and as I said, becoming internationally recognized, should merely come as a natural consequence of your work.
Thank you for the reply. You and Deveno are of course correct, it is the joy of discovery that i should strive to achieve.
Functor97
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#21
Dec3-11, 08:09 PM
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Quote Quote by chiro View Post
The truth is that most people don't get recognition for what they do.

Teachers in high schools put up with so much crap just to get to that one student that gives a stuff and everyone else thinks their job is easy and that they have too many holidays.

Same goes with many professions.

My advice is to give up the idea that you will get a lot of recognitio, because most people don't get it even if they really deserve it. Many will get it after they have died but usually not before.

You'll be a lot happier if you find something you enjoy and like using to help other people: the rewards will come usually from things that are un-announced.
Thank you for the advice Chiro, this has put my childish beliefs in perspective.
micromass
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#22
Dec3-11, 08:10 PM
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This sounds appropriate:

Dembadon
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#23
Dec3-11, 08:11 PM
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Quote Quote by Functor97 View Post
I would still persue my dreams and study mathematics, i would simply feel like i was missing out on something more. Like i said, it is not so much recognition as the ability to understand at the highest levels which i desire.
I'm not sure you're in a position to know what you'll be able to understand 10 years from now. Worrying about it certainly won't improve your mathematical abilities.

Again, I think your issue is emotional. It will be much easier to address that via a counselor than by attaining the ridiculously high expectation you've set for yourself. I really wish you the best and hope you find what you're looking for.
Pengwuino
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#24
Dec3-11, 08:12 PM
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Quote Quote by Functor97 View Post
I can assure you i do love mathematics. Doesn't everyone want recognition for doing what they love?
There's a difference between recognition and being known by every person in your field for centuries after your death. Why do you even care? You won't be alive to enjoy such recognition most likely even if you were to achieve it.

Scientists get recognition on a regular basis, through journal citations, conferences, talks, etc. They can even write texts that will be used for generations to come and achieve recognition that way.

Stop trying to live for other people, because that's essentially what you're doing.
Functor97
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#25
Dec3-11, 08:19 PM
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Quote Quote by Dembadon View Post
I'm not sure you're in a position to know what you'll be able to understand 10 years from now. Worrying about it certainly won't improve your mathematical abilities.

Again, I think your issue is emotional. It will be much easier to address that via a counselor than by attaining the ridiculously high expectation you've set for yourself. I really wish you the best and hope you find what you're looking for.
Yes i acknowledge that you are probably correct. I do not see how a counselor could aid me in this, so i shall simply try and take the advice given here and focus on the math.
Kevin_Axion
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#26
Dec3-11, 08:25 PM
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You'll never make anything of yourself in either mathematics or physics.

What do you want to hear? Do you want everyone on this forum to tell you that you'll do well while you continue to doubt yourself? You're your own problem and saying you'll never make it is only infringing on something you can't change. If you want to do something great, start working on it now and stop concentrating on useless ideas that depress you and only hinder your progress which is what you're worrying about in the first place, a self-perpetuating process. I think you can see the illogical consequence in what you're doing, now just make it actionable.

EDIT: I'm not trying to be harsh but seriously, your entire depression is just contradicting exactly what is making you depressed and that will only continue.
Dembadon
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#27
Dec3-11, 08:27 PM
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Quote Quote by Functor97 View Post
Yes i acknowledge that you are probably correct. I do not see how a counselor could aid me in this, so i shall simply try and take the advice given here and focus on the math.
Counseling can help identify and correct destructive mindsets. If you think about it, you've received some counseling in this thread. It has been of some aid, no?
Functor97
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#28
Dec3-11, 08:34 PM
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Quote Quote by Kevin_Axion View Post
You'll never make anything of yourself in either mathematics or physics.

What do you want to hear? Do you want everyone on this forum to tell you that you'll do well while you continue to doubt yourself? You're your own problem and saying you'll never make it is only infringing on something you can't change. If you want to do something great, start working on it now and stop concentrating on useless ideas that depress you and only hinder your progress which is what you're worrying about in the first place, a self-perpetuating process. I think you can see the illogical consequence in what you're doing, now just make it actionable.

EDIT: I'm not trying to be harsh but seriously, your entire depression is just contradicting exactly what is making you depressed and that will only continue.
No, i only wanted to hear people's own stance or experience in regard to these issues. You are a high school student Kevin, i would prefer advice from those who have at least started college in the field.
micromass
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#29
Dec3-11, 08:39 PM
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Quote Quote by Functor97 View Post
No, i only wanted to hear people's own stance or experience in regard to these issues. You are a high school student Kevin, i would prefer advice from those who have at least started college in the field.
So you think that high school students don't have the experiences you have?? Your problem is an emotional one, I think Kevin can understand quite well what you're dealing with.
Vanadium 50
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#30
Dec3-11, 08:40 PM
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Quote Quote by nickadams View Post
What scares me about pursuing a career in high level math is that it can take 10+ years before one finds out that they are not smart enough for that path.
Why is this different? I could say the same thing about professional athletes, musicians, about CEO's, politicians, etc.
Kevin_Axion
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#31
Dec3-11, 08:40 PM
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Quote Quote by Functor97 View Post
No, i only wanted to hear people's own stance or experience in regard to these issues. You are a high school student Kevin, i would prefer advice from those who have at least started college in the field.
Yea you're right. I think what you just said was a genetic fallacy, but sure. My point clearly doesn't stand because I'm a high school student. I came here to help you not to try and make you feel bad. If you want to ridicule my statement with something as absurd as being a high school student then I'm fine with that, but you really haven't shown me anything against what my statement says.
Pengwuino
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#32
Dec3-11, 08:41 PM
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Quote Quote by Functor97 View Post
No, i only wanted to hear people's own stance or experience in regard to these issues. You are a high school student Kevin, i would prefer advice from those who have at least started college in the field.
It's irrelevant what someones experience is. Your issue is not what age you need to be to be a great, world-renown mathematician. Your issue, clearly, is far worse; you have a psychological issue that is hindering your life. Remember, if you obsess over 1 thing, all you'll ever be good at is obsessing over that 1 thing. So if you obsess over doing mathematics, you'll become good at doing mathematics. However, if you obsess over whether or not you're too old to be great, all you'll ever be good at is obsessing over whether or not you're too old to be great. Take a guess at which one is going to get your name in textbooks?
Functor97
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#33
Dec3-11, 08:52 PM
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Quote Quote by Kevin_Axion View Post
Yea you're right. I think what you just said was a genetic fallacy, but sure. My point clearly doesn't stand because I'm a high school student. I came here to help you not to try and make you feel bad. If you want to ridicule my statement with something as absurd as being a high school student then I'm fine with that, but you really haven't shown me anything against what my statement says.
My original question was expressed towards those within the mathematical community, i am sorry if i did not make this explicit enough. I do not like the condescending tone of your post "you will never make anything of yourself..." I could direct that right back towards you. I simply do not think you are in a position to convey experiences you have never had, i mean how is a high school student of modest ability supposed to advise others on what makes a mathematician?
Kevin_Axion
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#34
Dec3-11, 08:55 PM
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Quote Quote by Functor97 View Post
My original question was expressed towards those within the mathematical community, i am sorry if i did not make this explicit enough. I do not like the condescending tone of your post "you will never make anything of yourself..." I could direct that right back towards you. I simply do not think you are in a position to convey experiences you have never had, i mean how is a high school student of modest ability supposed to advise others on what makes a mathematician?
I wasn't being condescending, I was being sarcastic. What I mean is if I say that or if anyone says that it isn't going to make any difference because in the end you are the person that you have to face and get over.
Functor97
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#35
Dec3-11, 09:05 PM
P: 209
Quote Quote by Kevin_Axion View Post
I wasn't being condescending, I was being sarcastic. What I mean is if I say that or if anyone says that it isn't going to make any difference because in the end you are the person that you have to face and get over.
I appreciate you trying to help, i just think you went about it in the wrong manner.
micromass
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#36
Dec3-11, 09:06 PM
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Quote Quote by Functor97 View Post
I appreciate you trying to help, i just think you went about it in the wrong manner.
On the contrary, kevin's advice is very good. Don't disregard his advice because of his age!!


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