Become a good mathematician without the "threshold" IQ?

  • #26
Dr. Courtney
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Um, everybody knows that this thread was a drive-by on the part of the OP, right? He came here 2+ years ago, asked his question, and never came back. I mean, you can keep arguing with yourselves if you want, but it's not helping the OP.
My experience is that many more readers find internet advice as lurkers using search engines than the OPs. I like to address the OP and counter discouraging advice for their sake.

@Dr. Courtney , what do you think of cases like Babe Ruth, who was so far ahead of everyone else? Top 0.1% talent and effort? He did start playing very early.
Dunno about Ruth. But I've thought a lot about more modern cases like Roger Federer and Michael Jordan. 0.1% talent and effort, at least. It's rare to encounter students or athletes with true 0.1% talent. But I like to encourage them that if they add top 0.1% effort to that, they can likely have 1 in a million accomplishments and outcomes. Otherwise, they may just end up a Dennis Rodman equivalent.

But I also advise folks to work harder in areas with more demand and less supply of hard workers. There are way more athletes hoping for college tennis and basketball scholarships than will ever get them. In states like GA with the Hope/Zell Miller scholarship program, 10 extra hours a week on out of class academics is much more likely to get an academic scholarship than 10 extra hours a week on hoops or tennis. Average intelligence and top 10% of effort is about what it takes.
 
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  • #27
StatGuy2000
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How often does that happen that people doing poorly in a given subject matter suddenly become proficient or very good at it?
More often than you think, at least based on my own anecdotal evidence.

And I am not assuming fixedness, I am talking correlation: those with less talent are less likely to succeed. Do you disagree with that?
I believe @Dr. Courtney has already addressed this in post #21. Let me add that what you refer to as "talent" isn't necessarily simply an innate trait (which is what you are assuming above), but something which can be and is often acquired through hard work and effort.

Let me ask you this. What do you attribute to whatever success you have achieved? Your genetics? Or your hard work?
 
  • #28
WWGD
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More often than you think, at least based on my own anecdotal evidence.



I believe @Dr. Courtney has already addressed this in post #21. Let me add that what you refer to as "talent" isn't necessarily simply an innate trait (which is what you are assuming above), but something which can be and is often acquired through hard work and effort.

Let me ask you this. What do you attribute to whatever success you have achieved? Your genetics? Or your hard work?
But we seem to be going in circles here: hard work definitely matters but talent gives you an extra edge. Like finishing a marathon faster by starting at the 10th mile instead of by mile 0. And, yes, the talent component is innate but often latent and must then be teased out. Like I said, no matter how hard I work, I will most likely never sing as well as Alicia Keys or many others, be a great chef, etc. , though possible do very well in other areas. I do believe in such a thing as having easier disposition towards certain activities.
 
  • #29
StatGuy2000
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But we seem to be going in circles here: hard work definitely matters but talent gives you an extra edge. Like finishing a marathon faster by starting at the 10th mile instead of by mile 0. And, yes, the talent component is innate but often latent and must then be teased out. Like I said, no matter how hard I work, I will most likely never sing as well as Alicia Keys or many others, be a great chef, etc. , though possible do very well in other areas. I do believe in such a thing as having easier disposition towards certain activities.
Again, from my reading of your posts, you (and many people with hereditarian views) seem to put far more stock in innate "talent" than I do in the intellectual or academic sphere, precisely because whatever "innate" predisposition is latent and is often impossible to disentangle from hard work, effort, & other environmental conditions.

The academic or intellectual sphere is different from your example of singing because singing talent is at least in part on physical characteristics (i.e. quality of someone's vocal chords). Whereas someone who is not afflicted with neurological or developmental disorders are capable of learning a vast of set of academic or cognitive skills.
 
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  • #30
WWGD
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Again, from my reading of your posts, you (and many people with hereditarian views) seem to put far more stock in innate "talent" than I do in the intellectual or academic sphere, precisely because whatever "innate" predisposition is latent and is often impossible to disentangle from hard work, effort, & other environmental conditions.

The academic or intellectual sphere is different from your example of singing because singing talent is at least in part on physical characteristics (i.e. quality of someone's vocal chords). Whereas someone who is not afflicted with neurological or developmental disorders are capable of learning a vast of set of academic or cognitive skills.
Edit:Well, until someone brings up research it is little more than hearsay or personal opinions so we are stuck with this and I dont see it moving forward , so I will let you have the last word and I will bail out of this exchange. Edit : your claim about physical correlates does not hold as there are physical traits of the brain that correlate with IQ. But this is an extremely complex topic and we each have our opinion, neither of us seems to have convinced the other and I dont see what can be gained by continuing to exchange personal opinions.
 
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  • #31
Vanadium 50
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Well, if we're writing for "posterity"...
  • The very notion of a threshold IQ is unserious. Does anyone really think that with a 150 IQ one can be a successful mathematician but with a 149 one cannot?
  • Does anyone really doubt that with a constant level of effort being smarter helps?
  • Does anyone really doubt that with a constant level of intelligence more effort helps?
 
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  • #32
StoneTemplePython
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Edit:Well, until someone brings up research it is little more than hearsay or personal opinions so we are stuck with this and I dont see it moving forward
I tried a year and a half ago, but I don't think it had much effect
https://www.physicsforums.com/threa...stress-and-the-human-cost.943817/post-5987052
As I recall, that issue of The Economist had some adjacent articles on notions of intelligence and how to estimate it from IQ to G to some other things.
 
  • #33
WWGD
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I tried a year and a half ago, but I don't think it had much effect
https://www.physicsforums.com/threa...stress-and-the-human-cost.943817/post-5987052
As I recall, that issue of The Economist had some adjacent articles on notions of intelligence and how to estimate it from IQ to G to some other things.
Like a large amount of topics, it's gone the way of culture wars. A sad comment on our society today that we have trouble disagreeing constructively on so many different topics. Edit: Baby Boomers did an amazing job of pushing technology forward but went backwards in terms of engaging in political, general debate.
 
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  • #34
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The academic or intellectual sphere is different from your example of singing because singing talent is at least in part on physical characteristics (i.e. quality of someone's vocal chords).
Not really : a pleasant-sounding voice is nice to have, but almost totally irrelevant for a professional vocalist.
 
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  • #35
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Not really : a pleasant-sounding voice is nice to have, but almost totally irrelevant for a professional vocalist.
Ethel Merman, Britney Spears...
 
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Right, Leo Kottke described his own singing voice as "geese farts on a muggy day."
 
  • #37
gleem
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Getting back to the OP. There is more to attaining prominence in a field than some basic innate ability although I think the entertainment profession is not the best example for this discussion: there is no accounting for taste.

It is too bad that young people can be disheartened by some questionable standard instead of just trying to accomplish something dear to them. Feynman was a great proponent of doing that in which you are most interested or at least trying to do it. We all have a little voice in our heads that persistently eggs us on about something. @Rick77. what is that little voice telling you?
 
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  • #38
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Follow your dreams : if you like math then do math. You can't lose, unless your aspiration is solely to have a math diploma to use as a prop.

An IQ test mostly measures the ability to do an IQ test. Most tall people suck at basketball.
 

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