Can I be the Greatest Mathematician of All Time?

In summary, the conversation discussed the possibility of becoming the greatest mathematician of all time at a young age. The OP's friends have nicknamed them "goat" for their potential. Some users cautioned against putting too much pressure on becoming the best and instead focusing on learning and enjoying math. Others pointed out the importance of genetics and luck in achieving such a title. The conversation ended with a reminder to work hard and strive to be good, rather than focusing solely on being the best.
  • #1
abia ubong
70
0
i am 16 a high school grad i wanted 2 know if it was possible for me 2 be the greatest mathematician of all times ,already my friends call me the goat i.e the greatest of all times pls let me know
 
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
Are sure that's what they mean by "goat"?
 
  • #3
abia ubong said:
i am 16 a high school grad i wanted 2 know if it was possible for me 2 be the greatest mathematician of all times ,already my friends call me the goat i.e the greatest of all times pls let me know
No, it cannot happen.
Your posts shows a fundamental lack of understanding of what maths is about.
Sorry if I'm too blunt for your taste.
 
  • #4
This is a joke...right...?
 
  • #5
Well they certainly weren't referring to your English, grammar, typing, or punctuation abilities.
 
  • #6
Well, if is a joke, I am amused. Do not get big headed, if this really is your goal, it makes it more difficult to accept your mistakes and move on or let yourself be corrected.
 
  • #7
"You're a pile of crap."
"What?"
"Oh, I'm just saying you are good at History."
"Oh, thanks."

What level math are you taking now? Unless you are taking Calculus already, you are setting your self up for a giant failure. (He said greatest of all time, not just great)

PL
 
  • #8
Hmm.. if that is the approach you will take, as theCandyman said earlier, you're only setting yourself up for failure.

The vast majority of us will never be exceptional (like world-class famous) in everything, and that is something we will have to accept. I myself am a mediocre track runner, placed last in every event, but I really could care less. In academics, I am not at the top, nor do I want to be classified as such; and I consider myself by no means "smart", because there is always more to learn. And as long as you have that mentality, and have the willingness to learn, in my opinion, it will take you as far as you want to go.

Always be willing to learn new things, get excited about it, and enjoy it. Never cease to ask questions in the classroom, and ask them out of it. Because by doing these, you will gain better knowledge in what you are trying to learn, and it is through this that perhaps fame through noteworthy achievements will come.

Happiness can come through other means than fame, so we shouldn't be bent over trying to gain the popularity and acceptance of others until we have found our own happiness.
 
  • #9
motai said:
Hmm.. if that is the approach you will take, as theCandyman said earlier, you're only setting yourself up for failure.

The vast majority of us will never be exceptional (like world-class famous) in everything, and that is something we will have to accept. I myself am a mediocre track runner, placed last in every event, but I really could care less. In academics, I am not at the top, nor do I want to be classified as such; and I consider myself by no means "smart", because there is always more to learn. And as long as you have that mentality, and have the willingness to learn, in my opinion, it will take you as far as you want to go.

Always be willing to learn new things, get excited about it, and enjoy it. Never cease to ask questions in the classroom, and ask them out of it. Because by doing these, you will gain better knowledge in what you are trying to learn, and it is through this that perhaps fame through noteworthy achievements will come.

Happiness can come through other means than fame, so we shouldn't be bent over trying to gain the popularity and acceptance of others until we have found our own happiness.

This is way too serious a response for a person (the OP) who shouldn't really be taken seriously to begin with.
 
  • #10
Poop-Loops said:
"You're a pile of crap."
"What?"
"Oh, I'm just saying you are good at History."
"Oh, thanks."

What level math are you taking now? Unless you are taking Calculus already, you are setting your self up for a giant failure. (He said greatest of all time, not just great)

PL

Eh, I'm taking ODE, now, and I certainly don't see myself as becoming a first-class mathematician. I'm fairly certain I'll be a competent one. Regardless, being able to take courses at a young age (as myself) does not guarantee anything.
 
  • #11
abia ubong said:
i am 16 a high school grad i wanted 2 know if it was possible for me 2 be the greatest mathematician of all times ,already my friends call me the goat i.e the greatest of all times pls let me know


If this is your goal, I think it would be fair to spend more time doing maths instead of asking such a question in a forum :smile: . Don't you think that you could have learned something new in the time it took you to write such a post?
 
  • #12
graphic7 said:
Eh, I'm taking ODE, now, and I certainly don't see myself as becoming a first-class mathematician. I'm fairly certain I'll be a competent one. Regardless, being able to take courses at a young age (as myself) does not guarantee anything.

I don't know what ODE is, but if he wants to be the best there ever was, don't you think he'd have to already be damn good? "The best there ever was" is a combination of working extremely hard and an assload of luck to get the right genes to be able to understand everything, and making sure you don't like get run over by a car when you are 3. He'd have to already be really really gifted to ever hope of becoming "the best".

Being good and the best are two different things. I hope to be a good physicist or engineer one day, but I know I will never be "the best".

Being good means working your ass off. But to be the best you have to be gifted too.

PL
 
  • #13
I don't know what ODE is

In all likelyhood, ordinary differential equations.
 
  • #14
of course it is possible! [not likely maybe, but possible]

however having as your goal to be the best of all time, would you be disappointed if you were only 3rd best?

Considering who is out there it is not too shabby to be even 10,000 th best, in my humble opinion.

The point is, it is a fun subject to work in, and the food is good. if you have "the love", come on in!

one suggestion: when you meet someone who knows a lot more than you, or who seems smarter, try not to say "argggh... there goes my chance!", say instead, "wow! here is someone who can help me get better!"
 
Last edited:
  • #15
Or you can think of it as an opportunity to move yourself up by 1, and eliminate him. J/K of course.

The only people I've ever seen/heard of that had a goal of being the best and accomplished it were seriously crazy (as in, they actually believed they were more than human). Athletes, generals, etc.

Mathwonk has the best advice. Do something you like, regardless of whether you are good at it or not.

By the way, I wasn't aware that there were even 10k mathmaticians in the world. :p

PL
 
  • #16
I wasn't aware that there were even 10k mathmaticians in the world.

There are around six and a half billion people in the world. If there were only 10000 mathematicians, then about [itex]10000/(6.5 \cdot 10^{7}) \% = 1.54\cdot 10^{-4} \% [/itex] of people would be mathematicians. Let's compare this to an actual situation.

There are around 750000 people in the city I live in, and (very conservative numbers here - I would say that there could easily be double what I state, and these are only tenure-track faculty and full-time students doing theses) probably seventy five are mathematics professors, and another seventy five are graduate students in mathematics at one of the two local universities. This makes around [itex]150/ 7500 \% = 2 \cdot 10^{-2} \%[/itex] of people in my city mathematicians. According to the number above (10000 mathematicians in the world), this means that my city would have at least a hundred times as many mathematicians as you would expect. I find this a little unlikely.

If we use the percentage that I got for my city as the global percentage (which is probably reasonable considering how conservative I was with the numbers - likely, a city will have a higher percentage than most places in the world, but since I was conservative to start with, this is ok), we expect about [itex](6.5\cdot 10^9)(2 \cdot 10^{-4}) = 1.3[/itex] million mathematicians in the world, which is a few more than [itex]10000[/itex] :wink:
 
Last edited:
  • #17
I was just basing it on the fact that mathematics is the most mind-numbing subject on the planet. It takes a certain type of person to be able to withstand all of it. And of those special people, maybe a handful would actually like doing it.

Note, that by mathematician I mean only those with Ph.D's in Math. Not your regular school teacher, they don't count. My HS calculus teacher was a literature major in college. I think there is a huge line between being able to say "I have a degree in..." and "I am a..." But maybe it's just semantics.

PL
 
  • #18
if you included schoolteachers there would quite easily be tens of millions of "mathematicians" in the world. Regardless, the "realistic" percentage that I came up with was still only [itex]2 \cdot 10^{-2}\%[/itex]. That still would mean that only 1 in every 5000 people is a mathematician, on average.
 
Last edited:
  • #19
abia ubong said:
i am 16 a high school grad i wanted 2 know if it was possible for me 2 be the greatest mathematician of all times ,already my friends call me the goat i.e the greatest of all times pls let me know

Becoming the greatest mathematician of all time isn't like trynig for an employment in some random company. It takes a lot of hard work, a lot of curiosity, and natural intellectual ability.

I hope you really are joking with this post.
 
  • #20
It is logically impossible for you to know this. To be the "greatest mathematician of all times", you will have to know the greatness of all mathematicians from the future as well as the past. If mathematics has anything to do with logic, your question suggests that greatness in mathematics is not a possibility for you.
 
  • #21
Poop-Loops said:
I was just basing it on the fact that mathematics is the most mind-numbing subject on the planet. It takes a certain type of person to be able to withstand all of it. And of those special people, maybe a handful would actually like doing it.

Then you are "basing it" on personal feelings that have little to do with reality.

Note, that by mathematician I mean only those with Ph.D's in Math. Not your regular school teacher, they don't count. My HS calculus teacher was a literature major in college. I think there is a huge line between being able to say "I have a degree in..." and "I am a..." But maybe it's just semantics.

PL

There are, in fact, some very good mathematicians who do NOT have a Ph.D in mathematics and there are some people who have Ph.D's in mathematics who would not consider themselves "mathematicians".
 
  • #22
hey, why u all picking on me,i only asked if it was possible and u all take me 2 be a fool c'mon u all shoulkd be ashamed ,u just got me messed for no reason except for mathwonk,poop-loop,and exequor.u all got angry when i posted this question ,well that's ur problem,all of u especially lebrad ,who was talking but grammar or punctuations ,really i am dissappointed in all of u ,i hope u all get this ,that includes u hallsofivy ,u were what i would call my friend as far as i am concerned ,u all messed up.well for me i stll hope 2 be the GREATEST OF ALL TIMES,and anyone who is not comfortable with it should...
se you all
 
  • #23
I can't speak for others, but I don't take anybody seriously who types like a 12 year old girl on AOL.

U r teh rox0r at Math!11!one!

I am willing to excuse poor English and spelling if it is not your native language, but cannot excuse the use of u or 2.
 
  • #24
HallsofIvy said:
Are sure that's what they mean by "goat"?

Haha. So many posts in this thread made me laugh. I think that one is the best though.
 
  • #25
LeBrad said:
I can't speak for others, but I don't take anybody seriously who types like a 12 year old girl on AOL.

u r just j3llus 0f h1s s1llz
 
  • #26
Poop-Loops said:
By the way, I wasn't aware that there were even 10k mathmaticians in the world. :p

The MathSciNet Author Database contains 429,481 entries. Now some of these are dead and not all may consider themselves mathematicians, but it also lists 11,304 active reviewers, they'll mostly be alive and qualify for the title of mathematician. Note that not every mathematician is an active reviewer so this 11,304 should be taken as a lower bound for the number of mathematicians (possibly a poor one).

If you want to count math PhD's, according to the http://www.ams.org/employment/04-First-corrected.pdf there were 1,041 granted in the US alone for 2003-2004, and it appears there have steadily been about a thousand per year for the past few years at least. I couldn't find the total number of math PhD's overall, but at the rate the US is producing them, I'd conjecture that there are far, far more than 10,000 alive at any time.

I guess that more people than you expect find mathematics not "mind-numbing" but rather stimulating enough to want to spend their lives doing it.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #27
10k mathematicians sounds like a fascinating prospect. Imagine all of them in a very large auditorium :-p.

Then again, I remember reading Voltaire's Candide, and when the protagonist goes to El Dorado, the king ends up ordering a contraption built to get over a valley using three thousand physicists so that Candide could get across.
 
  • #28
abia ubong:

There is no chance of you becoming the greatest mathematician of all time. The greatest mathematician of all time would not be concerned if he is the greatest mathematician of all time; he would be studying mathematics right now.

Chances are you have just completed high school. You have no idea what higher mathematics entails, and are completely blinded by the stars in your eyes.

Go to college, and then go to more college. Study, learn, and do not be concerned about titles. Do it for the love of the material.
 
  • #29
abia ubong said:
i am 16 a high school grad i wanted 2 know if it was possible for me 2 be the greatest mathematician of all times ,already my friends call me the goat i.e the greatest of all times pls let me know

where do these people come from?
 
  • #30
He lives in Nigeria, that's why he has somewhat poor grammar. Give him a break.

Now, setting up for best mathematician ever, it will make you hate yourself everytime you make the slightest mistake. I suggest you just go on as you do, without thinking about becoming the best, and then see what comes from it.
Now, so which math class are you currently taking?
 
  • #31
Instead, hope to become the worst mathematician ever. Then, when you start failing at that, you will be happy because it means you are good.

PL
 
  • #32
As Maxwell said, you are still in high school. Wait until you get out to uni, the real world and see how much of a big fish in a small pond you were.

It is far more likely that you become a good mathematician and stumble across a world changing discovery.
 
  • #33
thank you for maxwell for the advice,also moose, i speak voluble english i only use those to make my work faster and this goes to everyone who thinks because i am a nigerian my grammar is porous ,you have all made a very big mistake,also pengwuino at least you now know i am from nigeria ,now locrian what have i said that makes you laugh?thanks to all you who gave real advice, i am grateful .thank you too space tiger
 
  • #34
gosh i made a mistake ,thank u maxwell for theadvice
 
  • #35
abia ubong said:
i am 16 a high school grad i wanted 2 know if it was possible for me 2 be the greatest mathematician of all times ,already my friends call me the goat i.e the greatest of all times pls let me know

I foresee you will become the greatest of all the jedi...I mean mathematicians.
 
<h2>1. Can anyone become the greatest mathematician of all time?</h2><p>While it is possible for anyone to become a great mathematician, becoming the greatest of all time is a highly subjective and debated topic. It often depends on individual contributions, recognition, and impact on the field.</p><h2>2. What qualities or skills are necessary to become the greatest mathematician of all time?</h2><p>Some common qualities and skills that are often associated with great mathematicians include creativity, problem-solving abilities, persistence, and a strong foundation in mathematical concepts and theories.</p><h2>3. How much time and effort does it take to become the greatest mathematician of all time?</h2><p>Becoming the greatest mathematician of all time requires a significant amount of time and effort. It often involves years of studying, researching, and making groundbreaking contributions to the field. It also requires dedication and a passion for mathematics.</p><h2>4. Are there any specific fields or areas of mathematics that are more likely to produce the greatest mathematician of all time?</h2><p>There is no specific field or area of mathematics that guarantees one will become the greatest mathematician of all time. Many great mathematicians have made significant contributions in various fields, such as algebra, geometry, number theory, and calculus.</p><h2>5. Can one become the greatest mathematician of all time without formal education or training?</h2><p>While formal education and training in mathematics can provide a strong foundation, it is not a requirement to become the greatest mathematician of all time. Some individuals have made groundbreaking contributions to the field without a formal education, but it often requires a natural aptitude and dedication to self-study and research.</p>

Related to Can I be the Greatest Mathematician of All Time?

1. Can anyone become the greatest mathematician of all time?

While it is possible for anyone to become a great mathematician, becoming the greatest of all time is a highly subjective and debated topic. It often depends on individual contributions, recognition, and impact on the field.

2. What qualities or skills are necessary to become the greatest mathematician of all time?

Some common qualities and skills that are often associated with great mathematicians include creativity, problem-solving abilities, persistence, and a strong foundation in mathematical concepts and theories.

3. How much time and effort does it take to become the greatest mathematician of all time?

Becoming the greatest mathematician of all time requires a significant amount of time and effort. It often involves years of studying, researching, and making groundbreaking contributions to the field. It also requires dedication and a passion for mathematics.

4. Are there any specific fields or areas of mathematics that are more likely to produce the greatest mathematician of all time?

There is no specific field or area of mathematics that guarantees one will become the greatest mathematician of all time. Many great mathematicians have made significant contributions in various fields, such as algebra, geometry, number theory, and calculus.

5. Can one become the greatest mathematician of all time without formal education or training?

While formal education and training in mathematics can provide a strong foundation, it is not a requirement to become the greatest mathematician of all time. Some individuals have made groundbreaking contributions to the field without a formal education, but it often requires a natural aptitude and dedication to self-study and research.

Similar threads

Replies
28
Views
1K
  • STEM Academic Advising
2
Replies
43
Views
4K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
21
Views
1K
Replies
11
Views
1K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
3
Views
2K
Replies
7
Views
927
Replies
17
Views
2K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
14
Views
3K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
17
Views
1K
Replies
15
Views
2K
Back
Top