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I'm curious to know where the passion for mathematics came about in your life. When was it clear that you wanted to be a mathematician (although you may not be one yet)?

Most mathematicians have the story of reading a particular book that had very insightful/interesting things in it regarding mathematics. The ideas alone were enough to lure some of the brightest people into the world of mathematics.

Although I may not be bright, I would have to say my story is similiar, but the book is not quite at the caliber other great mathematicians started with.

My love for mathematics all started while attending Business School where I was on my way to become an Accountant. I came out of high school with very bad grades (probably worse than you're thinking right now). So, as you guessed it, the Business School did not have the greatest reputation. Nevertheless, they taught me business, and what I learned remains valuable.

While attending Business School, I made a deal with myself that I would try and the first step was to show up to class. (I never went to class in high school.) :uhh: So, I tried and I was doing very well. So good, the school was making me sick. I wanted to struggle to get an A! Therefore, I decided to transfer to a reputable Business School, which I was now capable of doing. The problem was... I needed a Calculus credit to get in.

Since I was in a hurry, I went for the independent self-study calculus credit because I can finish it as fast as I'd like. The book that they gave me was the book that changed everything. I was amazed just after chapter 2 alone. The simple idea of finding the tangent line at a point was just "wow" for me. Another thing was finding the maximum of a function without even drawing the graph. Sure these things sound simple, but before taking calculus I didn't know this and most didn't.

After that credit, I rejected the offer of admission to the reputable Business School and went to a local university for Physics and Mathematics. I tacked on Physics because at the time I was reading a lot of Isaac Asimov books (non-fiction) and I found it interesting. I dropped Physics as a major later because I discovered that I hated doing applications and that the beauty of mathematics was just something you can't turn down.

So, that's my short/long story.

Note: The ironic part is that I failed my last mathematics course in high school (I didn't need it though) and now I'm a mathematics major. The other funny part is I studied calculus on my own without difficulty and very little background.