Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Hardest Math?

  1. May 30, 2013 #1
    In my introducation post, I stated that im new to all this. My highest math education is elementary Algebra, but im here to learn myself some new things. With that being said, what is the hardest type of math out there? I know its somewhat relative, based upon personal understanding... so personal opinion is welcome. Are there any math equations out there that havent been solved?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 30, 2013 #2

    George Jones

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Very much so.

    "In my day, as I remember it, we used to think spherical trigonometry about the hardest stuff of the lot." Stephen Leacock
     
  4. May 30, 2013 #3

    lisab

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Difficulty isn't the problem. It was the boring stuff I found impenetrable -- no surprise. For me that would be series. Absolute convergence, uniform convergence, that sort of thing. I just couldn't stay focused.
     
  5. May 31, 2013 #4

    Dembadon

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    The biggest factor for me so far has been the professor. Certain subjects can be made quite manageable, or excruciatingly difficult depending on the expectations and teaching style of one's professor/instructor.

    I had difficulty in Abstract Algebra, which is the study of the characteristics and properties of the algebraic structures named: groups, rings, and fields. Formulating a rigorous argument for something about which one has little-to-no intuition is not something many people are used to doing. It was a humbling experience for me, to say the least.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2013
  6. May 31, 2013 #5

    WannabeNewton

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    All math is hard for me :p
     
  7. May 31, 2013 #6
    Anything that involves so much arithmetic that it is almost impossible to actually get it right. Complex number matrix manipulations with matrices bigger than 2X2 and series solutions to differential equations.
     
  8. May 31, 2013 #7

    Bacle2

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    One of the biggest obstacles in many areas is just figuring out the barrage of symbols,and overall notation, and, even worse, different authors use different notation ( or even different names) for the same thing, or the same name is used for different things. And, on top of figuring the notation, you have indices and subindices, etc. I would suggest, if you want to look-up books, look for one where the notation used is described carefully, as I think it shows the author to be consciencious and has taken care and made an effort to be clear.
     
  9. Jun 27, 2013 #8
    Math is not hard when you understand and get used to it. It all depends on what type of math you like. You may find yourself having trouble solving algebras but being really good at coordinate geometries.
     
  10. Jun 27, 2013 #9
    I don't believe you lol :P

    The hardest math I have seen/briefly attempted (I stress the BRIEFLY attempted) is that of supersymmetry and non-commutative geometry.
     
  11. Jun 27, 2013 #10
    The weird thing about maths is that once you get to higher level stuff, the first time you see it you have no idea what's going on. Then after a while you get your head around what the definitions actually mean, but still can't seem to answer the questions. After a long time spent of having little to no understanding, one day you get a spark and you're like "wait, that actually makes sense". Then after like a year or so, you look back at the stuff which you found absolutely impossible and think it's pretty straight forward. Instead you think the stuff you're doing currently is impossible... of course this opinion will change again some time from now.
     
  12. Jun 27, 2013 #11

    Dembadon

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I feel the same way.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Hardest Math?
  1. Hardest puzzle ever (Replies: 3)

  2. Hardest jobs (Replies: 22)

Loading...