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How did you get here? (personal growth)

  1. Aug 18, 2011 #1
    Fairly straightforward. How did you, as a person[i.e, your personal characteristics; your own little quirks], end up where you are now? When you were much younger, what kind of child were you? What about your teenage years and then your adult life?

    I think that this might be a pretty interesting exercise. You don't have to be too explicit about anything, you are free to be as open as you'd like. I think this might help us to get to know each other better and we might learn a thing or two or this might stir some interesting banter. :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 18, 2011 #2
    I'll get the ball rolling and hopefully, this will pick up.

    I actually started writing this but it ended up being too lengthy (~500 words) and I liked it so much, I decided to use it for my college application. It's been a long time since I wrote anything that honest, let alone, anything at all. :)

    Briefly though, I recently "found myself back", if that makes any sense. Going through adolescence, I sort of forgot who I was and was left with a whole lot of nothing. It took me a long time and I gradually picked up new habits and characteristics that were "my own" and I also "found" what it was like to be me when I was much younger. And when you think about it, at the core, I'm exactly how I was when I was five! I was always a bit of an a-hole but also kind (sort of), I was very curious and I had to be kept busy. Busy is good! I'm a rocket man. If I don't keep on flying, I will crash to the ground and die.
  4. Aug 18, 2011 #3


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    Hey Thy Apathy, this is a great idea for a thread.

    As a child in primary school I was somewhat of a little ****. Had behavioral problems, problems with school and in a way was kind of a class clown.

    Someone had moved to our school who I befriended who introduced me to QBASIC towards the end of primary school. He knew more than me but I was fascinated by this thing where you could type lines of code and boom! you got Gorillas, or Snake (if you don't know what those are, these games came as BASIC source code which you ran from the interpreter), or some simple text game and it actually worked!

    I was amazed at this and spent most of my free time slowly learning the rest of QBASIC and then with assembly for 386 and above and as a result learning lots of things about math and programming with respect to games.

    Unfortunately I screwed around after finishing high school and made some bad choices, which in hindsight I think were good, because they taught me a lot about life in general and what people can become if they let themselves slide into dark habits.

    I always had this idea to study mathematics and the first time around studying it (I was doing a comp sci degree at the time), I focused my attention on other things like 3D visualization and I ended up dropping out of the degree after first year where I took up an entry level job at the start of my second year.

    I ended up spending all of my free time adding code to a platform that was my visualization program. Later on I got a diploma in games development where I was part of a team that made a completed game demo.

    At the time I always wanted to study mathematics, and after some experience with commercial game development, I eventually enrolled in a mathematics degree which I will soon be finishing.

    It's funny because I always wanted to understand what all those symbols meant even from a relatively young age, but I have to say that had I not met that young friend who showed me that BASIC program, I honestly think I would be completely different. The experience of spending all of my free time in front of an interpreter (or a compiler), actually helped (and helps) me immensely in analyzing and visualizing different types of math in unique ways. It's influenced how I thought not only about math, but about science as well.

    After doing stuff related to game design, I see literally used to think about the world as triangles, spatial classifications, and so on. You begin to literally try and break everything down. This increases even more when you study all the kinds of data structures like those used in sound files (MP3 vs say WAV), and images (JPEG vs BMP) and so on. This really has made me think about things like language as a general thing and how you can create a language that suits a particular purpose and in the context of binary data and mathematical representations, it made me think about how I can put all these different forms of representation in that context.

    I've found that this place is filled with people that have two important properties: they are very smart, and very helpful. It is a great environment with generally positive energy, and shapes my perspective (mostly in a positive manner) on a daily basis.
  5. Aug 18, 2011 #4
    That's an awesome story man. I was always under the impression that you were ~20 years old! On that note, how old are you?

    And yeah, I too ended up doing lots of things that I regret for a while. Often, it was because I just happened to be with the wrong crowd and the wrong time. Well, that's how things started anyway. Ultimately, I was the one who made every "bad" decision - it's not like people shoved rhum down my throat. I have grown from those experiences though and I'm glad I had them when I did. They are things that really shaped me. (bad (and good!) experiences alcohol consumption, messed up relationships with friends & girlfriend, among other things) But that's inherent with teenage. Everybody messes up. :)

    I'm actually glad I got *something* out of it. Up until recently, I absolutely hated my high school years. I still sort of do, but it's more of a like-hate relationship. The hate is especially because of the social crowd...but let's not get too much into that. I'm sure most of us here don't go to schools where more than 1 out of every 100 people genuinely like math and science.

    That was quite an interesting way of liking maths. I really enjoyed what you wrote. Data structures is something I've been meaning to learn about. I had no clue what they were called (oddly enough, the name seems familiar) but they always intrigued me. I've had a computer since I was six and I've always been breaking it, trying to fix it and trying to figure out how it works. "What's inside all those files?" is a "general" question that has always been on mind, especially in my younger days when I used to use emulators a lot!

    I always liked science. I was sort of expected to do science early on and doing anything else wasn't really something I considered (then). I was a good student but I grew progressively lazy. Mostly because I felt the work "too easy" and I got bored in my classes. I did love Physics and certain Chemistry classes though. Anyway, I "fell in love" with Maths thanks to my dad. He taught me three years in a row and it was in the last months of the third year that I was struck by the "magic" (lol?) of it. If it weren't for him, it would've taken me much longer to like math and get kicks out of it.
  6. Aug 18, 2011 #5
    I don't know what you are asking about? Are you asking about a personal philosophy? What kind of feelings have contributed tot he decisions you have made?
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