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How in the name of Thor?

  1. Jun 17, 2010 #1
    How do you guys enjoy math?????
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 17, 2010 #2


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    Most of us would have found it easy as it came naturally to us from a young age. That would be the biggest reason, it's easier to enjoy something when you're good at it.
    I also love how I can start with a question, having an idea in my mind of what the answer will approximately be, but then find that the math tells me it's something way different to what I expected.
  4. Jun 17, 2010 #3
    Same reason people enjoy untying knots and putting together puzzles. You're working towards an inevitable and logical outcome, but it's all up to your technique to get you there. Nowhere is this more apparent than in something like trig identities.
  5. Jun 17, 2010 #4
    Dear Hop1pop
    Maths is a wonderful kind of puzzle for me, and even though it is hard work I find it very satisfying.
    I tend to be a slow worker in maths, probably because it's not my training, but the challenge of finding useful solutions to general problems has caught me and I think it is so much better than TV. Every truth I find helps me find other truths.
    For me it's about transcending the need to reach outside myself for help; to cultivate self-sufficiency.
  6. Jun 17, 2010 #5
    One reason I like math is that you can do _____ (whatever it is that we DO!!) with just a paper and pencil. I would have to get special permission to enter the multi-million dollar DNA lab where my friend works... just to see some basic properties of cells or whatever.

    But check out this proof that an even number times and even number is even.

    2m*2n = 4mn = 2(2mn). Boom.

    Or an even function times and odd is odd.
    (let f be the even one)
    f(-x)*g(-x) = f(x)*(-g(x)) = -f(x)*g(x).
  7. Jun 17, 2010 #6
    I enjoy math because I get paid more than the guy who majored in art history. :)

    Seriously though, at first I didn't enjoy math. My parents just told me that if I want to actually get a job someday, I'd have to do well in it. I only started getting good at math around eighth grade. And as has already been said, it's easier to enjoy something you're good at.

    But there are really two different definitions of the word "math." To some people, math is solving differential equations and computing line integrals. To others, math involves proving theorems about homologies, Abelian groups, and other such stuff. I like the line integrals...don't like the proofs so much. I guess that's why I'm a physicist.
  8. Jun 17, 2010 #7
    Good point, arunma. I hate golf, and I am bad at it. Which came first?!?!

    I like(d) math because I was naturally good at what kids call "math". Once the abstraction began (see "homomorphisms, et al.), I started to hate math. But don't tell anyone ;)
  9. Jun 17, 2010 #8
    We pray to Odin, and he gives us the inspriration.

    Really, I don't know why. Perhaps because (despite all the associations with nerds) it's the coolest thing ever conceived by man.
  10. Jun 17, 2010 #9


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    Solving math problems is very relaxing.
  11. Jun 17, 2010 #10
    Yeah, I know what you mean. I actually did a math major in undergrad. At first I thought it'd be really cool. After all, my favorite part of physics was doing computationally-intensive problems and then triumphantly reaching the solution (OK it didn't look so glamorous in practice, but whatever). Calculus was really cool, but once I started doing real math, I realized that I wasn't doing nearly as many integrals as I'd like to be doing. Heck, I didn't really do any integrals at all. Even when I behaved well, the most the professor would let me do is a matrix diagonalization. I found a way around the boredom by taking all the classes that normal math majors would consider "weak," like numerical analysis, differential geometry, an advanced calculus. But I found that the math I really liked came from the classes I was taking for my physics major.

    ...and then I went to grad school and found out that real physicists only get to do physics problems once in a blue moon. Seriously, where do I go to do surface integrals every day (and get paid for it)!?
  12. Jun 17, 2010 #11
    i can't say i ever enjoyed math for math's sake. at least not in a mathematician sort of way. but that's OK, because i just went into engineering the first time through and used it as a sort of monkey wrench. maybe you just need to find your hook. some people like statistics. i have no idea how, as it just seems like drudgery to me. but find the thing you like, figure out how math helps you further that goal, and maybe it will become interesting.
  13. Jun 18, 2010 #12
    Well, I think that math is beautiful. Mathemathical proofs tend to be wonderfully elegant.
  14. Jun 18, 2010 #13
    Math is neat because it doesn't matter whether the math teacher likes you or not. You just slap your finished test down and say "read 'em and weep". Unlike your commie social science teacher who might dislike you for your opinions.
  15. Jun 18, 2010 #14


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    When I was in school, it was a nice challenge. I also enjoyed seeing everyone at awe of me making those calculations :) .
  16. Jun 18, 2010 #15
    man, you had me laughing for a while! Of all the things to say when handing in a test!!

    I don't remember too many commie teachers besides my intro to psych. She's Canadian. EH?!?!
  17. Jun 18, 2010 #16
    I don't, I avoid it as much as I can.

    I think people who enjoy it are nuts.
  18. Jun 21, 2010 #17

    Naw, we Canadians are considered Socialists by the Americans.:rofl:
    Anywhoo, I get what you all are trying to get at, you guys just happen to be good at it and then in turn you liked it. :P:approve:

    Just how I am naturally good at being creative and artistic. Which sucks because I cant really make a good living from those skills. :uhh:

    Im really happy to see mature, honest, intelligent replies posted so quickly :blushing: . Its a shame most forums arent like this, cuz I like to communicate ideas and opinions with people on the internet.:cry:
  19. Jun 21, 2010 #18

    what? I'm beginning to think that I am illiterate with mathematics.
  20. Jun 21, 2010 #19
    I don't enjoy it. I just try to deal with it the best I can.
  21. Jun 21, 2010 #20
    Well THAT was not my purpose!
    Informally, we can conclude that two even numbers multiplied together gives another even number. 6*8=48
    etc. But to prove this for ANY two even numbers, we arbitrarily pick two. With m and n natural/whole numbers/integers, 2m and 2n are even numbers. When we multiply them, we get 4mn. This is even, since it is twice a natural/whole/integer 2*(2mn).
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