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Is being good at the olympiad

  1. Jan 12, 2008 #1
    a necessary and sufficient condition for becoming a good mathematician?

    The truth of the matter is that I myself am not good at these things.

    Fields medalist have previously been olympiad gold medalists eg Tim Gowers et al but there are counterexamples e.g Okunkov.

    So what is the truth of the matter?

    How importance is speed? Again I am slow to grasp and slow to solve.

    and as a mathematician what is superior problem solving or theory building?

    Are they two very different things?

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 12, 2008 #2


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    I'd say neither necessary nor sufficient.
  4. Jan 12, 2008 #3

    Gib Z

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    There have been far too many threads on this already. Obviously there is a good portion of Fields medalists who havent done the Olympiad, as you stated, yet they have won the fields medal. Thats evidence pointing at the obvious...Real mathematics and Olympiad Mathematics are very different things.
  5. Jan 12, 2008 #4
    the mistake that everyone makes; the reason why there have been so many of these posts is because people forget why such things as math should be pursued. intellectual pursuit in general is for the sake of the pursuit not the attainment. it doesn't matter if you can win a fields medal or if you can do great mathematics or anything like that. the only thing that matters is if you can continue doing it. you only have to be good enough to get payed enough to have food and shelter.
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