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Studying Studying 15 hours a day?

  1. Sep 1, 2011 #1
    I just feel that if I don't study that much I will not amount to anything. I used to study 10 hours a day two years ago and my grades jumped up a lot. Like I was getting 85-90% in subjects. However, friends on another forum and friends at uni said that I needed to balance life and I started to do less and less work.

    Now I'm at the third year think extra work would pay off. Like doing calculus question over and over again won't pay off because calculus is a joke. But, if I spent four hours a day thinking of topology, then I think that would pay off.

    I'm thinking that I would eventually end up like Grigori Perelma anyway.

    Also, I can't seem to do Maths and everything else. It's like if I watch a TV program then suddenly Maths becomes tedious. But, if I'm stuck in a library and no distractions then I'm doing Maths. Hence, when go back to uni plan to not bring laptop and be in library most of the time. Without any laptop, can't watch TV, play games, go on the internet that much so I would have no distractions.

    I read an interesting book. Called Mind of a mathematician. Had story of Andre Weil being locked in a prison, he had nothing to do and no distraction. The story was that in the prison he made his greatest discovery. Feel sort of like that.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 1, 2011 #2


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    There's nothing wrong with getting rid of distractions, for sure. But 15 hours a day of studying? That sounds like too much.
  4. Sep 1, 2011 #3
    I was under the impression that Grigori Perelman studied that much from his autobiography. Read that Ramanujan studied that much too. Andre Weils in his prison probably studied that much instead of going on holidays and reading Indian books.

    Not saying I'm a genius, but I know that if I study 15 hours a day could do something as great as them.
  5. Sep 1, 2011 #4
    No one can sustain that amount of studying for an extended period of time without losing touch with reality IMO.

    It's too much. I can understand 10 when it comes to the last few weeks before finals but 15 hours EVERY DAY--no.
  6. Sep 1, 2011 #5
    I think that's the point. If I study that much then even when I sleep I will dreaming of Mathematics.

    Well, I can physically do it and now I can mentally do it. Like last week I was studying algebra for 10+ hours.
  7. Sep 1, 2011 #6


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    Why doesn't anyone ever point out the obvious with insane behavior such as this? You do realize you at some point will have to function in the real world with other people right? And let me just ask do you think it's beneficial or detrimental to cut yourself off from society and all normal human tasks for years at a time?
  8. Sep 1, 2011 #7


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    Repeat this to yourself and see how scary and insane it sounds. You're just going to overload your mind man. Its good to have a passion for learning but mental functionality should come before that. You can't just neglect your girlfriend, other friends, and/or family.
  9. Sep 1, 2011 #8
    I'm afraid that your brain cannot perceive a big amount information during such a long period of study. Even 15 hours of continuous study is possible but still it is ineffective (IMHO).
  10. Sep 1, 2011 #9

    Stephen Tashi

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    It might be "insane" behavior for a person with a normal psychology. A person with normal psychology would probably have to fight his natural urge to let his mind wander. However, for a person with Asperger's syndrome studying 15 hours a day might be natural behavior and not particularly demanding. There are very successful people who have Asperger's syndrome, for example Dr. Michael Burry. I think simplicity123 must consider whether he has normal psychology.
  11. Sep 1, 2011 #10
    I've known people who studied in the ball park of 112 hours per week (16 hours a day) for an entire semester. While they were out of touch with reality, I think they may have started off that way.
  12. Sep 1, 2011 #11
    Well, I have to do normal task like cook, sleep and study(which, is basically work). I just think of it like Perelman he doesn't care about money, social status, gf and other stuff.

    Well, I don't think they are important. If I was going to die tomorrow I wouldn't be thinking of friends or family I would be thinking of QM or topology or RH.

    Well, I don't know about that. Most psychological studies are done on unnatural learning like word lists. Certainly, trying to memorize a word list for 15 hours is pointless. But, maths is a language it's like imagine speaking 15 hours in a different language.
  13. Sep 1, 2011 #12
    Well, if that's the case, it only can only make the OP better at math because math is very out of touch with reality. :wink:
  14. Sep 1, 2011 #13
    Law of diminishing returns:

    The tendency for a continuing application of effort or skill toward a particular project or goal to decline in effectiveness after a certain level of result has been achieved.
  15. Sep 1, 2011 #14
    I suffer pretty badly from OCD. So I'm not normal.
  16. Sep 1, 2011 #15
    I used to think that was true. But, Broodwar changed my views.

    These are the two best Broodwar players today. However, both play 12+ hours a day. They live in team houses and have food cooked for them. All they do is jog for half an hour before they have dinner. But, like 12 hours a day and there hands are doing 400 actions per minute.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  17. Sep 1, 2011 #16


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    That's not normal tasks, those are the tasks you need to stay alive. Normal tasks are having friends, having social contacts, learning how to interact with other people. Studying a field and having no friends and no job (remember you WILL have to interview for a job and exist in a workplace) is a pathetic life to any standard.
  18. Sep 1, 2011 #17
    Video game players?

    That's hardly equivalent to math or physics.

    I love math, physics and engineering but I also love life--it inspires my love for such topics. If you don't live life it will drain your inspiration--IMO , of course.
  19. Sep 1, 2011 #18


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    One might also draw into question exactly what you mean by 'studying' as well.

    At some point, you need some real-world experience so you can know what problems are practical to work on and to give you a foundation for generating your own ideas. Some students will push themselves to the limits studying exactly what they're told to study and they'll get great marks doing so. But you need to learn how to explore things on your own and sometimes that means exploring things that are completely unrelated to what's covered in your classes. Students who don't do this can sometimes hit a brick wall once the get to their PhD or post-doctoral work because they cannot generate their own ideas.

    By the context of your original post though, limiting distractions while you study is a good thing. Eventually you'll find your own balance of how much studying is right for you - the concern of course is that the road along the way can be bumpy.
  20. Sep 1, 2011 #19
    I study about 60 hours a week outside of class. I think 50-70 is reasonable. If you are taking 4 classes and study 60 hours thats only 15 hours per week which isn't a huge amount if they are difficult classes.

    15 hours a day is too much unless you manage on very little sleep (3-4 hours). Your psychological health will suffer if you have no friends or time to relax. Look at Perelman, he had a breakdown and is no longer getting much math done.
  21. Sep 2, 2011 #20
    To be honest, nobody really studies 15 hours a day (productively, that is). I've always taken quite daring courseloads, but I always limit myself to 2-4 hours of work within one session. And I usually only commit about 1-2 sessions every weekday and about 2-3 (4 rarely) sessions on weekends.

    There's really no point to studying if you're spending half an hour on definition-chasing problems or 5 hours to get through 10 pages of a text (and actually understanding it all instead of re-reading the lines over and over, hoping it eventually sinks in). Especially in more advanced topics/mathematics, there's a point in which you just have to keep seeing the material over and over again, and with time, you'll eventually understand it. It's not something that can be shot down necessarily with an intense 15 hour session.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2011
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