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The intuition and love of mathemathics.

  1. May 18, 2012 #1
    you ever felt like math was more then just something to use or more then whats outside your work experience, and you just want to explore it and see how it all works; connecting it to things.

    even using it as makeup; everything.

    And then you go into the class; and you get failing grades, because you disagree with the teacher a lot; even though deep down inside you focused way too hard and memorized bad habits or bad skills.

    and just manage to barely pass.

    but you still really feel hell bent on sticking to "one thing" even though you know thats just gonna make your skills worse; the undying sensation that there is something very special to be found in all of it, work? school? friends? all of now relative importance because you passed even though you didn't get high grades; and you're still recognized as capable. -____-

    like a unified something; not a structure for every fit; or a all fits all or some stupid "idea" but rather how a special moment becomes what it becomes, in the memory and in the minds of others, such as the feel you get when you use your umbrella to protect someone else and understand how and why it made a difference, evne if it's extremely insignificant to the rest of the world, the very act defines a meaning.

    I know I was born for this but I feel very alone in the way I do it. I wanted to know if anyone others here felt this way about math, science, and the world in general, all i have is this, and nothing else; and I feel no good at expressing even that.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 18, 2012 #2


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    Hey jgutierrez218 and welcome to the forums.

    There are different types of mathematicians, but there are definitely a lot of mathematicians that do try and look at the world through the mathematical lense and make sense of this way and this isn't just limited to mathematicians, but also to scientists and engineers as well.

    Mathematics is the best thing we have currently to make sense of the world and the reason for this has to do with how variation is managed, analyzed and transformed with mathematics.

    In terms of sticking with one thing, everyone is different and sometimes it can work out for the best and others not so well. It's not an easy question to answer in this regard but it is important to keep an open mind in these kinds of things and to listen to people who have been doing this longer than you because in all likelihood, they won't just be saying things for kicks, but for a reason.

    You might end up knowing more than your teacher, but most likely your teacher will know more than you until you get to a certain stage where you both become the teachers and the students relative to each other.

    It's good that you find mathematics so interesting, but it's also a good idea to focus on other things from time to time. I would say a huge number of people here (including myself) spend a lot of time on mathematics in some form, whether its reading about it, discussing it with other people, and also doing mathematics in some way but it's a good idea to not make it your ultimate goal to say discover the truth about everything because although it may be possible, psychologically you are setting yourself up for some serious trouble.

    If you like math and you want to do this kind of thing either as a career or as a serious hobby, then you will need to listen to people in a way that is unbiased and consider what they have to say especially if they are considered by some small part of the community to be knowledgeable and moreso than yourself.

    As for meaning, this is a very subjective thing. We all find meaning in different ways for different things, but what I have noticed is that in a search for meaning, most people find joy when they help other people.

    Helping is not what most people think though. It's basically any act of contributing to somebody elses development or wellbeing in any way. You could do this by starting a business and producing something for other people. You could be an academic contributing to a specific field which contributes to the greater good of that field and its progress. It could be doing charity work or volunteer work, but it doesn't really have to be this.

    We can also contribute to others in selfish ways. For example we might say have undertaken things for own selfish reasons that end up helping other people like say creating things to solve our own problems which then end up being used by others to solve the same problems themselves.

    So you get all kinds of people with all kinds of intentions that end up contributing to the development and the state of society as a whole collectively and I find this interesting because when most people think of helping and contributing, they usually think of the people that have a nice-caring personality and so on, but this is simply not true. We all come in different shapes and sizes, but I think if you speak to a wide range of people, no matter who they are, no matter how arrogant, obnoxious or whatever those people are, many people enjoy doing things either directly or indirectly for others and this is a good thing to know if you need to find a little bit of motivation to keep going.
  4. May 18, 2012 #3
    Don't let a letter grade discourage you. But remember mathematics is more than appreciating its beauty. You must study carefully and make sure you really understand. You must think logically. The grade is a warning sign that perhaps you do not understand as well as you think you do. You must be careful not to fool yourself. If you don't understand something, go back to it and make sure you get it. Math builds on itself. A shaky foundation will mean much pain and suffering later.
  5. May 19, 2012 #4
    Thank you very much for the feed back, it's greatly appreciated. On that note, You mention dedication and foundations; Jeff was wondering what the foundations for a pre-calculus course would be if that pre-calculus course would open up gateways to level 2 courses such as Calculus I, Calculus II, topology, analytical geometry etc; Is a strong foundation in trig and algebra II required? or is this what they plan to teach me? x.X Does anyone here know where I could attain a list of bare back subjects; and the subjects that precede those subjects in a course of study so that I may learn them in a timely fashion and perhaps get ahead of the curve before my summer classes start?

    Also is there anywhere online where I can store my own personal class notes and stuff? I feel like none of my notes are secured unless they are out on the net or exposed for others to see; I feel like it keeps my notes open to some type of peer review; it's just all the web storage I see cost money, and the ones that are free seem fishy and suspicious, any solutions? I just want a place online to store and access various files so in an event where something like my computer gets destroyed I can still access value information from a remote source.
  6. May 19, 2012 #5
    Keep in mind that what makes mathematics the ultimate language is that there is always right and wrong. Even if you disagree with your teacher, you can irrefutably prove your claim. If you are wrong, of course, so does he. It is never a matter of opinion :wink:

    I am very intuitive in my work, but intuition can be very misleading, especially when you are not knowledgeable enough about a subject. In mathematics, intuition can often lead to a wild goose chase because most of us love beauty and symmetry when searching for solutions. It is not always the case though.

    What you learn after chasing after an invalid hypothesis for a few months is to always be openminded about the problem you are facing:smile:

    As for books, there is a lot of information in this forum, as well as links. Some material I often use to familiarise myself with a new subject is Schaum's Outlines (for various subjects). Most of them are pretty well written.
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