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Insights Trials and Tribulations of a Physicist who Became a Math Geek - Comments

  1. Dec 6, 2015 #1
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 6, 2015 #2
    Great Insight! No doubt math is critical for many science professions and that we need a math teaching revolution at our early education years.
  4. Dec 7, 2015 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    Great write up.

    It was the opposite for me.

    I loved math from the start and majored in applied math,

    Later I became interested in physics and marvelled at the explanatory power of math. One that really got to me was the derivation of the Lorentz Transformations from symmetry:

    You get the feeling its pulled out of the air, but really a close examination shows there are assumptions being made - its just for some reason when using math they are so natural you miss it. Math is strange like that.

  5. Dec 7, 2015 #4
    Thanks for taking the time to write and share this, Dr. Courtney.
  6. Dec 7, 2015 #5


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    Very fine piece of work... commendable !
  7. Dec 9, 2015 #6


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    Gold Member

    This is very much the position I am in. I've always had a strong interest in science, especially physics, but I thought I'd never be able to study it above the level of semi-popular accounts. I wasn't good at math all through school, (even though I did have a vague interest in it) to the point I thought I was *unable* to learn it.

    The irony is, I took honors-level science classes a year ahead of schedule, but I was always a year *behind* schedule in math. The process of trying to do math in school was so tortuous, I thought I was only a "word" person who happened to love science, because reading and writing came effortlessly to me, whereas math didn't. Math was the only subject in which I've ever had test anxiety.

    Later experience, after I became an adult, forced me to try different approaches to teaching myself, ultimately proving that I could learn to do math well, just not the way it was taught in school. Now, I have the chance to study physics, and I'm even working at learning how to write proofs.
  8. Dec 10, 2015 #7
    Keep up the good work!
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