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I'd like to take some time to reminisce and go back into our pasts. I understand many people believe anecdotes like these are pointless, but I still feel that they are important to understand how we may inspire the next generation of learners as well as keep us motivated in our academic careers.

First off, I was talking to a friend at a math competition a few months back when the question came up: why in the world are we doing this? We could be at home, playing some video games, or perhaps reading a good book. What compels us to come out to these functions with a pen at hand to work through math problems out of school?

We traced our origins to key events in the past. For me, it was a particular lesson in middle school when I proposed a simpler solution to an example problem than our teacher showed us. For my friend(from a different school), it was a very influential elementary-school teacher who taught his class the profound significance of numbers in life.

While these things don't have much of an effect on us today, I believe they helped set things in motion. Surely, I don't study mathematics purely because I love pointing out better solutions (provided I'm even able to!) . I study mathematics now because I'm both perplexed by and amazed at how formal logic can be in proof-writing.

So, I'd like to ask you all: What is it that you study, and what drives you to study the subject(s)? And could you perhaps trace back to what initially inspired you (not necessarily at a young age)?

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# WHY do you do what you do?

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