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Friday, 15 March 2013

Letter from a Bipolar Mathematics Lover

Dear Mathematics,

Who doesn’t want to breathe the life of their much loved TV characters? I always liked how scientists Sheldon, Leonard, Raj and Howard escort a cool everyday life in the Big Bang Theory TV series. I was always enthralled by the way sometimes they do some haphazard calculations and demands to hit upon something new-fangled or to attest some hypothesis; and how one day they yearn for to get the noble prize.

I always anticipated myself possessing a white board, where I could inscribe some mathematical formulas and toil day and night, may be after a number of days, or even after years of hardship I will come up with something innovative for the civilization. It was forever a delusion I could never pull off; partly because I was in no way that much concerned about mathematics. Or maybe the foundation in charge-to inspire me couldn’t do so as it should be.

Since early days I always got above average marks in mathematics and my O’level and A’level math result was brilliant. But things changed when I got my first calculus class at NSU. My entire thought of what mathematics is, changed out of the blue. Things come to pass for a reason right?

May be that’s why I had to do again Calculus and Analytical Geometry –I, three times, with different faculties. It was the first time I repeated any course. When I tried to stumble on the grounds behind my bad end result, I was taken aback to see that, the problem lied in the way I used to envision mathematics.

I thought mathematics in particular means learning some set formulas and to decipher given problems using them. So I could deal with problems from examples or those done in the class. But in the assessment, when some new conceptual questions were given, I always became blank. I became conscious of my problems. Not to forget one of the most awful incident at a Math Olympiad, when I could answer only two questions out of eight.

From then onward I changed the way I used to deal with math. I laid more emphasis on the concept and always try to see them graphically or relate them with real life scenario in my mind's eye, whenever valid. I know that, it’s all about practice and patience, and you have to be devoted to math. I found that I often face problem in Differentiation and Integration and until the end of time try to run away from them. So I tried to carry out them more. As a result my subsequent math classes were very good. Yes I still get terrified whenever I see a hard-hitting math problem, but at least now I do have the valor to at least give it a try.

If I am ever asked, what I would have changed in the times of yore, so that in the present day, my math solving skills would have been superior; then without doubt the retort will be the teaching tactic of some teachers. There are quantities of faculties who put in order a deposit of notes and repeat them year after year, with particular five to ten examples. They have a propensity to give only those problems in the examination to evaluate the students. And that’s where, because of this bogus contest, general students have a tendency to practice only those examples for the tests. They are often not paying attention to experiment with new mathematics. And I am one of them.

If you don’t like a player, hate him but you can’t blame the whole game. In this case I don’t know who is answerable, the game, the institution; or the players, the game makers, our teachers. I am blessed enough to get few mathematics teachers, who are self-assured enough and know what they are schooling. Some of them were victorious in visualizing the significance of mathematics to me. Mathematics is amusing, if the right self teaches you and if you can distinguish how to play with it. Otherwise, math means mind-numbing hit and miss statistics and paranormal equations.

~Yours truly,
A Bipolar Mathematics Lover.

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Thanks for the response, I really Appreciate.