Discussion about math, puzzles, games and fun. Useful symbols: ÷ × ½ √ ∞ ≠ ≤ ≥ ≈ ⇒ ± ∈ Δ θ ∴ ∑ ∫ π -¹ ² ³ °

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**Chalisque****Member**- Registered: 2011-07-15
- Posts: 6

Maths is Fun, Maths is enJoyable and Maths is Beautiful. Perhaps we need three websites exemplifying these three distinct properties of maths, but perhaps we can squeeze some of it into this site?

chalisque.com/dr

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**fractions-helper****Member**- Registered: 2011-07-16
- Posts: 10

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**MathsIsFun****Administrator**- Registered: 2005-01-21
- Posts: 7,608

So how do we show people the fun, joy and beauty (and coolness) of mathematics?

"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..." - Leon M. Lederman

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**bobbym****Administrator**- From: Bumpkinland
- Registered: 2009-04-12
- Posts: 103,717

Hi Chalisque;

Sounds like mathematical philosophy to me and they always get it backwards.

Math is pure drudgery, a torturous mental endeavor designed to induce madness. It is akin to manual labor. You have to love it to do it! Doing it does not make you love it. If you disagree try your hand at my two threads "Is this cool with you" or "What do you think."

Of course book problems or watching someone else do it is what you speak of. Treating mathematics as a spectator sport is like watching football on tv. Looks real good from up here, down there is where the ugliness is.

but perhaps we can squeeze some of it into this site?

Here you lose me, are you saying this site is bereft of beauty, fun and enjoyment? I see you have been reading my stuff. I disagree. since math is beautiful and fun when it is treated as a spectator sport it seems there is a lot of oppurtunities for that here.

Case in point:

If you do not see the beauty in this you will never be a mathematician. Heard that a million times. Octopus ink! Solving a set of 500 x 500 non linear equations to 100 digits, fighting a stiff DE, watching the QR algorithm converging on some eigenvalues, inverting a large hilbert matrix, getting this integral to 100 digits:

this is what math really is. Down and dirty trench warfare. No beauty here.

**In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.****If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.** **A number by itself is useful, but it is far more useful to know how accurate or certain that number is.**

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**Chalisque****Member**- Registered: 2011-07-15
- Posts: 6

We'll have to agree to disagree. During my PhD I only really found one result I considered beautiful, but I just don't like where maths is these days: it is drudgery in the modern world and this is why I don't want a career in it. The art of maths is to find beautiful patterns that avoid the drudgery: drudgery is punishment for not being clever enough.

chalisque.com/dr

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**gAr****Member**- Registered: 2011-01-09
- Posts: 3,479

Hi,

Drudgery is what someone imposes on you.

If you decide to look around for yourself, it's not drudgery!

"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense" - Buddha?

"Data! Data! Data!" he cried impatiently. "I can't make bricks without clay."

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**bobbym****Administrator**- From: Bumpkinland
- Registered: 2009-04-12
- Posts: 103,717

A hot topic! Wunderbar!

The art of maths is to find beautiful patterns that avoid the drudgery: drudgery is punishment for not being clever enough.

Beautiful patterns? How do you define beautiful? Surely those only exist in book or contrived problems that after 5 or 6 terse lines end up with π or √2. Real world problems do not turn out like that. They end up like this:

Now you have the problem of what does that answer mean? Should you round that to 1? Is the rest of that round off or is it really meaniningful? Did newtons just capriciously slink over to the complex plane?

it is drudgery in the modern world and this is why I don't want a career in it

I can not disagree more. Modern math is a bunch topologists drinking coffee at Princeton. No drudgery there, they just sling theorems around all day. Fill up about 2000 sheets of paper / day ( none of them use a computer ). Now computational math, experimental math, that is where the meat is. But it is drudgery.

gAr wrote:

Drudgery is what someone imposes on you.

If you decide to look around for yourself, it's not drudgery!

That is my point! You need to love it to do that. Plowing a field is still hard work whether I choose or not. True, I will hate it if forced to do it. But when you love it you do not notice. That is the point I am trying to make, you have to love it first. Math has to grab you right away!

drudgery is punishment for not being clever enough.

Absolutely false, no matter how clever you are it will always be hard work. I think a lot of modern schooling is convincing people that everything condenses down to 4 lines of topology. If only we can harness the brilliant stroke then everything will become clear! Not true, proofs are harder and longer than ever before, they take years now.

R Askey wrote:

If things are nice there is probably a good reason why they are nice: and if you do not know at least one reason for this good fortune, then you have more work to do

Math books are a collection, a condensation of nice results. This implies that math is all "nice results." Unfortunately, this does not hold.

**In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.****If it ain't broke, fix it until it is.** **A number by itself is useful, but it is far more useful to know how accurate or certain that number is.**

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**gAr****Member**- Registered: 2011-01-09
- Posts: 3,479

Hi,

A nice article:

http://www.math.umt.edu/tmme/vol8no1and … 19_328.pdf

"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense" - Buddha?

"Data! Data! Data!" he cried impatiently. "I can't make bricks without clay."

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