Monday, December 30, 2013

Favorite comments of '13, cont: C T, Kim, and Anonymous

On Math professors on making math fun

C T said...
Math Professor: "Everyone should LUUUURVE math as much as I do. Real analysis and differential equations are actually quite easy if you just get them the way I do!"

Everyone else: "Dude, you're a freak. Seriously, a statistical freak of nature."

Everyone else's future employers: "Please, can we just find some workers who can do basic arithmetic in their heads?"
Kim said...
Heres' the thing. I appreciate art because I understand what goes into it. I can barely draw a stick figure that looks like a stick figure, so when I look at a work of art I see the beauty in it and recognize the skill and imagination that it took to create such a piece. It's the same thing when I see a skilled dancer, musician, or football player. Part of appreciating what they do so well is recognizing how much work it took to make them the works of art they are.

The thing is - none of them - the artist, the dancer, the musician, the football player - not a single one of them became what they are just by observing and appreciating art, dancing, music, or football. They had to learn about it first. They had to learn how to hold a paintbrush, how to stand on their toes, how to play a note, and how to catch a ball. Lots of other people tried, just like them, but didn't have the gift they do. That's what makes their gift so valuable - the fact that not many of us can do what they do.

The same thing applies to math. You have to learn how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide to understand and be in awe of things like pi.

And...just like artists, musicians, dancers, and football players are freaks of nature, so too are the gifted mathematicians who imagine that the swirling hexagon / decagon exercise would do anything other than give most of us a headache. Description:
Anonymous said...
The difference is that incredible artists, musicians, dancers, and football players don't imagine everybody else could easily do what they do if they just followed their simple educational program.

Too smart by half, those math geniuses. 

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