Today I did algebra. And calculus. And a bit of stochastics.For most people this would be a description of a horrible day. For me it’s a good one!
I studied mathematics for 6 years (ok, I was a student at the faculty of mathematics for 6 years. Let’s not get into how much time I actually spent studying…). And then I spent another 8 using it in one way or another for my work.
It still stumps me, horribly so at times. But I also have the confidence that I’m able to get it. If I just keep hacking away at a problem (or even just a bit of theory), my mind will (eventually) wrap itself around it and I’ll come to some new insight.
Even though I know I will eventually get it, I need to work hard at it. It’s right there at the edge of using everything I have to get to the end point. It’s what gets me in a state of flow. Give me a good problem, some time to work on it and an internet to look up papers and definitions (yay for Wikipedia) and I’m happy!
I studied mathematics for 6 years, worked with it for 8 more. And I only just now realized this!
Funny thing, life!
If you didn’t get that: Congratulations, you are not a math nerd!
The question is, what to do with this information? Only look for mathematically challenging assignments? I like mathematics. But I also know that no matter how hard the problem is, I will eventually solve it. Each individual problem is a challenge, but on a more meta-level there isn’t really that much of a challenge anymore.
In some sense mathematics is easy. Numbers don’t change their mind, don’t get angry, are always there. People throw fits, are gone when you need them, or in your face when you can’t use them. People are much more interesting.
Something with both people and mathematics (no, I do not want to be a teacher!). I’ll keep my eyes out for something like that coming on my path…
I’m Bastiaan. I write this blog to give you some insight into the things I run into and perhaps to inspire you to go in search of your own life extraordinaire.
I love to connect, so if you have thoughts, ideas or questions based on this (or another) post, please leave me a comment!