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RushKing
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06 Feb 2012, 12:35 pm

Math is the only subject my brain won't gain pleasure from for some reason. How can I gain pleasure from just memorizing, following rules and steps? It makes my mind feel like a slave. I learn allot quicker when I gain pleasure from knowledge, maybe that’s why I fail at math.



NakaCristo
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06 Feb 2012, 1:28 pm

In mathematics you hardly need to memorize anything! It consist in understanding truth. New problems in mathematics usually require completely new techniques to solve them. Only computers follow rules and steps blindly, mathematicians understand these rules and derive new ones, which then can be used by computers.

There are lots of mathematical problems which have remain unsolved for many years. They are not going to be solved only following rules. They will be solved (if solved sometime) by using a great creativity.



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06 Feb 2012, 1:29 pm

I'm sorry you were taught math in this way. It's sad because most career mathematicians focus on interesting areas of math such as universal algebra and logic and most of the way we learn is visually. It's sad that so many students are taught merely to memorize equations, plug and chug solutions and taught that is "math" and if they can't do that they can't do "math". These types of instructors are rarely good mathematicians themselves. Because that is farthest from what makes a good, abstract mathematician. A lot of the courses I took were taught in Mathematica with the descriptions and comments written out to explain the context. And then visual demonstration of the different types of problems. UIUC is my alma mater and even though they didn't have netmath setup when I went to school there, nor did they use mathematica as extensively in the coursework today (due to its headquarters there), I have found I enjoyed courses in grad school much more taught in that framework. So why not checkout the netmath website at UIUC? You can download mathematica, get college credit for a course, and learn the foundation in a more visual/hands-on framework. I'm thinking of doing it now just to go over a lot of concepts I had learned merely from books and have "forgotten" or avoided during the braindrain of daily life. Then if you like it you can move onto the more interesting topics in abstract areas which are almost entirely all visually focused. Then again, if you don't like it you don't like it and you can move onto something you perhaps like more or keep plugging at it until you can figure out how to approach it in a way you do. I personally love math when taught properly. Also it really helps your brain to feel alive and can be exciting and fun :-) Hope this helps!


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marshall
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06 Feb 2012, 2:19 pm

I don't get much pleasure from following a formula. Understanding why a formula works is what gives me pleasure.



ruveyn
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06 Feb 2012, 3:50 pm

RushKing wrote:
Math is the only subject my brain won't gain pleasure from for some reason. How can I gain pleasure from just memorizing, following rules and steps? It makes my mind feel like a slave. I learn allot quicker when I gain pleasure from knowledge, maybe that’s why I fail at math.


Real mathematics is not about memorizing and following rules. Unfortunately you have not been taught mathematics well and you have a distorted notion of what it is all about.

ru veyn



Pobodys_Nerfect
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06 Feb 2012, 5:07 pm

The reward is "success" and earning money so you can stay healthy. Just follow the steps they tell you to and then fill in the blanks on the exam paper.



Declension
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06 Feb 2012, 5:34 pm

What you are describing is what I might call "school maths". Real mathematics is not like that at all. Real mathematics is about extremely careful speculation and extremely careful proofs.

The problem is that you have been thrown "halfway" into the structure of mathematics. So, for example, you probably work with numbers a lot, but have you ever carefully proven the existence of numbers from a few basic axioms? You probably haven't. You probably know how to do various things in calculus and algebra, but have you ever carefully proven why these tricks work? You probably haven't.

If you are interested, you should try reading a higher-level maths textbook to try to get an understanding of what mathematics is really like.



Shorttail
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08 Feb 2012, 7:50 pm

Only reward I get from math is when I understand it well enough to write code that solves it for me. After that I try my best to not bother with it again. :P



Dilbert
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08 Feb 2012, 8:15 pm

Here's math reward:

Image

Math is a supplementary tool of physicists. :D That's what my physics professor used to say.



ictus75
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09 Feb 2012, 2:55 am

Math is its own reward. Once you get past the usual rote learning, there is a beauty in the symmetry and patterns that numbers present.


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ruveyn
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09 Feb 2012, 6:58 am

Dilbert wrote:
Here's math reward:

Image

Math is a supplementary tool of physicists. :D That's what my physics professor used to say.


That is true as far as it goes. But really creative mathematics is an art form beyond its practical consequences. When Evriste Galois wrote his proof that the quintic equation is not solvable by radicals he invented group theory to do it. His invention was a beautiful proof in and of itself, and it also had very important consequences and applications beyond the use that the Galois made of it.

ruveyn



Shorttail
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09 Feb 2012, 4:34 pm

Forgot this! Fractals! Like walking on the razor edge of insanity.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... ot_set.jpg

I want to write that code.



marshall
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09 Feb 2012, 5:23 pm

I'd also say there's a lot of math that's pretty detached from the usual formulaic approach. Axiomatic set theory or topology for instance. These foundational branches are more about making certain intuitive concepts we have very logical and precise. It ends up being pretty deep as it took several centuries to develop it all.



ruveyn
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09 Feb 2012, 8:04 pm

Shorttail wrote:
Forgot this! Fractals! Like walking on the razor edge of insanity.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... ot_set.jpg

I want to write that code.


Fractals are ueber nifty. Benoit Mandelbrot was a genius.

ruveyn



monkeykoder
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09 Feb 2012, 8:38 pm

Nothing against code I am a software developer but math (real math) is staring in the face of God it is pure joy in and of itself.