Friday, August 12, 2011

My fascination with mathematics

What is mathematics?
  • The study of numbers.
  • An approach to solve every day problems.
  • A natural way of representing the everyday experience in a quantizable manner.
  • An order that underlies everything in the universe.
  • The pattern that nature shows to us.
I have always liked mathematics all through schooling. The subject offers the thrill of getting an output at the end of every problem. The mathematics studied in school days did not have to do much with practical situations.

We see a lot of pattern in number tables and the existence of the various patterns makes mathematics a very beautiful subject.

However when I saw the mathematics related problem in engineering I felt quite surprised that I no longer had the same attitude towards the subject.  The maths involved was much more complex and situation based that it did not really appear that attractive. It was as if maths had grown up into an un-attractive woman (^_~).

The word Calculus means rock. Many of you reading this might not know this, even after working a life time on Calculus.

Yes i struggled to solve the Fourier transform problems and Basier Spline problems and did not really understand the applications of these methods while studying engineering, nor have I appreciated it for what it is during the course. This feeling has also shown itself while attempting to solve problems in Calculus while solving greens theorem and stokes theorem especially while attempting Field theory problems.

I really appreciate the efforts put in by great mathematicians such as Gauss, Einstein, Poisson, Newton, Pascal, Pythagoras, Kepler, Raphson, Stoke, Galileo, Simpson, Crammer, Euler, etc.

Yet somehow, when we apply the mathematics to specific problems, the mere number of possible explanations, overtakes the simple elegance shown by elementary mathematics (^_^).

I am thankful for the league of mathematicians for presenting us with these marvellous tools that help us come up with quick solutions to everyday problems in electrical, civil, commerce and several such fields. I believe that there is much left unexplored that will someday emerge into our textbooks. But is it really necessary for an everyday person to learn all these methods even without which his day would have passed.

Mathematics has no boundaries. It is something that manifests in all areas of studies

I might someday contribute to mathematics myself... but at this point the only thing i am trying to express is the kind of change in attitude that can come about in a person’s life, not just because of everyday experiences, but also the way he chooses to see a subject for what it is.

Fractal geometry is something that is gaining great recognition today. It is as if we are looking at the same object when we zoom into the object. When I first heard about fractals I tried to gather as much info as I can from the net. But the branch itself is so complex; all I could learn was the theoretical implications of a few structures.

For several decades, a lot of mathematicians have found themselves lost while trying to explore the mysterious world of mathematics. And this will continue for times to come. But we have to make sure that we learn everything that is relevant to us before setting out on such ventures.

Computers, which were made powerful just for their ability to calculate complex mathematical problems, are today serving as tools to entertain children. It’s as if the purpose of certain tools gets re-established, as times pass. Not like we don’t solve problems in MatLab when there is a need. Rather it’s as though, the very purpose of a machine has been forgotten in our attempts to educate the entire human society.

here is a funny joke to end this topic.


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