Yes! I'm writing about math. No! Don't close your browser window. Hear me out first...
I know very well that math has a bad rap. It's often taught or thought of as a dry, intimidating, unapproachable, completely boring, who-in-their-right-mind-would-want-to-think-about-this-on-purpose kind of subject. I get it. Math was the last thing on earth I thought I'd study. Seriously.
But my understanding of math has since changed. I used to think it was a mess of equations and formulas, only enjoyed by a small number of masochists. But oh how I was wrong! Mathematics is not just numbers. It is not just strange symbols. And it is certainly not something reserved only for the few elite geniuses of the world.
Mathematics is a language -
a language of ideas, concepts, and notions.
It's true! Math is a language just like English, French, or Mandarin. And just like some ideas are best communicated in a particular language, other ideas are best communicated "in math." This is why I've started a blog - as an aid in my own pursuit of becoming more proficient at thinking/speaking/reading mathematics.
One of the main challenges I face in this pursuit is the ability to strip away the intimidation factor
- the cryptic symbols, the elaborate vocabulary, the fancy formalities -
and unveil the true meaning of the text at hand. For me, this unveiling comes by reading and rereading, by working through problem after problem, and by writing. Quite often while learning new (and recalling old) mathematics, I have to stop and ask, "What is the text really saying behind all that jargon?" And if I can proceed to write down the idea in English (i.e. in lingo that's easy on the brain) then that bit of information becomes engrained in my mind. Or at least it gets stored away in my brain somewhere. And if (or when) I forget it, I find that looking at my own handwritten notes conjures up the memory and the blood, sweat, and tears that went into learning that bit of info, and it all comes right back.
So Math3ma is my online repository as I make my way through this journey. Here's the plan for now: some of the blog posts will be divided into two sections, in keeping with the aforementioned thought process:
a brief summary or overview of the essence of the topic (with formalities kept to a minimum)
an elaboration of the basic idea via mathematics
And some posts will fall into "The Back Pocket" where I'll keep little tidbits of math for a rainy day (or, perhaps, an exam). As for the actual content, I'm focusing on material found in the initial years of a graduate math program because, well, passing the qualifying exams is next on my agenda. But I think I'll include some include undergrad material too. And as for future content, who knows? I'm excited to see what Math3ma can turn into.
Thanks for taking the time to peak into my journey as I work to see mathematics for what it really is -
a very powerful, very beautiful language
inherent in the world all around us!