29 DEC 2016 by ideonexus

## Mathematics is Hard Work, Not Genius

What I fight against most in some sense, [when talking to the public,] is the kind of message, for example as put out by the film Good Will Hunting, that there is something you're born with and either you have it or you don't. That's really not the experience of mathematicians. We all find it difficult, it's not that we're any different from someone who struggles with maths problems in third grade. It's really the same process. We're just prepared to handle that struggle on a much larger scal...23 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

## Human Propensity for Making More Complicated Things Out o...

A child stacks and packs all kinds of blocks and boxes, lines them up, and knocks them down. What is that all about? Clearly, the child is learning about space! But how on earth does one learn about time? Can one time fit inside another? Can two of them go side by side? In music, we find out! It is often said that mathematicians are unusually involved in music, but that musicians are not involved in mathematics. Perhaps both mathematicians and musicians like to make simple things more complic...21 APR 2014 by ideonexus

## Number

Number is a rich, many-sided domain whose simplest forms are compre- hended by very young children and whose far reaches are still being explored by mathematicians. Proficiency with numbers and numerical operations is an important foundation for further education in mathematics and in fields that use mathematics. Because much of this report attends to the learning and teaching of number, it is important to emphasize that our perspective is considerably broader than just computation. First, nu...Mathematics summarized.

21 JAN 2014 by ideonexus

## Mathematicians are in League with the Devil

The good Christian should beware of mathematicians [astrologers], and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of Hell.According to Saint Augustine.

11 OCT 2013 by ideonexus

## The Problem of Philosophy

At least mathematicians try not to contradict one another. Not so philosophers! They are all "great"... and all in total disagreement! "Studying philosophy" really means gorging yourself on a stew of every idea imaginable. A Platonist thinks appearance is but a bad copy of reality... While an Aristotelian puts all his faith in its observation! Are mental concepts innate or acquired? "Innate" says the great Kant! "Aquired" says the great Hume! Is there an opposition between mind and matter? Ye...A myriad of "great" minds produce an equal number of contradictory positions. Only science can say who's right.

11 OCT 2013 by ideonexus

## The Meaning of "We" in Science and Mathematical Texts

I request a last indulgence from the reader. The introductory material, thus far, has been written in the friendly and confiding first person singular voice. Starting in the next paragraph, I will inhabit the first person plural for the duration of the mathematical expositions. This should not be construed as a “royal we.” It has been a construct of the community of mathematicians for centuries and it traditionally signifies two ideas: that “we” are all in consultation with each other..."We" refers to the collaborative effort of problem solving.

18 JUN 2013 by ideonexus

## The Mathematical Image

The proof is elegant and the result profound. Still, it is typical mathematics; so, it’s a good example to reflect upon. In doing so, we will begin to see the elements of the mathematical image, the standard conception of what mathematics is. Let’s begin a list of some commonly accepted aspects. By ‘commonly accepted’ I mean that they would be accepted by most working mathematicians, by most educated people, and probably by most philosophers of mathematics, as well. In listing them as...How mathematics provides certainty, objectivity,

21 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

## Mathematicians Who Can Only Generalize or Specialize

A mathematician who can only generalise is like a monkey who can only climb UP a tree. ... And a mathematician who can only specialise is like a monkey who can only climb DOWN a tree. In fact neither the up monkey nor the down monkey is a viable creature. A real monkey must find food and escape his enemies and so must be able to incessantly climb up and down. A real mathematician must be able to generalise and specialise. ... There is, I think, a moral for the teacher. A teacher of traditiona...They are like monkeys that can only climb either up or down a tree, nonviable.

09 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

## The Center of the Earth

Of all regions of the earth none invites speculation more than that which lies beneath our feet, and in none is speculation more dangerous; yet, apart from speculation, it is little that we can say regarding the constitution of the interior of the earth. We know, with sufficient accuracy for most purposes, its size and shape: we know that its mean density is about 5½ times that of water, that the density must increase towards the centre, and that the temperature must be high, but beyond thes...Invites speculation and is the realm of mathematics, not observation.

05 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

## Theories Dwindle in Number as Facts Emerge

The intensity and quantity of polemical literature on scientific problems frequently varies inversely as the number of direct observations on which the discussions are based: the number and variety of theories concerning a subject thus often form a coefficient of our ignorance. Beyond the superficial observations, direct and indirect, made by geologists, not extending below about one two-hundredth of the Earth's radius, we have to trust to the deductions of mathematicians for our ideas regard...From speculation to precision based on observations.