Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Passion of The Mathematician

I’ve noticed something about the mathematicians we’ve studied in class - D-503, John Nash, Max Cohen and others. They are just like us. They have all have the same hope to make their existence on this earth matter. D-503 writes in his journal for future generations. John Nash attended and taught at some of the most prestigious universities in the world, all while coming up with some of the world’s greatest economic theory and battling schizophrenia. Max discovered the secret number of God (at least in his own mind). There are also others such as Einstein and Pythagoras that we didn’t extensively cover in class but they too are credited with some of the most influential works created thus far. Yes, some of these characters are fictional and yes, many of them were absolutely crazy, but the difference between them and us is that they were fortunate enough to find something in life they were passionate about and dive into it with reckless abandon. I find that to be admirable.

It’s easy to distinguish ourselves from them and say “well, they were all crazy,” but I bet if were to try hard enough we could all find something that we felt so drawn to that it might drive us a little nuts too. Just think about all the crazy things people do for love. This sounds obvious but I believe that mathematicians truly LOVE math and will do almost anything to discover its secrets. What do you love? What are you so passionate enough about that it could drive you crazy? If you don’t know, that’s fine. Neither do I, but summer is coming quickly and it’d be a great time to find out.

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