Welcome to the first post for the Inspirational Corner. Hope you will be inspired by his journey and all his enthusiasm for mathematics and physics.
What is your name? Where are you from? Give us a little background story.
I am Soham Sau. I live in Howrah, W.B., India. I am currently in my 3rd year, just finished with my 2nd year exams. I study Physics in S.D.B.I. (College) as part of University of Calcutta. I like to describe myself as a weird guy, some sort of a rebel.
Mathematics, specifically Pure Mathematics is my first Love. I have studied some Number Theory in 10th grade, which I just loved. Since then I’ve become a fan and lover of Mathematics.
Although my grades are not superb, I managed nearly 84% in my 12th standard. As I’ve said, I am a rebel; I have a repugnance for the education system in India. In college, I got 66% in my 1st year Honours examinations and my 2nd year results will come in October or so – it takes around 4 months. I think there is a problem with the system, but nothing will change if we always blame it. It seems like it’s always the student’s fault, especially for student like me.
Out of all the subjects, why Math?
As I’ve said before, it’s my first Love. I believe that ‘Mathematics is the language in which Physics is written’ and ‘Physics is a book, Mathematics is the language in which the book is written’. Physics means everything (as it is): the nature, the cosmos. Later I discovered that this quote was actually by Galileo. I believe, as Manjul Bahrgave said, ‘Mathematics is a basic thing, the same as learning to read.’
I also consider that Mathematics and Physics are the same thing. 😊 Mathematics is the only thing in the world that won’t betray you, unlike people.😅
What is your opinion about all the stigma against mathematics? Where do you think it starts and how does it affect today’s generation decision regarding a career in math?
Yes, there is a social stigma going on, students are scared of Mathematics and Physics. This just doesn’t make sense for me.
Maybe they are not taught in the right way. When they first learn it, people think it’s very difficult for them. But maybe, if they would be taught in a proper manner, it would be easier to grasp. Just try in a YouTube video of any lecture of any Indian Institute on any topic, I bet you’ll have a good nap. I think that videos from Coursera, EdX or any other US institute are more enjoyable.
Most importantly, we need to rise above all the prejudice people have regarding Mathematics.😊
Towards what part of mathematics do you feel more attracted to and why?
Oh, I love this question so much😀😀 I was first in love (and I still am) with Number Theory, but due to my coursework and other studies I cannot study it at the moment. I would really like to dig in Topology; I’ve been fascinated by it, but haven’t studied it much yet. I have been through Linear Algebra, Vector Spaces and a little bit of Analysis, but I want to go much in depth in those fields. I also like Theoretical High Energy Physics, which includes QFT, String Theory, Particle Physics, LQG and much more.
I would have chosen Mathematics (H), but in India you cannot switch directly to Theoretical Physics from Mathematics in Masters. If I was in UK, I would have gone for an Undergraduate Degree in Mathematics.
How would you counteract the negative stigma math has in our younger generation?
I would confront all the situations that appear; make people understand. Also, I think the most important is visualizing Mathematics using a picture or a video. Helping them with this is a good option. Creating poems and short stories is also a great idea for people to grasp concepts easily.😊
What is your final destination career-wise?
I plan to complete my Bsc.(H) in Physics and then do a Masters in Physics, specializing in Theoretical Physics and then PhD. I want to do research in Theoretical Physics and Mathematics. So, it generally leads to the term Theoretical Physicist. 😀 From that, I just want to do good for people and the world.😊 I also want to see everyone, especially my mother, father and brother happy. 😊
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Before you go, take a look at Soham’s favorite quotes. Have a great day and always search for inspiration:
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Lots of love and don’t forget that maths is everywhere! Enjoy!