During secondary school and then high school I was always considered to be somewhat good at math, however it was not my priority. It was just a subject I understood faster and a little better than the others. Every time a teacher asked me about a competition I always said “NO!”. This was not because I considered them irrelevant, but because I only knew boys who were going. I was scared by how much they were preparing and I always thought that it would be impossible for me to cope with the amount of workload required. So I never participated in any major competition.
The strange thing was that though I never considered myself good at this subject, I enjoyed studying it. I enjoyed every single exercise and problem. It was strange how every single time I was solving a math question it was as if the world around me stopped. I have never really told anyone about this because I was scared they were going to laugh about it. When I was by myself I was always looking in my math book, something in there made me feel at peace with everything around me. I was doing math problems whenever I felt sad, lonely or even happy and excited. And in that time, it was a unique world: only me and my math book were part of it. In the end I decided to study mathematics at university. I realised there is more to mathematics than I had ever imagined. I was shocked by the amount of topics that exist in mathematics, by all the applications and all its beauty. It was more than I could imagine. Deepak Chopra once said that “mathematics expresses values that reflect the cosmos, including orderliness, balance, harmony, logic and abstract beauty.” I cannot agree more.
The only thing that casts a shadow over this wonderful subject is the bad reputation. People around me react as if ‘mathematics is something hard and horrible’ almost as if ‘MATH = mental abuse to humans’. It is so unfair that such a rich subject is seen in such a bad way. Did they ever think about what our life would be without mathematics? How much could our society evolve without its existence? More people should start talking about math’s usefulness, creativity and harmony. This made me so angry sometimes and ultimately lead to the start of my project: Life Through a Mathematician’s Eyes (LThMath for short). I don’t want only to explain math concepts (school level ones), but also to show the importance of math to our society. I want people to be disturbed by the importance and beauty of mathematics. For me, the study of mathematics is like air or water to our technological society; like the key to every other thing in the entire cosmos. There is no way you could learn or study everything math offers you, because everyday there is something new to discover and the choices are almost infinite.
I would like everyone to see the importance and the beauty of math. I will always be a student taking my ‘dream world’ with me everywhere. I may not be able to change everyone’s concept, but I will do my best to share the world – I once thought was reserved just for myself – with as many people around me as I can. As Simeon – Denis Poisson once said “life is good for only two things, discovering mathematics and teaching mathematics.”
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Lots of love and don’t forget that maths is everywhere! Enjoy!