I've been a research mathematician for the last 35 years. Any questions?
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Ask a Mathematician

Can constipated mathematicians really work it out with a pencil?
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(December 8, 2021 at 10:27 pm)polymath257 Wrote: I've been a research mathematician for the last 35 years. Any questions? My closest friend is a mathematician and a retired computer programmer. Fortunately for me, he's very patient and has had minor success in explaining some things to this mathematical illiterate. I'm sure I have many questions. Also pretty sure I wouldn't understand the answers and would develop a headache. But thank you for the offer.
I am in my 60s. Can I safely assume that Algebra will always make me cry?
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(December 8, 2021 at 10:30 pm)The Valkyrie Wrote: Can constipated mathematicians really work it out with a pencil? *cough* Slide Rule *cough* I'm old enough that when I was in the Navy we still used slide rules.
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(December 8, 2021 at 11:23 pm)arewethereyet Wrote: I am in my 60s. Can I safely assume that Algebra will always make me cry? Could never understand why we had to learn algebra. It's not as if we are ever going to actually go there . Exams with algebra wouldn't make me cry. I would vomit instead at the prospect of any exam. Did this up to year eight. Quite involuntary, and never once got me out of an exam. (December 8, 2021 at 10:27 pm)polymath257 Wrote: I've been a research mathematician for the last 35 years. Any questions? What does a mathematician typically research? Asking for an engineer friend.
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(December 8, 2021 at 10:27 pm)polymath257 Wrote: I've been a research mathematician for the last 35 years. Any questions? In all your years of research, have you ever actually found a mathematician?
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RE: Ask a Mathematician
December 9, 2021 at 9:06 am
(This post was last modified: December 9, 2021 at 9:14 am by polymath257.)
(December 8, 2021 at 11:23 pm)arewethereyet Wrote: I am in my 60s. Can I safely assume that Algebra will always make me cry? Math is like a language. Algebra is like learning the basic vocabulary. Good literature is a ways down the line. But maybe you could cry from joy. (December 8, 2021 at 11:24 pm)Fireball Wrote:(December 8, 2021 at 10:30 pm)The Valkyrie Wrote: Can constipated mathematicians really work it out with a pencil? I taught myself how to use a slide rule. When I went to college, I was one of the last to have one. I still have it (and know how to use it). (December 9, 2021 at 3:18 am)Deesse23 Wrote:(December 8, 2021 at 10:27 pm)polymath257 Wrote: I've been a research mathematician for the last 35 years. Any questions? I've done a number of areas, from harmonic analysis (using generalizations of square waves to represent functions), to nonlinear versions of integration, to some research on algebraic numbers and how they can be represented. Once you get past differential equations, math is primarily oriented towards proofs rather than calculations (which are more the applied aspect). (December 9, 2021 at 3:21 am)The Valkyrie Wrote:(December 8, 2021 at 10:27 pm)polymath257 Wrote: I've been a research mathematician for the last 35 years. Any questions? Some do it just for the job, but most actually have a passion for the subject, at least at first. 
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