Mathmatics.. what is the big picture?

3 years, 9 months ago

Is there some great power to be understood from math? Like the Fibonacci sequence.. for example.. It repeats itself in nature all the time, ppl use it to predict the stock market sometimes. They made some machine called the ‘web bot’ that can ‘predict the future’ givin proper inputs. I think I am missing something here.

Does anybody have some insight into what makes math special or have any good resources to direct me to?

May 15, 2011 at 5:27 pm

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Profile photo of Matt P Matt P (@mkp843) 3 years, 9 months ago ago

lol

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Profile photo of Hannah Hannah (@hannahenoy) 3 years, 9 months ago ago

Yes… math is very, very important. Mathematics is the study of quantity, structure, space, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns, and formulate new conjectures, just as anyone does that has an experience and draws conclusions from their experiences. Math is so important because not only is it found in nature, we use it every single day. Take geometry for example. Geometry is every where around you, in the sky, plants, houses, honeycombs, brick walls, cobwebs, tunnels, spirals etc. Life is made up of patterns and constants, and there are mathematical formulas for these patterns and constants. We wouldn’t know anything about our universe, what is in space, our galaxy etc. if it were not for math…. But math is not more important than the other standard subject you learn in school, like science or english. They are all interconnected. Math is nothing without science, and vice versa.

I, myself, am terrible at math.

As for sources..? Just study. Do research. Use the internet as it’s supposed to be used: information and knowledge.

examples of math found in nature:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractal

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_ratio

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Profile photo of Matt P Matt P (@mkp843) 3 years, 9 months ago ago

I can understand the basic stuff of why it’s important, geometry and basic ratios, time/distance, ect… I took trig and calc in college.. And although I could do it I have basically no applicable skill in it other than a basic theory of what it’s for..

The patterns is what got me all interested in it all of sudden.. recurring patterns..

This video is really cool to me.. buuut I couldn’t tell you anything about it other than that lol.. thanks for the links! No short cut around studying I guess.. Prob no short easy answer either..

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Profile photo of Michael Michael (@mklrivpwner) 3 years, 9 months ago ago

To me, Math is a way of understanding the Universe. I wouldn’t go so far as some to say that Math IS the Universe, but it is definitely more important than, say, knowing what the electoral college is and how it screws you out of a voice.

But beyond that, the Problem Solving skills you learn in Math are the building blocks of how to learn, how to go about any task in life.

The Fibonacci Sequence is seen in nature everywhere. From how many offspring will a pair of rabbits have in x generations, to the number of petals in a row of flowers, to branches on trees, even neighborhoods and human behavior.

And did you know that as you get larger and larger Fibonacci numbers, the ratio of two consecutive Fibonacci numbers is Tau, the Golden Ratio? That ratio is called “Golden” not just because of it’s properties, but also because the human eye sees it as most attractive. Mass mailers and newspaper inserts adhere to this ratio. It’s seen everywhere on a pentagram, Leonardo’s Vetruvian Man, The Natalist shell, Rose petals. It was a myth for a long time that Mona Lisa was so alluring because she never existed; she was drawn with pure math adhering to the Golden Ratio alone.

With Math we can understand fractals, integrals, thermodynamics, and all that complicated stuff. But we can also understand the things we see every day and take for granted. Many people don’t realize that more Math goes into how long the stoplights are and how they are kept in sync, than in how a human body keeps upright on two feet.

At least for me, Math lets me see things with a different sort of beauty. Something beyond color, shape, texture. Something pure. It’s like seeing a cut flower in a vase and then going and seeing the whole bush, full of blooms, out in the sun.

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Profile photo of paul_g paul_g (@paulg) 3 years, 9 months ago ago

Since math is a rational thing, you should not lose your head about it. Sure, astrophysics and highly complex math can seem like a mystery. But it is a mystery that you can (somewhat) handle if you have a huge brain and devote your entire life to it. And as a counter-example, about that “predicting the stock market”: it is well known that actively managed stock funds don’t work. everyone in the business will agree, just google it (my first two hits were http://www.travismorien.com/indexactive.htm or http://www.archierichards.com/articles/ProbsWActiveStkFds04n1.htm already). I dont wanna make this post less fun, math is great and the world is fascinating. so let’s close with another one :)

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/teaching_physics.png

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Profile photo of Rain Rain (@rain) 3 years, 9 months ago ago

Math is the language to how the universe works.

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