Sunday, August 27, 2006

This is Why I dropped my Math Major
Anyone who has been to college/university knows that Math professors (and students) are slightly looney. Not in a Courtney Love (random book recommendation: Heavier Than Heaven) kind of way but in an endearing, understandable kind of way. It's almost as if people studying Math (and Physics, no doubt) are allowed some leeway by the rest of society to be slightly more, uh, eccentric than the rest of us. I think this is because we assume that one has to be crazy to be able to understand and develop concepts and theorems that the rest of us can't even begin to comprehend. To borrow a term from the field, they simply exist on another plane.

That's why I wasn't the least bit surprised when I came across
this fellow in the news the other day. I remember speaking about him and the Poincare conjecture (don't bother clicking, you won't understand) with my student advisor at college, who was head of the Math department at our school. He told me some Russian guy had published his proof of the conjecture on the internet and that the world (well, the world of mathematicians anyway) was waiting for confirmation of its veracity. I guess the wait is over.

5 comments:

Alien Panda said...

"To borrow a term from teh field"... hahah, why thank you for that. I feel rather priviliged to be in teh know of the vernacular of the 'field'. I can almost picture one of these math guys joking about how his colleague is on 'another plane', the punch line prob being that he actually is on another plane because he missed his flight.

I have absolutely no idea why I'm writing this, if its any justification I've spent the last six hours sitting in front of a computer without a break, and i can feel my body wasting away.

Alien Panda said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alien Panda said...

Bless them waisay, they really are a special bunch. Take this Russian guy, he could be rich and yet he's chosen not to accept the million dollar cash prize for proving the conjecture. Hell, he could've been a celebrity, perhaps not in the Paris Hilton mould, but I'm sure he'd get action from some Math major at CalTech or MIT. Then again (and for once I am stereotyping here!) I don't think there are many women doing Math at CalTech. The dude had better been gay cuz otherwise he's not going to like it when a bunch of brainy Chinese and Indian sophmore boys jump him.

NB said...

AkS do you not see the many obvious paralells?

Bookish eccentric dude refuses to claim what has been won, despite invitation to do so, prize then sits there redundantly.

Morals shorals chor na yaar.

Alien Panda said...

What bullshit, i'm just not getting any NB thats all; the rest is all a cover up. Though its still not right!

And i'm not eccentric.

Btw all these deleted comments are mine, I wrote stuff and upon reading it I realised it made absolutely no sense so I had to re-write the comment. This does not bode well for my dissertation.