Janusworx (Posts about maths)https://janusworx.com/categories/maths.atom2021-01-15T06:49:09ZMario Jason BraganzaNikolaWriting Day 16 – Thank you James Tanton!https://janusworx.com/blog/writing-day-16-thank-you-james-tanton/2018-09-03T15:42:33+05:302018-09-03T15:42:33+05:30Mario Jason Braganza<div><p>I recently subscribed to the <a href="https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/">The Great Courses Plus</a>, so that I could bring myself up to speed on the Math needed to do my 12th standard exams. </p>
<p>All these years, whenever I’ve tried to teach myself trigonometry (or other people have tried to explain it to me) it has always been an exercise in frustration, followed by the general exhortation to <em>just</em> mug it up. </p>
<p>My brain sadly is not wired that way. I can and I will mug it up.<br>
But I do want to know what the first principles are, so that I have the ability to derive what I need.<br>
I need to <em>understand</em>. </p>
<p><a href="https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/geometry-an-interactive-journey-to-mastery">Professor Tanton’s Geometry course</a> was this eye opener for me.<br>
I thought him slightly pretentious in the beginning, when he repeatedly says, he doesn’t know what the answer is … and then goes on to figure it out.<br>
A few lectures in, though, and I’m suddenly a rabid fan of the approach.<br>
Prof Tanton puts himself in my place and with glee, figures things out, just like a new learner would.<br>
I find myself pausing the video, when he says he does not know and then try to figure it out just like he would (or rather he would, that I would … by slowly reasoning and being ok with mistakes) </p>
<p>His love for the subject shines through all he does.<br>
There are ropes and knots and hand motions and sound effects (<em>shoom!</em>) and boards and screens and ugly drawings (just like mine) and folded pieces of paper and tiles and he bounces between all of them to explain stuff and make his point. </p>
<p>Here’s what I’m talking about. </p>
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/mKIk9iVzgic?rel=0" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>
<p><br></p>
<p>This is one of my later classes, and I’m barely halfway through.<br>
In fact, I’m at the point in lecture 18, where he tries to explain how to sum up two sines. </p>
<p>So why the gratitude rush?<br>
Because Prof Tanton just lit the biggest light bulb in my head, and gave me my biggest a-ha, I’ve ever had in a long time.<br>
Lectures 16 & 17 explaing circle-ometry, naturally leading into the basics of trigonometry, suddenly made sense of so much stuff for me.<br>
All the advanced algebra I’ve been doing, the basic calculus I’ve been learning suddenly just “clicked!” </p>
<p>And there’s another reason.<br>
He showed me that <strong><em>genius</em></strong> is <strong><em>not</em></strong> the norm for doing maths and science.<br>
Persistence, slow methodical work, gentle reasoning and practice will get me there.<br>
If <a href="http://www.jamestanton.com/?page_id=55">James Tanton</a> PhD. Mathematics, Princeton University, 1994, & Mathematician in Residence at the Mathematical Association of America in Washington D.C. does it this way, so can I.<br>
He’s made me fall in love with maths. </p>
<p>And for that, dear Professor Tanton, I’m eternally grateful. </p>
<p>P.S.<br>
Not to toot my own horn, but <a href="https://twitter.com/jamestanton/status/994204332882087936">Prof Tanton responded</a> :P </p>
<p><img alt="prof-tanton-replies" src="https://janusworx.com/images/2018/06/prof-tanton-replies.jpeg"> </p>
<hr></div>Writing Day 14 – A Brief History of Mathematicshttps://janusworx.com/blog/writing-day-14-a-brief-history-of-mathematics/2018-09-03T15:39:54+05:302018-09-03T15:39:54+05:30Mario Jason Braganza<div><p>Listening to Marcus du Sautoy’s <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00srz5b/episodes/downloads">A Brief History of Mathematics</a> this weekend. </p>
<p>In two hours, and ten episodes, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_du_Sautoy">du Sautoy</a> spans the gamut of mathematicians from <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leibniz%E2%80%93Newton_calculus_controversy">Leibniz & Newton</a> the 1690s to the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolas_Bourbaki">ensemble Bourbaki</a> the 1930s </p>
<p>Brief, rampaging and hugely entertaining, this is <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00srz5b/episodes/downloads">well worth a listen</a>! </p>
<hr></div>Writing Day 11 - Maths or Math?https://janusworx.com/blog/writing-day-11-maths-or-math/2018-09-03T15:34:42+05:302018-09-03T15:34:42+05:30Mario Jason Braganza<div><p>I don’t know. </p>
<p>I grew up saying Maths.<br>
But the world around me is increasingly favouring Math. </p>
<p>I think I’ll stick to Maths and use Math where I think it’s more apt … like when I say [Math Forge][1]. </p>
<hr>
<p>[1]:</p></div>Writing Day 10 – Maths is a mental iron forgehttps://janusworx.com/blog/writing-day-10-maths-is-a-mental-iron-forge/2018-09-03T15:30:33+05:302018-09-03T15:30:33+05:30Mario Jason Braganza<div><p>Life has problems and Maths gives me the tools to solve them. </p>
<p>And if I don’t have the tools? I just make new ones using my math forge à la the blacksmith :) </p>
<hr></div>Writing Day 9 – Mathshttps://janusworx.com/blog/writing-day-9-maths/2018-09-03T15:29:29+05:302018-09-03T15:29:29+05:30Mario Jason Braganza<div><p>So far so good. </p>
<p>I’m finally “getting” trig.<br>
Moving on to calculus.<br>
Hopefully once I get through that, I will have time to practice regularly. </p>
<p>Most surprising part; I’m having fun :) </p></div>