I've been postponing a full entrance into the life of a mathematician since the beginning of my excursions into mathematics because it is an extremely difficult road to traverse. The terrain is extremely demanding. The amount of work and concentration required to build the foundation necessary to continue extending the framework is immense. I admire the men and women who have come before me and were able to put in the work necessary to stand in their tower and look upon the landscape they greatly desire to see farther and farther into. That landscape is, of course, the mathematical landscape and it is a beautiful and terrifying scene to gaze upon. It is terrifying, do to its clean, sterile, and powerful nature. I am ready, however, to fully embark on this journey, which I am afraid will consume my life. But it is a necessary sacrifice to make. I am not the most talented mathematician. And because of the extent of the work that is out there and the pace at which mathematics is moving today, to truly make a mark in the mathematical world I must devote more time and energy to this calling than I have to any other task thus far. - David Andrews ( Read his blog if you like his thoughts. )But: is it, really?
Isn't mathematics easier than say particle physics? Look at the thousands of people working with billion dollar equipment at CERN. What about the rules and regulations in biotechnology? All sciences use mathematics to the limit, mathematicians have only math to worry about. - Or what about this one: economy must be the most difficult science because economists fail again and again in their forecasts and there is no consensus among economists which way leads us out of the depression.
What do you think? Is mathematics hard? If so, what in particular makes mathematics hard?