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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Playing mathematics

#openuniversity# #m336#

" If it isn't fun it isn't Mathematics. " If any part of mathematics is causing problems make it so that you can play with it. It is easier said than done but it -is- true: mathematics is something you should =DO=. You can't read a mathematics book as if it was just any book in any field, let alone that you can read a maths book as if it was a novel. The mathematics reading protocol has to be applied and that means: verify everything that the author tries to tell you. Mathematics books are notoriously full of errors so you might even find one. If it isn't the best method than it certainly is the method with the most fun involved: study by playing with mathematics. If our brain is the computer then mathematics is a computer game. Really.

Built from scratch with Mathematica

I decorated the cube above with tilings I had to study for M336. Studying tilings is dry, to say the least, so I became 'actively involved' and created tilings myself using Graphics in Mathematica, I put the code I made for Frieze patterns to work on Tilings.

As far as I can remember I have always loved mathematics, except for the darkest two years of my life. I remember myself sitting in the second class of secondary school looking at something I had never seen before: geometric proofs in Euclidean style, i.e.: no algebra, no numbers, no vectors, nothing. The teacher had this gigantic protractor for making drawings on the blackboard. The government dropped this style of math teaching years before but that teacher insisted on Euclid. Looking back I think he just wasn't flexible enough. My grades for math were terrible and so were those of many others. He destroyed the dreams of many children. Although I catched on later, I don't think that I will ever be ready for Euclid.

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