Archive for April, 2012|Monthly archive page

Write down what you’ve done

I was a taught both basic probability and statistics theory by a young Swiss statistician who liked to talk about putting new mathematical tricks and theorems “in your math pocket.” Certain tricks appear again and again throughout disparate mathematical disciplines (multiplying by a “well-chosen one” or switching order of integration are basic tricks which come to mind immediately). A mathematician’s math pocket was supposed to hold these tricks and be called upon whenever needed. In a post to his blog Field’s medal winner Terry Tao echoed a similar sentiment. Rather than filling up one’s mental math pocket, however, he suggests writing these tricks down.

In this light, myself and two other aspiring applied mathematicians at the Colorado School of Mines will be posting to this blog. Certainly, it will serve as a spot to write down these tricks. However, it will (hopefully) be much more. Each of us hopes to be a professional academic mathematician. Such a profession, of course, requires that we be capable of doing mathematics. Much of the job, however, involves teaching and writing. As such, this blog will help us to improve on our mathematical exposition and our pedagogical skills. It will allow us to record neat tricks and problems we’ve come across. Mathematics requires creativity and the ability to apply mathematical concepts to interesting physical and scientific phenomena. As such, this blog will give us reason to write up the ideas we have and the things to which we’d like to apply mathematics. Mathematics is inherently collaborative, so we will share interesting papers and mathematical tidbits.  It will even serve as a way for the three of us to continue communicating as we spread across the country for our Ph.D studies.

It’s hard to say now how often this blog will be updated (presumably there will be many new posts over the summers and winters with a significant drop-off once classes begin). This blog, however, will certainly be an aid as we continue along the path to becoming applied mathematicians.