My personal fatal flaws in math

  1.  Don’t get too excited about having solved a problem: I know how tempting it is, but people don’t appreciate it generally. They don’t like to be fed with information, they want information to go to them when they want it. I noticed this trend when I was phoning a colleague of mine who was suffering from problem indigestion.
  2. Don’t get stuck with a single problem for too long: it is almost a universal complaint within the math department. We math people get stuck inevitably, and sometimes it is so necessary to play down and dirty in the field of calculation. But you also don’t want to spend your entire life tackling something that has been well established by others before.
  3. Know how to study for exams: common techniques include solving the easy exercises in the book to touch base with the subject. Do some derivation of formulas without looking at notes and other hints. And do a timed simulated exam if time permit and if the exam has really bad consequences.

   I think my life will be significantly easier if I could master the above three points.


About aquazorcarson

math PhD at Stanford, studying probability
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