Learning Math

I want to learn more maths. But why? Well I don’t want to ever be limited by something being to difficult for me to understand. I want to be able to grasp anything. Be it quantum physics or a complicated algorithm or the reasoning flaws in a scientific paper. How can I achieve this?

First step to fix a problem is defining the problem. What do I lack in terms of knowledge currently? I don’t know. I just have a sense that knowing more math would be desirable. Is this enough?

Perhaps my actual ”problem” is curiosity. Of wanting to know more about this magical thing called math. This is not a bad problem definition. But math is still very broad. Perhaps a first step is to create a map of what types of math is available out there. And with this map in front of us we can make a more informed decision about what we want to learn first.

This map for me right now before doing research is very muddled. I know of equations, and derivatives and, integrals. And some basic geometry. I’ve touched imaginary numbers ages ago. But I’m sure there is much more to it. So lets start painting the map.

I will start browsing and using Khan Academy to understand the broad strokes of what math is available. Another venue for filling in the map will be books and the internet. We live in a time today where the opportunities for finding information are greater than ever. Let’s use it.

When there are unknowns ahead it is difficult to know what to expect. I assume math might be more nuanced than what it looks like on the surface. However I’d really like to understand the nuances and build enough knowledge in the subject so that I can have my own opinion and perhaps at one day contribute to humanity’s knowledge base.

One thing I’ve started doing which I feel is very useful when trying to learn math is to express what I learn in code. I took a course on Khan Academy about vectors in linear algebra and added vector classes  in Java and gave those classes methods to do vector addition, subtraction and multiplication. It was fun and a very interactive way to both improve math and programming skills simultaneously. I’d highly recommend that to anyone wanting to learn.

Something I also feel would be super interesting on a similar subject is to use my own learning experience to achieve two things.

Firstly, to show that learning math as an adult is not impossible. Secondly, to learn about machine learning as it’s built up based on math as far as I understand. And as an extension to that, try to explain and reason around how to build a machine that can do math. Not just compute math operations that a human has written. But reason around what tools to use for what problems. And apply them and explain the results to build knowledge.

This is of course an audacious goal. But isn’t that what life is for? How dull life would be without audacious goals.

One response to “Learning Math”

  1. […] previously mentioned on the blog, something I want to learn and have enjoyed doing earlier in my life is math. I had a […]

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