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I think math is a HUGE basin of attraction

InquilineKeaInquilineKea Posts: 2,309- Member
edited September 2007 in College Confidential Cafe
It has a REALLY huge basin of attraction.

Doesn't it seem like a lot of people who initially show some passive interest in math suddenly become really into math? (I see this a lot more with math than most other subjects - where people who have passive interest in something often lose such interest)

I'm noticing the same thing myself. I'm starting to intensively study math, and I'm noticing that it's pulling my interests deeper in - because there is just so much and it's so consistent (and since I realize that understanding math isn't just about having intelligence). This comes even though I'm determined not to PhD in math (foreign language requirements and the arrogance that mathematicians generally have towards non-mathematical subjects).

Unlike random activities, which have more shallow ones.

This seems more common with theoretical math than competition math though (people who do competition math often seem more into the social aspects of math, which makes them more externally motivated and in tune with the arbitrary accomplishments of others).
Post edited by InquilineKea on
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Replies to: I think math is a HUGE basin of attraction

  • Central PerkyCentral Perky Posts: 918Registered User Member
    Math sucks. Period. I have no interest in it whatsoever even though I'm surprisingly very, very good at it. I had interest in it in HS, but in college I have NO interest.
  • rockermcrrockermcr Posts: 14,670Registered User Senior Member
    That's funny.
  • ChaosTheoryChaosTheory Posts: 5,200- Senior Member
    It's true.
    suddenly become really into math?

    I wouldn't say a large basin of attraction; an extreme basin of attraction would be better. Imagine x^n, as n approaches infinity. The curvature of the basin would be incredibly steep, and it infinity it would become vertical [in which case, the situation becomes: anyone who has some kind of interest in math instantaneously becomes fully addicted].
  • asifkhanasifkhan Posts: 3,804Registered User Senior Member
    I thought the poster above me would write an essay in reply to IK's post! lol.

    For me, it's rather working the opposite way! I mean I'm good in math and all that, but all of a sudden, I'm slowly starting to loose interest in math! I don't exactly know why, but a lot of times, some of the theories and stuffs don't make ANY sense to me at all, and when it doesn't I don't even wanna look at that!
  • OlascoOlasco Posts: 191Registered User Junior Member
    Thats the truth when u become very good in maths u begin to lose interest in it, Before I could just solve maths for like 2 hrs but now i cant stand it.
  • ChaosTheoryChaosTheory Posts: 5,200- Senior Member
    Define "very, very good at it" [2], "good in math" [5], and "very good in maths" [6], please.
  • snoopyiscoolsnoopyiscool Posts: 18,082Registered User Senior Member
    Duh./********/
  • indianbasketballindianbasketball Posts: 301Registered User Junior Member
    True wit me. In my younger days, i had a small attraction to math, and i learned it quickly, but now as i do more and more higher levels of math, i am starting to really like it.
  • LesOsLesOs Posts: 4,545Registered User Senior Member
    I disagree, Chaos. I admit that I don't know verrrry much about basins of attraction, but I visualize this basin as having a flatter slope as x moves away from the curve's center, with the slope becoming progressively steeper as x moves toward the center.
    Think about how difficult it is for most children to become interested in math; in fact, forget children, consider how difficult it is for people in general to really explore the upper levels of math. In most social circles, there is a stigma that goes along with being interested in math. However, as one progresses in one's education and begins to discover more and more complex math, the tendency to become more interested in the subject increases. In middle school, I was bored by what I perceived to be a subject that required no creativity. Now though, as I'm getting into calculus (I know, I'm way behind IK and Chaos), I'm finally being challenged and being challenged to consider situations from different perspectives. I finally feel inspired to learn upper-level math (at some point!!!)
    Anyway... yeah. Like I said, I know very little about basins of attraction/the mathematical expressions that describe them, but this was just my opinions on the topic!
  • asifkhanasifkhan Posts: 3,804Registered User Senior Member
    CT, "good in math" as in understanding the concepts thoroughly and acing the subjects. I know getting a 100 in a certain subject doesn't prove anything of your ability (for quite a lot of times) but I believe my consistent performance in math proves so. I tried Pure Math, but I just don't feel that's something I wanna deal w/..blah blah. Anyway, since I'm in HS, I'll definitely take Math as much as I can! Not that I "hate" math, it's a lot more that math isn't my favorite anymore.
  • ChaosTheoryChaosTheory Posts: 5,200- Senior Member
    I disagree, Chaos. I admit that I don't know verrrry much about basins of attraction, but I visualize this basin as having a flatter slope as x moves away from the curve's center, with the slope becoming progressively steeper as x moves toward the center.

    I considered that. The problem with that model is that during the areas of "lower" slope [assuming the model is relative to time], the person is still not completely within the basin -- he is only progressing towards becoming addicted. This allows time for the person to become disinterested or influenced by other environmental factors. That contradicts the assumption made in the original post, which stated:
    Doesn't it seem like a lot of people who initially show some passive interest in math suddenly become really into math?

    Implying, therefore, that there is no gradual progression of increase in interest, thus proving your model incorrect. :p That is, assuming the original post's statement is taken as truth.
    Think about how difficult it is for most children to become interested in math

    This is explained by your model. A relatively less "extreme" model allows for other environmental factors to inhibit mathematical development. An "extreme" model allows such things to be filtered out - only those who can achieve a certain threshold [call it the "event horizon"] will fall into the basin of attraction.
  • LesOsLesOs Posts: 4,545Registered User Senior Member
    Sorry- I was arguing against Inquiline's theory as well as your own.
    It is possible that your model would function in certain social groups, but if, as I've inferred from you and Inquiline's posts on basins of attractions, the basins are meant to function in a collection of ALL people, not just those from certain social groups*, my model would probably be more accurate. I mean... let's be honest. Most people are discouraged by the intensity of math courses, and will not fall into that basin.

    *Because, wouldn't only considering certain social groups in constructing basin models be improper, as basins of attractions essentially form social groups, anyway? If I'm wrong, please correct me =)
  • asifkhanasifkhan Posts: 3,804Registered User Senior Member
    Guys, I'm kinda busy now, I'd love to participate into this debate! Hopefully tomorrow! so, don't let it die soon! :D
  • ChaosTheoryChaosTheory Posts: 5,200- Senior Member
    It is possible that your model would function in certain social groups, but if, as I've inferred from you and Inquiline's posts on basins of attractions, the basins are meant to function in a collection of ALL people, not just those from certain social groups*

    What social groups? Define "social groups". From where do you derive this? To my knowledge, I have not used [or implied] the term "social groups" in my counterargument above. I was outlining the structure of the basin itself, not the constituents of the basin. To a certain degree, "normalness" [general population] is implied. The dynamics of movement, of course, varies based on individual factors such as personality, determination, environmental influences, and so on.
    Most people are discouraged by the intensity of math courses, and will not fall into that basin.

    Source? Argument?

    Please elaborate.
  • LesOsLesOs Posts: 4,545Registered User Senior Member
    I will reply tomorrow, because I still have to do Biology, French, Physics, Calculus, and English homework. Ehhhhh.
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