Sign Up For Free

**Join for FREE**,
and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions,
and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

- Reply to threads, and start your own.
- Post reviews of your campus visits.
- Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
- Search from over 3 million scholarships.

Maintenance will occur on the site beginning at 10:00 am PT tomorrow morning. While it is very unlikely, this may result in intermittent down time. Thank you in advance for your understanding!

InquilineKea
- Posts: **2,309** Member

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).

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

This discussion has been closed.

## Replies to: I think math is a HUGE basin of attraction

918Member14,670Senior Member5,199Senior MemberI 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].

3,804Senior MemberFor 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!

191Junior Member5,199Senior Member18,082Senior Member301Member4,545Senior MemberThink 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!

3,804Senior Member5,199Senior MemberI 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:

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.

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.

4,545Senior MemberIt 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 =)

3,804Senior Member5,199Senior MemberWhat 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.

Source? Argument?

Please elaborate.

4,545Senior Member