<p>Am I the only person who is not impressed by math competition winners and kids who crack seriously advanced scientific/mathematical formulas? I know "dime-a-dozen" is a bit of an exaggeration...But does anyone here believe that it's much more impressive to have a truly overpowering command of the English language (i.e. a 16-year-old novelist--and not trash, but good stuff) than to be a math genius?</p>

<p>The problem is, it's easier to judge mathematical skill than literary skill. There are no defined right answers in essays. There are all sorts of Science and Math specialty high schools, but very few English and History counterparts. I imagine that there are as many literary geniuses as mathematical geniuses, but they go unnoticed.</p>

<p>bump, I actually would be curious to hear some opinions.</p>

<p>Well not to dissmiss hardwork put into math by mathlovers, but Math compeitions are pretty much the norm and you dont see litterature awards that much. So all im saying, there should be a balance.</p>

<p>Literature is way overrated. For every one math genius, I would bet you their are 10 great literature guys.</p>

<p>How is literature way overrated? I think you have it the other way around--lots of kids can handle quantum physics; not so many can write a great book.</p>

<p>Albert Einstein or William Shakespeare? Who is smarter?</p>

<p>Answer: who cares? They're both brilliant.</p>

<p>I must say that, as one very interesting in mathematics (and yes, one who has won a lot of contests as well), my initial reaction was one of slight offense at your dismissal of this pursuit's merit. However, to be objective, I am inclined to agree, to an extent. Math/science geniuses have the ability to understand the exact and the perfect in a very profound way, but literary geniuses have the ability to understand, in a similarly profound way, the imperfection of humanity.</p>

<p>It is also true that those with a grasp of humanity are tragically unnoticed- I think it is because by nature mathematical talent is easy to measure roughly, but literary/verbal talent is not. Those that win math contests sometimes have a reputation for being smart- those who possess a more human intelligence often go under the radar.</p>

<p>Regarding which is more impressive, it is absurd really to say one is more impressive than another. "Math genius" and "literary genius" are not precisely defined terms. If you say that there are more math geniuses than literary geniuses, all you have to do is raise the standard for "math genius" and the two are equal again.</p>

<p>I would observe, however, that the two are strongly linked. During the renaissance, every math genius was also a literary genius; math and philosophy were virtually the same field. I also have observed for myself that many great math people I met at MOSP (a math program of the 30 highest-performing kids in the country) also had a very good grasp on humanity- I could have discussions with them about literature, philosophy, anything. That is not to say that there were not also a lot of really nerdy kids with no grasp on what it is to be human.</p>

<p>Hmm, the title, Dime-a-Dozen, immediately brought to mind english majors. One of the most memorable lectures our 10th grade english teacher gave us was never to major in english - english majors are as common as dirt. Our school's advertising for an english teacher position with less than average pay attracted two hundred applications. And AP Lit this year has been about sex and suicide. I do enjoy the drama, but quite frankly, lit for us consists of using outdated Freudian psychology to support our crazy theories. It's fun and funny. But lately I've failed to see that it has any bearing on human nature whatsoever. Most people don't personify ships as their dead sister/brother/father/mother that they had an incestuous relationship with... ;) Don't get me wrong; I do love reading; Ray Bradbury is my favorite author - the writing itself is brilliant. But I think my mind had been perverted by too much philosophy for me to believe any of these 'what it is to be human' theories. Go Nietzsche. Yeah, it's just the philosophy... last year I might have agreed with you. Then again, I'm starting to love calculus. It's seriously cool with all the wierd concepts and crazy theorums.</p>

<p>Personally I'm impressed by males who are English nerds and girls that are science/math nerds, simply because of the fact that our society and our school systems tend to (if subconciously) push the girls into the humanities and boys into sciences and math. And of course, as the above poster stated, prowness in both is the best option.</p>

<p>I agree with SaturdayOracle- I think it's awesome when guys go towards English and girls head towards Math.</p>

<p>That said, I think being really good at either is awesome. And of course, being great at both is unbeatable.</p>