tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5255808252082956251.post824550094516442688..comments2017-04-12T09:50:44.176-07:00Comments on mathbionerd: An early career scientist's thoughts on mathematics.mathbionerdhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17525536407206138695noreply@blogger.comBlogger4125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5255808252082956251.post-38735488300568420232013-12-17T00:52:41.875-08:002013-12-17T00:52:41.875-08:00Math is a language, and as such, you can either sp...Math is a language, and as such, you can either spend too little time with it, making you ineffective at communicating, or too much time with it, turning you into a pedantic navel-gazer. I think Wilson's point is, he didn't want to become the latter; and Frenkel's point is, you can't shut your eyes and make the world disappear, in a connected world you have to be able to communicate. It's just a matter of not being too extreme in either direction. (Unless you can find funding that will allow you to drift off into the nether regions of mathematics and divorce yourself from reality entirely...).<br /><br />Just an interpretation.Charleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/02372732955510781913noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5255808252082956251.post-17798313147296248042013-11-14T22:37:54.767-08:002013-11-14T22:37:54.767-08:00Thank you, Andrew!
Congratulations on your new jo...Thank you, Andrew!<br /><br />Congratulations on your new job. I hope this does help convince them of the importance of math to all of the sciences, if even just a little. mathbionerdhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17525536407206138695noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5255808252082956251.post-91905278718106798612013-11-12T05:53:02.899-08:002013-11-12T05:53:02.899-08:00I'm really glad I saw this post yesterday. As...I'm really glad I saw this post yesterday. As a newly minted (and starting midyear) high school chemistry teacher whose masters work was in mathematical modeling of aggregation and having done a year of doctoral studies in computational/theoretical chemistry, I've been stressing the importance of being able to use mathematics as a tool and how important it is to use mathematical reasoning in problem solving. <br /><br />As a result, my students have been complaining and asking if they could learn chemistry without math. I hope that showing them these articles can assuage their aversion to math in science.<br /><br />Also, I had to laugh when you had said that experimentalists shouldn't blindly trust equations or calculations. It reminded me of working with a collaborator on my masters thesis project. He was always questioning what our equations were saying and their physical basis. It is certainly great practice to never take work or results at face value without asking questions.<br /><br />Thanks for the great post!<br /><br />-AndrewAndrew Maurohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/18136426315984263388noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-5255808252082956251.post-49274800863774151652013-04-25T09:49:44.839-07:002013-04-25T09:49:44.839-07:00Dear mathbionerd,
This is a personal communicatio...Dear mathbionerd,<br /><br />This is a personal communication and not intended as a comment. You can leave it as a comment if you wish.<br /><br />Have only read this post just past the initial E.O. Wilson summary and have a feeling we should be in touch somehow.<br /><br />I am neither a scientist nor a mathematician (but have published two papers in a math journal, e.g., see http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/integ.2012.12.issue-2/integ.2011.101/integ.2011.101.xml where you can click on author and send me an e-mail, please).<br /><br />A little background: I encountered N. Rashevsky's book <i>Mathematical Biology</i> on a bookshelf in the Genetics Foundation at UT Austin in Fall 1962, bought the two-volume Dover edition, and read it. In 1965, I bought his monograph on the mathematical biology of social behavior and later his monograph on a mathematical approach to history. In late 1968 or maybe 1969, he happened to sit down next to me at a public lecture by Herbert Simon on artificial intelligence at UM Ann Arbor. After the lecture, he asked me what I thought about the lecture. I answered. He started explaining his reactions and thoughts. I noted his use of concepts from organismic set theory. He was surprised that at my familiarity with his theory and introduced himself. I introduced myself. He asked, "Are you the guy who was corresponding with me from Alaska and requesting reprints?" I nodded. When I was in Kiev for a couple days in August 1993, I was able to visit the university where Rashevsky had taken his doctorate (fiz-mat) in 1919 and honor the memory of an original thinker and, for a while, a friend.<br /><br />I am not a scientist nor a mathematician, but I have had opportunities to "pick the brains" of few who were scientists and/or mathematicians.<br /><br />-- Bill<br /><br />PS. I have bookmarked this blog post and will read it as soon as I can find the time. Maybe I'll have a real comment then, maybe not. All the best.bill.everetthttp://www.blogger.com/profile/16920758387477620473noreply@blogger.com