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The Beautiful Language of Mathematics

By Dr. Evelyn J. Patterson

I was born into a world filled with math. Both of my parents speak the language fluently, and I began speaking it at the young age of 4. Despite the respect I had for it, I fought hard not to be sucked into the world. Who wants to do what their parents do? Not me! I was set on becoming a medicinal chemist. Eleventh grade came. Chemistry came. Chemistry conquered. And I gave in to the deep-seeded passion that I had for math. That’s the short story of my long relationship with math. Throughout the course of the relationship, there existed a magnetic pull that kept me engaged and now it continually strengthens my devotion. Of these many attractive qualities, I’ve taken the liberty to share my top ten below. Enjoy.

Top 10 reasons why I love Math:

  1. I can use Statistics to eloquently describe any emotional situation in life, from my disappointments in life (it really sucks when your observed value is not equal to your expected value) to unexpected surprises (I’m in the right tail!).

  2. Algebra allows me to believe it’s possible to manipulate any situation and determine the unknown.

  3. I relish in the power of tipping over a mountain of research with one contradiction (proof by contradiction).

  4. The freedom to date around in many different disciplines, still remaining loyal to your one true love.

  5. There’s a sense of security of knowing there is always a right answer.

  6. The hope of finding an algorithm for generating prime numbers.

  7. Not wearing a jogging suit means you’re dressed up—just ask my dad.

  8. Having a function that you use to describe yourself and how you relate to the world.

  9. Statistics is a beautiful vernacular—where only a few chosen people ever understand that it’s a language of precision to describe the most imprecise things of our time.

  10. Knowing that one of the things that makes reproduction beautiful is its ability to prove that 1+1 ≥ 2.


Infinite Possibilities Conference 2015
March 1-3, 2015
Oregon State University
Corvallis, Oregon

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