Optional: has your work this semester changed or refined your idea of what mathematics is and what mathematicians do?

 

I do not think that my work has changed my idea of what mathematics is.  However, I do believe that the class and my work has refined my ideas of math.

I think through a lot of discussions within the class, I have gotten the chance to hear about so many new ideas and points of view.  I now see many parts of  mathematics differently and am more open to new ideas behind them.

For example, “Is math a science?”  was a big topic of discussion recently in the class.  Although I am still at a firm “no” with the question, I loved getting the opportunity to not only express my thoughts correspondingly with a group of my classmates, but also here the opinions of more than half of my class who disagreed with me and my group.

Another aspect that I liked was learning about where math came from.  We learn the formulas and problems our whole lives but we never think about where they originated or who thought to prove what.  It was interesting to take a different spin on a math class an really dig in deep to the material at hand.  One of my favorite parts of this was exploring who “invented”/discovered  calculus.  I never knew that this was a debated and still don’t know who I believe did this to their future generations(joke) but do feel more knowledgeable on where it came from and how it came about.

Knowing that mathematicians did much more than just proving one theorem after another gives me much more of an interest in the subject than I ever imagined I would gain from taking the course.  I am glad I was a part of the class as a whole and will continue looking for more and more ways this subject sparks my interest.

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