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Question: do you often learn new things
Asked by anon-1884 to Maja on 30 Jun 2020.
answered on 30 Jun 2020:
Yes, I’m learning new things practically all the time.
One never knows everything and there is always something interesting to learn 🙂
Some of the new things are simply newly invented, and some are new to me.
Martin commented on 30 Jun 2020:
Yes, there are new things to learn all the time, and for me there’s almost no limit for opportunities to learn more. I learn through my own research findings, I read articles written by other researchers so I can understand my own problems better, and I get to hear about other research in person during talks at work and at conferences.
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Alan commented on 30 Jun 2020:
To me, being a mathematician is always about learning. I don’t feel that I know much, but I know how to be curious and ask myself questions all the time like “why on earth is that?”. I have heard it said that the fundamental state of a mathematician when they are working is “stuck!”
Richard commented on 30 Jun 2020:
All the time. I’m quite senior, so I’ve worked on a wide variety of problems, and one of the pleasures of my work is to meet new people who are up to date with the latest ideas from various subjects. So I can learn from them, and, I hope, they can learn from me. What I’m trying to say, I suppose, is that mathematics as applied to real world problems is not just about finding the right book to look up the answer in. It can take time to work out what the question is, and then often, if it’s a problem nobody has thought about before, so there’s no way of answering already worked out, you have to make a new piece of mathematics to answer it. Whenever you see some piece of mathematics in a book, or hear about it from a teacher, however easy it may seem now, then there was once a time when people didn’t know how to do that, and somebody had to discover it!
Andrew commented on 1 Jul 2020:
Almost every day. It’s one of the great things about maths, I’m always learning.
I work in machine learning and natural language processing which is changing a lot. Google announced some big advances just before Christmas which have been matched by OpenAI and Microsoft this year. I have to learn about those to do my job. I’m always learning new maths.
Omduth commented on 1 Jul 2020:
Yes, absolutely! Learning never stops. Sometimes, when we do research, we learn new things that nobody else knows about yet. But more often than not we relearn things that are already well known! The amount that even the best mathematicians and scientists know about is tiny, tiny, compared to the collective knowledge humans have amassed. And the totality of human knowledge is tiny, tiny compared to what we don’t know yet.
Chris commented on 2 Jul 2020:
All the time. Mathematics is a constant process of discovery. That is what makes it so amazing. And everyone can be a maths explorer.
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