Friday, December 11, 2009

Experimenting with Shapes

The trouble with Mathematics is - we first learn the formulae and then the application.

The education system is such that we treat these two aspects - theory and application as separate entities when they should be going hand in hand.

For instance, when we learn complex numbers in our +2 course, its applications are not apparent till our electrical course in 1st year.

In such cases, one has to look for simpler applications.

1. Multiplication by iota

I can very well recall how our Mathematics teacher in class was well known for his PJs (poor jokes).

Some, though were quiet useful!

Once, while a student had turned to gossip with the fellow behind him, our Maths teacher quipped, "Ashish, please multiply yourself by iota squared."

[Whenever a complex number is multiplied by iota, it is rotated anticlockwise by 90o. Hence, multiplying it by iota squared would rotate it by 180o]

2. The Exponential Function

Unfortunately for Ashish, he had to bear the brunt of most of the PJs as he was quiet irregular to class.

Once, while Ashish was giving some lame excuse for remaining absent from class, our Maths teacher remarked, "You are like the exponential function. Whether you differentiate it or integrate it doesn't really matter. It never changes."

I am unable to recall many of his other PJs. If you know of any interesting Maths PJs, do let me know.

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