15 thoughts on “Status Update from a Frustrated Mathematician”

1. Seven Years in the Life of Andrew Wiles

2. “Perhaps all of existence is but a giant, erroneous equation, and in the final calculus of Armageddon, it all reduces to ‘2=1’.”

I fear that you have barely scratched the surface of the absurdity that is all of existence.

3. Love this ! Hope you endure your existential agony…..!

4. Spread the misery! What’s the problem?

5. This is how I feel every time I start a new math class. (I just started a new math class, can you tell?)

6. “Is there a related problem that you CAN solve? “.
“Try a special case”.

7. I’m grading the AP exams in Kansas City – I feel many of the students would sympathize with your feelings.

8. Try to prove the opposite.
Put it into set theoretical approach.
Draw a bigger picture, with all the lines tending away from each other where the paper ends.
Draw a “big picture”.
Check the consequences of it’s being true.
Express it algebraically. Express it purely geometrically. Bring in topology.
Find a counterexample. Write a program to find a counterexample.

9. Weirdly, I didn’t write this in response to any particular problem – just a general feeling I thought was worth capturing. And I totally intend to use this as a status update next time I am caught on such a problem… For example, a colleague just nearly convinced me that it’s useful to define a certain event as having probability 2, which is perhaps going to cost me some sleep tonight.