Short men and tall equations

Published: Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 10:55 AM.

Don’t ever let the stature of a fellow fool you.  He could be one of those fellows who ride race horses or a fighter pilot.

The next night, I was called into an emergency situation at the whiteboard in my office.  My son was kind of in a panic mode preparing for his math quiz the next day.  I usually relish these moments, but I was kind of in a squirming mode because I had to use his book to remember some things.  I have a hard time with my son seeing me do this.

Lawyers can say, “I’m not that kind of lawyer.”  Doctors can say, “That’s not my specialty.”  Accountants can say, “I’m not familiar with the rules for that type of business.” 

However, a math guy is expected to know everything about every mathematical topic ever known to man.  You are also expected to do it without a book.  It just doesn’t work that way.  I don’t remember everything I was taught in high school and college.  Some math topics still cause me to get a little queasy.

Equations can get long and tall...

My son and I worked it all out; I needed a book and a few videos from the internet.  Then my son asked me the question people and students ask me all the time, “Where am I going to use all this math stuff.”

A few things went through my head…



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