Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Haha, I didn't say bloody Tuesday so you can all relax! Thankfully no fingers or faces got bruised today! So I guess you're all eager to hear about how the report went! (Ok, I'm hoping you are ;) ). Well it wasn't too bad actually!

There were two other groups who had to a presentation as well, and one of the other groups went first. The dude they chose to do it on was Da Vinci, you'd never associate him with maths would you. Paintings, the Mona Lisa and that movie first spring to mind, so I was pleasantly surprised that he was 'into' maths. (The other group did it on Pythagoras.)

Then it was my groups turn! Three of the group members didn't even to bother turning up! I knew about the girl who had emailed me, but the other two were just pffft! We were slightly worried since, the girl was meant to do quite a chunk, but we survived! The other guy in my group did really well, and he basically took control over a sinking ship!

When I do presentations, I really hate reading of a paper! I just hate it! I know that if I was listening to a presentation, then I'd hate to have to listen to someone reading of the paper, so I don't tend to do that! You have to connect with the audience, talk to them, not your paper! You've got to appeal to the audience, so if you're just reading of your paper and looking at the audience then you won't know whether they're paying attention! During my English classes in school, I always considered the audience first, content second. Might have caused conflict at times, but who's going to remember the nitty gritty details anyway! What you remember is what the people presenting highlight and how they do this.

For instance, I remember the painting of the 'Vetruvian man' by Da Vinci and that he believed that your belly button is the centre of your body. and something about the number phi (the golden ratio?) that's because this was put on the OHP and generally discussed! I also remember that Pythagoras may not have actually discovered everything we say he does. So we sometimes say 'Pythagoras's school' or something like that! That's because he had geniuses working for him, and basically he took credit! I'm not sure how well I'm remembering this, so don't take my word for it! Oh yeah 'supposedly' in his time, the even numbers were feminine and and the odd ones were masculine and lastly the numbers from 1-10 were very important. (Wow, I was paying attention!)

So as I was saying, I prefer to talk to the audience and tend to have a paper with a few bullet points which I expand on. It can be nerve wracking at times, since I talk fast, so when I try to think of a word I stutter and lose composure. Also when doing this I have told that I repeat certain words and say 'erm' quite a few times! Anyway, today unfortunately due to my ______ for this presentation (insert appropriate word into blank!) I hadn't really learnt what I was going to talk about (Euler's history). So I was planning on reading of the paper. I had made an OHP thing but that was just to distract attention from myself ;). I knew the general gist of what I saying, but no bullet points meant no organization. As soon as I started my plan of reading it off the paper went zoom out of the window! I just couldn't do it! So I talked about Euler being Swiss, the eldest of 6 children whose father was a minister. However despite his upbringing he was more inclined to mathematics and so decided to not follow his dad's footsteps. Then all of a sudden my mind went BLANK!!

I quickly looked down on my paper and found the spot where I was and recovered but this happened quite a few times so I ended up having to read bits! (Apologises!) Although I am annoyed at myself for this, I think we did good. Here are some more interesting facts about Euler (well those which I can remember anyway!):

  • He went to university when he was 13, and graduated at 16! Wrote his first paper when he was 19!
  • He was blind by the time he was 50! Supposedly he first became blind in one eye because he used to look at the sun! (he was also into astronomy!) And later he had cataracts which made him go blind. Ironically he was involved in the study of optics!
  • He had 13 children.
  • Basically he was into a lot of cool maths which I had no idea off! So I take any harsh comments towards him back!
Like I said, you might want to check my facts, since this is from memory and as already displayed I don't have a particularly good one! I think he went more into astronomy towards the end, because that had more money in it, but not too sure! Do you reckon we'd know more 'great' maths if he'd continued his maths study?

Hmmm, there you have it, a brief introduction to three cool mathematicians! Even I was pleasantly surprised at how great these guys were! (Leave you with that for now, until I remember what I've forgtten ;) )


egm said...

Looks like you didn't have to worry about the overabundance of Euler reviews! It's always interesting reading about these men and women of science from times past. I remember in high school getting books from the library to read on some of the greats of science like Lord Kelvin, Rutherford, Marie Curie, and the likes. It's amazing what we can learn from reading about them and their work.

beans said...

I sure didn't! Yeah it is interesting and although I don't recall reading about Kelvin and Rutherford (they're too physicy for my liking), most tend to be normal people who've become great! (theres hope for the rest of us ;) )

egm said...

Ha, talking of physicy, I was reading this blog on economics where commentor after commentor was bemoaning the fact that an economics PhD was becoming to mathsy! Different folks, different strokes.

I didn't get to read much about maths folks cause I wasn't as aware of the discipline as I am now. I wish I was, cause I'm sure it would have made for great reading. I'm definitely making up for all that missed time now.

beans said...

hehe, a friend who did an A Level in economics at college always used to grumble about doing maths in economics! (Although economics has to have a certain element of maths involved!)

Yep, and keep us informed! I was actually quite pleased when talking to another group who had chosen Erdo, that I knew who he was! (I wouldn't mind reading more myself, but ever since I've started university I've not read a single novel!)