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Yes, Math Can be Creative

Yes, Math Can be Creative


Numbers Don't Lie

When I was in 5th grade I participated in the Minnesota State Math Competition. I'm pretty sure my team didn't win, but it ignited my passion for numbers and logic.

You really need something that just makes sense to hold everything together. Numbers do that - they don't change. They're stable across human existence and a universal language that ties us all together. Very few people will argue that. One plus one equals two - always.

Math is a system that humans had implemented to make sense of the world and its absurdities. Math provides us with standards and a method for communicating and understanding symmetry, pattern, and beauty. Numbers have objective beauty when used in proper ratios. They are static and grounding and help decipher the organic natural world that surrounds us. They also are the foundation of structure, tools, and building. They are the catalyst for technology.

I fell in love with math. You can put numbers next to each other, on top of each other, rearrange them where they should and shouldn't go. You can play with them and they can build anything, explain anything. Numbers are tools for creation.

 


Math in Foreign Languages

When I lived in Germany at the age of 13, I had little confidence in my ability to understand numbers. When I first moved there, all I knew is that I could count to 10 and a had soft spot for sauerkraut, but my vocabulary was incredibly limited. I was studying at a German-speaking school. I left the country flabbergasted at my inability to do math in the context of another language. 

Written language is a confusing web of inflections and emotions with the power to both flatter and defend. And this foreign language was so outlandish to me that I could not understand the practical context of numbers when presented in scenarios explained in German. To keep my sanity, I needed to find another language rooted in systems of intervals to be creative with.

That drive encouraged me to learn math, to revel in math, and to incorporate math into all that I do. 

And here we are. 

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