Saturday, February 27, 2016

To a math lover......!

I have never really liked math, though I did reasonably well in the subject at school (or so I'd like  to think!) I'm not sure if my mom being a professor of Maths had anything to do with it, but the pressure of excelling in a subject that has been my mother's professional identity, did get to me at times. So when it came to making a choice post secondary schooling, I steered clear of the science stream and opted for humanities, notwithstanding the misgivings that almost everyone seemed to have regarding my field of study.  Well, everyone except my mom. Despite her well entrenched background  in science, not once did she impose her obvious choice on me and not once did she express her reservations over my then-not-so-popular choice.....and thank you so much for that Amma!!! Now that I am a mom myself, I wonder how ??.......  as neither can I claim to be as broad minded as her nor do I find it easy to let go like she did!!:-)

Surprisingly, my nine year old son finds Maths quite interesting and has even declared maths to be his favourite subject ( at least for now!). I know it's too early to say.... finally my mom  may just find someone within her own family who shares her passion for maths!! So on the occasion of her birthday, dedicating this post to my mom, the math lover.... we read  "The Boy who loved Math " by Deborah Heiligman and illustrated by LeUyen Pham. A wonderful book that traces the life and achievements of Paul Erdos who is "probably" a Demi-God to mathematicians world over. Even for someone who isn't all that gung-ho about numbers, this book with its crisp, mathematically creative narrative and striking illustrations makes a wonderful read for one and all.  "There was once a boy who loved math. He grew up to be 1 of the greatest mathematicians who ever lived ..." and thus the reader is lead into Paul's unconventional life that began and ended with numbers!! From a little boy who hated rules, school and his baby-sitter, read on as Paul's love for prime numbers made him famous around the world and in turn made him travel around the world... all for math, math and more math in the form of Number theory, Combinatorics, Problemistic theory and Set theory. So much so that he was called a math- match maker..- introducing mathematicians all over the world to one another so that they work together and of course do more math! While a lot has been written on his famous work in mathematics, this book acquaints the young readers on the little known facts about how the magician from Budapest ( as he was known) was, like as a person -  how he was hopeless in doing his  laundry or cooking his food, or how he made the whole world his home and that he loved playing with epsilons, a mathematical term he used for children!!  Accompanied with insightful and thoroughly researched illustrations, plus  a smattering of numbers all over... you might just want to read this "infinite" number of times!  To the best  math lover I've known all my life......Happy birthday Amma!!:-)

No comments:

Post a Comment