How would I know if I (You, Yourself, or Maybe someone you know) am really good in Math?

This question may bug me a lot but I have observed my other classmates who are good in Math are also that competitive. For my experience, I have experienced some of my classmates who might get higher score than I might get but in terms of the contests we have, I am the often being picked or chosen because of probably exceptional talent. I think that dedication and well-gifted in Math might be one measure of being good in math. For you, what is the real measure of being good in Math?

Note by John Ashley Capellan
5 years, 1 month ago

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For me the REAL measure of being good in Math is simply your creativity in answering math problems, especially in proofs. Your classmates might be able to solve math problems quicker and without errors maybe because the questions are very rudimentary and straightforward. But when it comes to the challenging problems, they will most probably struggle, I often presume is that they don't know the concept and mechanics behind the operation. You might have the required and sufficient knowledge to solve math problems, but it defeats the purpose of doing mathematics if you don't know what going on.

I find Albert Einstein's quote to be very true: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”. To elaborate, I sometimes made up conjectures for a problems especially for finding patterns, and obtain an answer based on that conjecture. Though I might be wrong about the (first few) conjecture, but eventually I can work through all the wrongs to get a proper answer.

On the other hand, I believed another real measure of being good in mathematics is persistence. I often find most people (including me sometimes) quickly give up on solving a problem simply because they don't believe they can get an answer regardless or how long they persist. This is a very flawed way of approaching mathematics as a whole. Even for mathematician Yitang Zhang who recently proved the (weak form) of the Twin Prime Conjecture. I'm sure he have faced many obstacles in hopes of a prove, but because of his creativity or imagination, he finally managed to prove it. Not to mention Andrew Wiles's proof of Fermat's Last Theorem which requires what? 9 years in total? We shouldn't just give up simply because we couldn't get a quick answer. If all math questions can be easily answered, wouldn't that make Math dull?

Pi Han Goh - 5 years, 1 month ago

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