# Michael Lee's Messageboard

Hey, guys! My name is Michael Lee. I will be 20 years old in June, and I am a 2nd year university student in the United States (at Cornell University, in particular).

I learn most of my math from the Internet, as well as non-Olympiad mathematics at university (I'm currently enrolled in a particularly good class in algebraic geometry right now, plus another class in introductory quantum mechanics, and next semester I'm going to be taking a class in real analysis, as well as one in complex analysis, one in advanced electricity and magnetism, and one in advanced quantum mechanics).

Feel free to ask me any questions!

Note by Michael Lee
5 years, 10 months ago

This discussion board is a place to discuss our Daily Challenges and the math and science related to those challenges. Explanations are more than just a solution — they should explain the steps and thinking strategies that you used to obtain the solution. Comments should further the discussion of math and science.

When posting on Brilliant:

• Use the emojis to react to an explanation, whether you're congratulating a job well done , or just really confused .
• Ask specific questions about the challenge or the steps in somebody's explanation. Well-posed questions can add a lot to the discussion, but posting "I don't understand!" doesn't help anyone.
• Try to contribute something new to the discussion, whether it is an extension, generalization or other idea related to the challenge.

MarkdownAppears as
*italics* or _italics_ italics
**bold** or __bold__ bold
- bulleted- list
• bulleted
• list
1. numbered2. list
1. numbered
2. list
Note: you must add a full line of space before and after lists for them to show up correctly
paragraph 1paragraph 2

paragraph 1

paragraph 2

[example link](https://brilliant.org)example link
> This is a quote
This is a quote
    # I indented these lines
# 4 spaces, and now they show
# up as a code block.

print "hello world"
# I indented these lines
# 4 spaces, and now they show
# up as a code block.

print "hello world"
MathAppears as
Remember to wrap math in $$ ... $$ or $ ... $ to ensure proper formatting.
2 \times 3 $2 \times 3$
2^{34} $2^{34}$
a_{i-1} $a_{i-1}$
\frac{2}{3} $\frac{2}{3}$
\sqrt{2} $\sqrt{2}$
\sum_{i=1}^3 $\sum_{i=1}^3$
\sin \theta $\sin \theta$
\boxed{123} $\boxed{123}$

Sort by:

Hello! My name is Vish! How does Quantum Mechanics intrigue you, or who/what inspired/gave you the idea to study it? Also, have you seen the Feynman's Lectures on Physics put together by Caltech?

- 5 years, 10 months ago

Hey, Vish! I love the fact that quantum mechanics can predict so many results of the microscopic universe (and the macroscopic universe!) that are inaccesible to Newtonian mechanics. I really enjoy taking classic problems and re-solving them using formulisms native to quantum mechanics. Also, I'm looking for an inexpensive print copy of the Feynman lectures for myself (I'm in the middle of reading through them, and they're always an excellent reference). Incidentally, Feynman most famously was teaching at Cornell (where I'm studying now) when he and Hans Bethe developed what we know now as quantum electrodynamics.

- 5 years, 10 months ago

Also, I'm a physics major, so quantum is a part of our curriculum, but I first became interested in the subject when I was about 10 years old and I read the book Flatterland, by Ian Stewart. It's a little populist, and some of the ideas are a little out-of-date by now (it came out in 1999), but it's certainly a fun way of approaching some topics in modern mathematics and physics.

- 5 years, 10 months ago

Very nice!! I'm quite intrigued by it as well. What kind of a career will you choose in the future? Like, a researcher or professor, etc.

- 5 years, 10 months ago

Hopefully, after I graduate with my B.A. Physics, I'll go on to get a Ph.D., and if all goes well, earn a professorship. A lot of people will say that Cornell is one of the most stressful university environments here in the US, but I love the campus and the quality of the instruction and research (particularly in the sciences and engineering disciplines, but also in the humanities).

- 5 years, 10 months ago

- 5 years, 10 months ago

Cornell University, has quite a bit of history on Quantum Mechanics as well. How's the environment (I suppose, the mental atmosphere) there?

- 5 years, 10 months ago

What is your favorite mathematical or scientific result?

- 5 years, 10 months ago

Hey! My favorite scientific result is definitely either the Michelson-Morley experiment, Young's double slit experiment, or the Stern-Gerlach experiment. All of them were conducted using setups that were both rudimentary and insightful, and they each revealed something very profound about the nature of modern physics.

- 5 years, 9 months ago

Wow, so you really like waves and magnetism huh? Are you taking any optics classes? I took one on MITEdX and it was really cool. :D

- 5 years, 9 months ago

I took a class in waves and thermodynamics last semester and one in electricity and magnetism the semester before that, and am probably going to take a laboratory class in modern experimental optics either next semester or Fall 2015, so I'm looking forward to that. :)

- 5 years, 9 months ago

Cool beans.

- 5 years, 9 months ago

Hi, I'm Anna. Since you said, "feel free to ask me any questions", I wanna ask:

Which girl would you go after, an ugly intelligent girl or a beautiful dull girl? Please don't give me a philosophical answer, just choose one of them and tell the reason of your choice :D

- 5 years, 2 months ago

Well, if you want a really oversimplistic answer, personally, I would choose brains over body. Brains last longer, and smart people make interesting conversation.

However, I would say that there's always more to finding a significant other than that simple dichotomy. What if somebody is brilliant, but treats you poorly? Or beautiful, but wholly intellectually unsatisfying?

As it is, my girlfriend isn't necessarily the smartest person or the prettiest person I've ever met, but I think she's the perfect mix of both for me, so that tells you my thoughts on the subject.

- 5 years, 2 months ago

Hey! I am Arya. One of my prime aim is to make the Whole World my Friend. Happy Meeting you.
So it seems you got a good aura around you for your studies. I 've always been in search of open guys like you.(like me!) If mechanics is one thing that intrigues you then surely You WOULD have gone through the book "Problems in General Physics " by I.E.Irodov. Keep sharing with me ideas and get to contact me more by looking at my Brilliant Profile. Also what interests you are similar to mine. :)

- 5 years, 10 months ago

I've worked some of the Irodov problems out for myself, yes. They're not very difficult problems; I've heard that they're good IIT-JEE problems, but that's not really my thing (particularly, I'm not a fan of the structure of the exam). I find it a little irresponsible that the book presents only formulae, but no derivations (although I assume that the book really is meant to be used as a supplement for students that have already learned the derivations in a more rigorous setting), but more so that students should decide to study only the formulae without learning the theory and history of physics! In particular, if you want some challenges that require you to solve mechanics problems with great generality, one of the most fun (haha) books for undergraduate physicists has always been Kleppner and Kolenkow.

- 5 years, 10 months ago

I certainly agree. (y)

- 5 years, 10 months ago

Hi nice to meet you Michael

- 5 years, 10 months ago

Hi! I'm Siddharth. Nice to meet you. Where exactly do you learn your math from on the internet?Also, are you into Computer Programming?

- 5 years, 9 months ago

Hello! Did you apply to any other colleges besides Cornell?

- 5 years, 9 months ago

Hi! I applied to other colleges (a few other Ivies, and some other medium-sized universities in the Northeastern United States, which as an area of the US has the highest density of top-class research universities), but Cornell was definitely the right choice, as it was the university at which I was best able to fit in everything I wanted to do (I'm also very into music, and one of my prospective degrees is in Musicology). They also awarded me the most financial aid money, and they had the best physics program (in my opinion) out of the various colleges I applied to. In addition, the campus was beautiful, and there's a nice mixture of students who are really very brilliant and students who are interesting and from different experiential backgrounds. (Also, we have nice healthy rivalries with colleges like Harvard. Hockey games are a lot of fun. As a point of interest, acceptance rates are not necessarily a good way of measuring the selectivity of a university. Sometimes they're a better measure of the broadness of its educational scope. For example, Cornell turned down more students this past year than applied to Harvard, Yale, or Princeton, as well as more than double the number of students who applied to MIT. The reason is that Cornell had so many applicants is that we have specialized schools for industial and labor relations, hotel administration, architecture and urban planning, human ecology, and agriculture, among other fields. While the other Ivies have excellent academics, and you can certainly study a wide variety of fields at any of them, Cornell's educational breadth is very much encoded in its founding philosophy.).

- 5 years, 9 months ago

Cool! Have you ever seen The Office? Just don't turn out to be like Andy. If you don't get that joke, just look it up on YouTube. :D

- 5 years, 9 months ago

Hahaha, I've never seen the show, but I've heard about the character. Apparently, the actor who plays him is coming to speak at our graduation this year.

- 5 years, 9 months ago

ED HOLMES?!?!?!?! I WOULD LITERALLY KILL TO BE THERE!!!! Oh my god, you're so lucky! Tell him hi for me! But yeah, he's hilarious. :D

- 5 years, 9 months ago

What were your scores on AMC's and the like?

- 5 years, 9 months ago