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October 30th, 2009, 09:52 PM  #1 
Member Joined: Dec 2008 Posts: 78 Thanks: 0  Mathematical Personalities....
Hi all! Was just wondering, do you think mathematicians working in the different mathematical disciplines have different personalities? By this I mean, in general do you find, say, a Topologist is different from a Logician? Does Mathematical Analysis attract a different sort of person than Mathematical Physics? I'd love to know your thought! Many thanks x 
October 31st, 2009, 11:32 AM  #2 
Global Moderator Joined: Nov 2006 From: UTC 5 Posts: 16,046 Thanks: 938 Math Focus: Number theory, computational mathematics, combinatorics, FOM, symbolic logic, TCS, algorithms  Re: Mathematical Personalities....
Logicians have ordered minds, even for mathematicians. Geometers are perhaps more flamboyant. And everyone knows Number Theorists get all the chicks. 
October 31st, 2009, 06:06 PM  #3  
Senior Member Joined: Jan 2009 From: Japan Posts: 192 Thanks: 0  Re: Mathematical Personalities.... Quote:
The algebraists I know tend to hang out in groups, depending on where they live. Some like to commute, some don't. The topologists like to drive compact cars  one of them told me he likes being able to reach everything from a finite number of seats. As a serious answer, I find that the employment of the mathematician tends to make more of a difference than the field of study. My natural inclination is to find minimalist proofs and methods, but quick and dirty often has to suffice. It's hard for me to decide whether "suppose we think of this optimization problem as a soap bubble..." and "suppose we consider this soap bubble as an optimization problem..." represent different personalities.  
November 1st, 2009, 01:39 AM  #4  
Senior Member Joined: Oct 2007 From: Chicago Posts: 1,701 Thanks: 3  Re: Mathematical Personalities.... Quote:
Quote:
Anyway, I feel I've noticed some slight differences, but I don't know if it's really anything that can be "formalized". The one thing I have noticed is that logicians are, by and large, insane.  
November 1st, 2009, 11:46 AM  #5  
Global Moderator Joined: Nov 2006 From: UTC 5 Posts: 16,046 Thanks: 938 Math Focus: Number theory, computational mathematics, combinatorics, FOM, symbolic logic, TCS, algorithms  Re: Mathematical Personalities.... Quote:
I agree with cmusick that the job matters more than the field.  
November 20th, 2009, 07:01 AM  #6 
Senior Member Joined: Apr 2007 Posts: 2,140 Thanks: 0 
One's personality has nothing to do in the world of mathematics. One's personality might have to do with his/her attitude toward others, or how nice he/she is, or etc., but that's totally different world. In the world of mathematics, all one should be naturally contact in with is his/her mathematical intelligence.


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