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October 30th, 2009, 09:52 PM   #1
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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
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October 31st, 2009, 11:32 AM   #2
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Re: Mathematical Personalities....

Logicians have ordered minds, even for mathematicians. Geometers are perhaps more flamboyant. And everyone knows Number Theorists get all the chicks.
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October 31st, 2009, 06:06 PM   #3
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Re: Mathematical Personalities....

Quote:
Originally Posted by CRGreathouse
And everyone knows Number Theorists get all the chicks.
Because they're prime candidates.

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.
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November 1st, 2009, 01:39 AM   #4
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Re: Mathematical Personalities....

Quote:
Originally Posted by CRGreathouse
Logicians have ordered minds, even for mathematicians.
Really? I've found mathematicians in general and logicians specifically to be all over the place, thought-wise. What mathematicians can do, is tame all those thoughts and direct them into something ordered, but that seems to be a final step in the process.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmusick
Quote:
Originally Posted by CRGreathouse
And everyone knows Number Theorists get all the chicks.
Because they're prime candidates.

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.
*GROAN*

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.
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November 1st, 2009, 11:46 AM   #5
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Re: Mathematical Personalities....

Quote:
Originally Posted by cknapp
Quote:
Originally Posted by CRGreathouse
Logicians have ordered minds, even for mathematicians.
Really?
I was at least 10% serious.

I agree with cmusick that the job matters more than the field.
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November 20th, 2009, 07:01 AM   #6
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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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