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Things That Make You Go Hhhhhmmmmm

From Hartnett, K. (2017, July 3). A Math Genius Blooms Late and Conquers His Field. Retrieved July 4, 2017, from https://www.wired.com/story/a-math-genius-blooms-late-and-conquers-his-field/

"When I asked him why, he replied, 'When you teach, you do something useful. When you do research, most days you don’t.'"

"Even more remarkable than the proof itself is the manner in which Huh and his collaborators achieved it—by finding a way to reinterpret ideas from one area of mathematics in another where they didn’t seem to belong."

"Yet it would be a mistake to see Huh’s breakthroughs as having come in spite of his unorthodox beginning. In many ways they’re a product of his unique history—a direct result of his chance encounter, in his last year of college, with a legendary mathematician who somehow recognized a gift in Huh that Huh had never perceived himself."

"Huh’s inadvertent proof of Read’s conjecture, and the way he combined singularity theory with graphs, could be seen as a product of his naïve approach to mathematics. He learned the subject mainly on his own and through informal study with Hironaka. People who have observed his rise over the last few years imagine that this experience left him less beholden to conventional wisdom about what kinds of mathematical approaches are worth trying."

"Whenever you observe a pattern with no obvious cause, it’s natural to start digging below the surface—to look for the roots that explain the tree."

"Some of the biggest leaps in understanding occur when someone extends a well-established theory in one area to seemingly unrelated phenomena in another."

"In fact, it’s a bit like searching for extraterrestrial life—you might have ideas about signature characteristics of life, hints you might use to guide your hunt, but it’s still hard to anticipate what a new life-form might look like."

"'Karim has these amazing ideas that come out of nowhere, and June sort of has this beautiful vision of how math should go,' Katz said. 'It’s often hard to incorporate Karim’s ideas into June’s vision, and maybe some of what I do is talk to Karim and translate his ideas into something closer to math.'"

Posted on Tuesday, July 4, 2017 at 07:20AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

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