What actually worked

Things I would think would work:

  1. If I somehow miraculously became smarter overnight, mathematical concepts would become easier to understand. Numbers and equations would just materialize around me in the ether, or perhaps appear scrawled on nondescript windowpanes in my vicinity.
  2. If I understood unrelated fields of Mathematics, I would start understanding the “structure” of the whole thing.
  3. My current method of learning was the best way to learn Mathematics. If I stick with it for some time, fields that I did not understand before would somehow become crystal clear.
  4. If I understood lots of advanced Physics, then Mathematics would appear motivated and clear.

What actually worked:

  1. Keep at it. Keep thinking about the problem, ignoring everything else. If you start thinking about it early in the morning and don’t give up, something magical happens late at night, and the solution that you’ve been inching towards becomes clear all of a sudden.
  2. Understanding will happen eventually. Research and discovery must precede understanding.


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Graduate student

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