Archive for the ‘Mathematics’ Category

Good Will Hunting

June 19, 2011 Comments off

The other day I watched Matt Damon starring Good Will Hunting. The point I want to stress on is this dialogue from the movie:

“You’re gonna come up with the fact that there are two certainties in life.”

“One: Don’t do that.”

“And two: You dropped 150 grand on a fuckin’ could’ve got for $1.50 in late charges at the public library.”

This dialogue corresponds to a scene where a guy studying in Harvard tries to impresses a girl Damon’s friend was trying to hit on. He starts to quote some academic in mean time, Damon, who is a janitor in MIT, finishes the sentence. Astonished and humiliated the Harvard guy backs off.

These days it really is not important to attend any courses, provided you have a hunger for knowledge and broadband Internet connection. Then why should we attend the classes?

One thing for sure is that the classes are a platform to form human bonding. Nobody would like to talk to an intelligent robot all the time. The connection people form while working on some ideas is what drives each individual aspiration, making him to strive for more.

Another fact is that this guy,Matt Damon, is nut-cracker who solves combinatorial mathematics equations that a Field’s Medal professor challenged his students to.Not everybody can be like that.

Yet another truth is that nobody can survive in this world without a sufficient number of contacts. Preferably more professional than personal? Who can say which door opens the opportunity which is destined for you to do it? Something that your are passionate about?

Malcolm Gladwell has written a thought-provoking article called Six Degress of Weisberg. Here’s a small excerpt which I believe sums up the article

If the world really is held together by people like Lois Weisberg, in other words, how poor you are can be defined quite simply as how far you have to go to get to someone like her. Wendy Willrich and Helen Doria and all the countless other people in Lois’s circle needed to make only one phone call. They are well-off. The dropout wouldn’t even know where to start. That’s why he’s poor. Poverty is not deprivation. It is isolation.

You can also see this blog post based on the above piece of writing.

It is also a fact that not all classes that happen in the universities are stimulating, discussing ideas.Some are more of reading a textbook kind(definitely in India,spot-on in Karnataka). A really good class is where the lecture encourages the learning of unknown ideas, shed light on known beliefs and questions them.

Films like Good Will Hunting, A Beautiful Mind sometimes makes me feel regretful not studying Mathematics at the undergraduate level. I have a friend who can fulfill my desire when my time permits: Open Course Ware(OCW).

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