||[Apr. 18th, 2007|11:37 am]
I really like my nerdy math teacher. He peppers his talks with encouraging examples from real life mathmaticians. Apparently, there was an engineer with NASA who forgot to convert measurements from English to metric and caused a satellite to crash into a planet. This cost NASA millions. This should make me feel less like a loser for forgetting to add a negative sign.
He also told us stories of redemption. In 1992 or so, Andrew Wiles provided a HUGE proof for a great mathmaticians famous last theorem. He forgot a few things. Which left a few holes that were readily poked by fellow math nuts at some sort of theorem-proving hootennany. He was thoroughly embarrassed, yet looked through every single line, came back the next year and BAM! A theorem was proved.
We also talked about fun things like Venn Diagrams and how they are applied outside of math. He's given me hope.
Math and I are becoming friends. Slowly...Sweetly...
2007-04-18 08:08 pm (UTC)
I know a guy...
Allegedly, the real problem with the Mars crash was a sad sort of Democracy.
There were three computers:
one measured in inches, yards, and miles;
one measured in centimeters, meters, and kilometers;
and the last one measured in centimeters, decimeters, and meters.
When all three returned their numbers, the one in inches, yards, and miles and the one in centimeters, meters, and kilometers had data that was the most similar, so the other metric measurement was tossed to the side as the minority report.
Mwahahaa! Leave it to you to know a guy. I love your big brain and your big contacts. Wow. So it was more complicated than one guy's bad input? Interesting...