EdwardRyanTalatala Week 1
When you hear the term mathematics, what comes to mind?
I think of all the math classes I have taken, especially calculus. I think of equations I have used in my life, and how I have applied math to other classes, such as physics, biology, and chemistry. I think of people like Sir Isaac Newton and how he created calculus to help him understand the physics he was studying.
Do you consider yourself a mathematician? why or why not?
Yes, because I have used math my entire life and have applied math skills to other subjects that I have studied. While I have not made an impact in the math community, I think being able to understand math and apply it in the real world makes you a mathematician, at least in a very minor scale.
When you hear the term biology, what comes to mind?
I think of the study of life. I think of attempting to understand how organisms work physiologically. How organisms live in a cycle of producing and consuming in the circle of life. I think of how the main objective of life is to reproduce for the proliferation of their own species in competition with other species.
Do you consider yourself a biologist? why or why not?
Yes, because I have studied biology my entire life, and I chose it as my major for undergrad. Biology has made a major impact in my life because I want to become a doctor, so I have been required to learn an variety of subjects within the biology field, such as physiology, anatomy, plants, microorganisms, etc...
What did you find most interesting or provocative about the Stewart reading?
I liked how thought-provoking the reading was by shedding light on all the things in everyday life that requires math. I have felt this way about math for a long time, the fact that it is universal, but Stewart provided a myriad of examples of math being used in more ways than I originally thought. I reminded me of a quote I heard before (I cant remember from where) but gist of it was that math is the simplest science because all you need is a pencil and paper. You do not need to do experiments or work in a laboratory. It also reminds me of how we can see math everywhere in nature, such as the Fibonacci sequence and the golden rectangle throughout life.
What did you find most interesting or provocative about the Janovy reading?
On page 7, Janovy talks about the metamorphosis of thinking of biology as subject of "doing" to a subject of "being." It creates a paradigm shift of people's view of biology and being a biologist. I like the idea that studying biology can be more than just researching with humans as the center of the subject. Biology is the study of all life to gain an understanding of the world we live in. The more we learn about Earth and about life, the more we can understand human nature and where we belong on this planet.
What does it mean to be a biologist? Do you consider yourself a biologist? Why or why not?
Being a biologist means that we have to study all life, everything in nature from bacteria to plants to animals. We have to take into account how we all coexist on this planet and how everything has a role in each ecosystem. I still believe I am a biologist because I have studied biology throughout my education. Taking together all of my classes (human biology, microorganisms, plants, ecology) I can say that I relate to Janovy's concept to being a biologist.
What does it mean to be a mathematician? Do you consider yourself a mathematician? Why or why not?
Mathematicians are able to see the patterns throughout everyday life, how everything can be broken down to formulas, equations, models, and laws of the universe. I still believe I am a mathematician because of how I have applied math to other subjects in my life. However, my original view of math being applied to other subjects was extremely narrow compared to Stewart's ideas of math. Stewart opened my eyes to how math can be applied to literally everything if your look hard enough, which is more than just using math formulas in biology, physics, and chemistry.
What are the similarities and differences between the two readings?
Both readings focused on their respective subjects (math and biology) and expanded them to be applied to a much broader spectrum. The core concept of these readings were to allow the readers to think outside the box for what it means to be a mathematician or to be a biologist. They make these subjects to be very inclusive, so practically anyone can be scientists, even if its in a very minor sense. I think the difference between the two readings is that Steward is much more inclusive than Janovy. By this, I mean that Stewarts point about math being seen everywhere in everyday life makes math universal. Janovy focuses on the study of biology being essentially equal to being a naturalists.
Except for what is noted above, this individual journal entry was completed by me and not copied from another source.
Stewart, I. (2006) Letters to a Young Mathematician, New York, NY: Basic Books, pp. 1-10, 45-52.
Janovy, J. (1996) On Becoming a Biologist (2nd ed.), Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, pp. 1-33.