Sunday, September 13, 2015

Alex At NNV Math Club - Precision And Concision



Song:  New Math

Artist:  Tom Lehrer



This was the first day back for the NNV Math Club
(The summer session was put on by some of the members until 
the first day back of the official NNV Math Club).

The above video was played by one of the students for us
(he had brought his laptop).

It is a parody of the craziness of New Math (Common Core).
(Tom Lehrer was a University Professor of Mathematics).

This actually plays into what happens later.



Today was the first day back for the regular NNV Math Club.
They met in a temporary location today.

Each member was given many problems to solve.


After they had completed the problems...
Alex and another team member were called up to the board to write
a mathematical proof on problem 2.51.


The young man on the right had decided to write out a proof in the classical style...
as someone who would do it in a classroom...
where they would have to show each step of the mental process.

(The young man on the right is brilliant...
and could have written it like Alex had.
However, he had wanted to spoof the proof 
as was similar in the above spoof video).



Alex writing out his mathematical proof.


The young man was writing out his spoof proof.



Alex had completed his and was double checking it.


The young man would work on his for many minutes more.


After Alex had completed a last check of his mathematical proof...
he then sat down.


This is the way mathematical proofs are normally done in mathematical competitions.
As the events are timed...it is not only precision...but concision that is important

(a mathematical proof shows how a math problem must be true logically).

This way is more an exercise in classical logic...


whereas this is more an exercise in symbolic logic.

Proving problems in a beginner's classical manner takes too long...
and so, when logically proved in plain English (Alex's way)...
the proof takes on a simple elegance
(as the young man had explained during his explanation of his proof).


The young man explained his mathematical proof.


Then Alex got up and explained his mathematical proof.





Now...
I am going to put in some photos of a meal out Alex, his grandmother, and I, had eaten
the night before.

This plays into this article as you will soon see.


We started out with our normal appetizer
(Korean seafood pancake).



Alex then ate a plate of Chicken Katsu.



My mother had grilled mackerel.


Now...
what I had here was the third time I had ordered one...
one for each of the last times we had visited.

When I had first seen this meal
(Stone Bowl Bulgogi Bim Bap)...
I had greatly admired the efficiency of it.

It comes in a heated stone bowl...
and so, each bite stays sizzling hot
throughout the whole of its consumption.

Everything is there before you
(the rice is below the other items)...
and you may take...
in one bite...
the items you wish...
in the proportion that you wish...
and it may be controlled by the placement and depth with which you probe with the chopsticks.

The first time I had eaten it...
I went crazy and mixed everything together...
and so, all I had to do every so often
was to stir the meal to ensure each bite was pipping hot...
for a truly efficient meal...
no time or motion wasted.

However...
as eating a meal is not a math contest...
and pure precision and concision...
and therefore, efficiency...
was not a concern...
I had eaten it in a more conventional style 
the last two times I had this order  :)


Still, I can't help but admire such a dish.

It is the same as with almost everything...
pare everything down until it is an example of elegant simplicity.

Each item should only be there if it adds to the quality.
Everything else should be taken out.


It is what makes all of the arts so beautiful...
whether it be painting, sculpture, dancing, music...
even architecture.

Elegant simplicity is the art of...
Precision and Concision.









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