Facing a wall of questions (Math Immersion Month Day 7)

Today I gathered up my math questions and stuck them on my living room wall – now dubbed the Wall of Questions! I wrote a bit about the idea on my blog post for day 1.

Wall of Questions

I’m not worried about answering these questions just yet. (Besides, I’ve already half-answered a few of them). The point is just to keep track of them (and decorate the walls of my livingroom). Questions written down so far:

Wall of Math Questions 12-07-15

  • What is math?
  • What is a mathematical proof?
  • Why do people hate math?
  • What is the most basic concept in mathematics?
  • What is a number, really?
  • Does logic underpin math or does math underpin logic?
  • How did math arise in the human brain?
  • What are the main branches in mathematics?
  • Which addition algorithm is the fastest – on paper, in your head?
  • What was the first proof in history?
  • Which came first: math or language?
  • What are the most efficient subtraction algorithms?
  • Why is addition easier than subtraction?
  • What is a logarithm?
  • Which is faster: decimal or binary arithmetic?
  • At what age do we typically understand place value?
  • What exactly is Godel’s incompleteness theorem?
  • What’s the difference between a theorem, a proof and an axiom?
  • How does an adding machine work?
  • How does a digital adder work?
  • What topics are included in pre-algebra; what else should I relearn?
  • Why did it take so long for integers to become accepted?
  • How can you measure or compare the efficiency of mental math algorithms? What is an algorithm exactly? How’s it different from a formula or a routine?
  • Are new types of new types of numbers still being invented?
  • What are the different philosophies in math?
  • What is set theory?
  • What is category theory?
  • How do mathematicians define math?
  • What does it feel like to do math research?
  • Do all human cultures have numbers?
  • What is recreational math and how can I try it/enjoy it?
  • Why is it so hard to remember my multiplication tables?
  • How do you do long division? Do I remember it?
  • How do computers add and subtract (and do other calculations)?

Time breakdown

  • Video production time: 1 hour 27 min
    • Script writing/preparation: 3 min
    • Filming/setup: 24 min
    • Video editing: 45 min
    • Publishing: 15 min
  • Math study time: 39 min
    • Practice problems: none
    • General research: 39 min