Posted by: Alexandre Borovik | August 10, 2009

Making visualisation and images

A childhood story from EH:

Maths came easily to me until A-level, so I have no recollection
of any issues. After GCSE a teacher did tell my parents that I should
rethink my ambition to do a maths degree as I would soon hit my
ceiling.  He was partly right. I struggled for ages with the language
of differentiation until I got the visual picture. Since then maths has
been hard work to understand, though I usually get through with
enough work.  Making visualisations and images really helps me.
Around the same time (GCSE) I came across the Penrose tiling
for the first time and was fascinated. I remember working for ages
trying to find a version with seven fold rotational symmetry rather
than five. I drew lots of pictures, but did not get anything to work.
I am now a mathematician, having done my PhD on the Penrose
and related tilings. And the problem? I eventually solved it (and the
general case) and it became my second published paper.
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