Posted by: Alexandre Borovik | September 17, 2022

How do I start studying mathematics from the beginning until I get the gold medal in the Mathematics Olympiad?

My answer to a question on Quora: How do I start studying mathematics from the beginning until I get the gold medal in the Mathematics Olympiad?

I know a number of my fellow mathematicians who won gold medals at the International Mathematical Olympiad ( I think you mean that Olympiad). I doubt that any of them got this medal after starting studying mathematics specifically with this aim. The only fruitful way to learn mathematics is because you are interested in mathematics, because you wish to understand mathematics, because you wish to learn to recognise that specific feeling of joy which comes from understanding mathematics.

I once met a young girl who told me that she loved mathematics because she felt that mathematics biought her closer to  the God. This is a good reason for studying mathematics, but it is essentially the same as the one just described by me, but expressed from a different viewpoint. But let us think a bit: does winning a gold medal brings you closer to the God? I doubt that. Medal is from people, not the God.


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