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Question: What separates the good mathematicians from the so-so mathematicians?
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Asked by KhushiM to Paul on 26 Nov 2020.
answered on 26 Nov 2020:
I wasn’t good at Maths but I stuck with it and studied more at College and University. What I learnt I use in my job. If I didn’t have these skills I wouldn’t a job in engineeing, which I love.
Chris commented on 26 Nov 2020:
I think that it is not a good idea to make value judgements about who is a good mathematician and who is a so so mathematician. One mathematician can be very very good at one thing and not do anything else, whilst another can do lots of good stuff in a broad area. Who is better? The only real test I think is whether the mathematics that someone does is still as interesting, vibrant and useful 100 years after they did it as it was the day that they created it.
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Alan commented on 26 Nov 2020:
I came on to say patience, dedication, commitment, tenacity, intelligence, but have to bow to Prof. Budd’s answer!
Sophie commented on 26 Nov 2020:
Ooh tricky – I’d say a willingness to help others understand and enjoy maths.
Cesare Giulio commented on 26 Nov 2020:
Formally, there are metrics called h-index, citation score and so on… but they are increasingly being phased out, due to the recognition that in the end each individual, and each research project, is unique and deserves to be evaluated separately.
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