Before all the blogs about all the numbers, variables and equations, I would like to talk about the reason I learn math and the reason I take this particular class.
Born as a typical Chinese kid, I was put into Olympic math class (a kind of extremely advanced math class taught in Chinese primary, middle and high schools) on the first day I attended primary school, and since then, I have been playing with math for almost 12 years. I’ve always had a talent with numbers, but unfortunately, I’ve never been in love with numbers. Even now, I still cannot love math in the way I love politics, history and Model UN, but the math experience for almost a decade certainly has taught me a great deal, and it also makes me realize that math is vital for our lives and is an important skill that need to be acquired.
Math is not the way for us to understand this world, it is not the scientific or economic laws that help human progress in our path of civilization. On the other hand, however, without math, none of the theory or the laws can be established.
Mathematics is, eventually, a way to analyze or to solve the problems. If the establishment of a scientific law is the destination of the trip, and a pile of random raw data is on the other side of the trip, math would be the vehicle that brings the scientists from the chaos to clarity. We live in the world and the era of data and information, and math is the way to make those data make sense. Advanced math is also a shortcut that leads to solutions of problems. I recall a story: the famous mathematician Gauss and his classmates was once asked to add together all the numbers from 1 to 100; while other students just simply add one number to another and kept going, Gauss got the answer in less than 1 minute: he used the formula of the summation of arithmetic sequence. The idea of advanced math is to find shortcuts to the solutions of problems.
(Picture from http://www.cafepress.co.uk/+person_of_interest_pi_34_sleeve_tshirt_dark,913136367, aquote from Person of Interest about how information should be dealt with)
Differential equations is an advance mathematic course about ordinary differential equations, which are equations that include functions with single independent variables and their derivatives. It is a course strongly related to data analysis and mathematic modeling, which is essential in any fields that I am interested in, including business and economics. The applicable fields of ODE (ordinary differential equations) spans from medicine in terms of cancer modeling to chemistry, physics and engineering (http://ibmathsresources.com/2014/02/28/differential-equations-in-real-life/). The course is not as controversial or fun as other class like history or art, but it is certainly an extremely useful skill and a field that is worth knowing, and that is the reason I am going to do my best of learning it.