Hi there. I want to talk about something that I think it is worth thinking about. I could have written something about this a while back. As of late, I had the feeling of putting this out there.
I want to make it clear that in general people with a good math background are bright, highly technical, logical and specialized people. However there are a few math people who are not great people. It is based more on their bad behaviour (i.e. arrogance) or bad teaching.
The contents from this post can be transferred to other non math-subjects.
- Smart But Can't Teach
- Some Slip Through The Cracks
- Good At Math But Bad Personality
Smart But Can't Teach
There is a difference between learning a subject and then teaching a subject. Learning a subject is very individualistic in nature since it is you vs the subject. With teaching a subject, knowledge and skill has already been acquired and effective communication is required to transfer the knowledge from the teacher to the student.
Everyone has a different learning style (in math) as we have different mindsets, ways of thinking and personalities. One should be mindful of the idea that your learning style may not be the best learning style for the student(s). A good teacher would have a variety of teaching methods which would cater to a wide variety of students. (Improvisation is an asset here too.)
Some Slip Through The Cracks
There are high expectations of math majors when it comes to numbers, algebra, math proofs, logical thinking and maybe computer programming. Unfortunately, there are math majors (or degree holders) whose thinking is not great, the algebra skills are not up to par and so on. Reasons for not so great math majors can be considered forgivable such as forgetfullness (natural and through accidents), bad teachers, not being taught in certain math subfields or topics. Bad math majors from cheating, cramming, lack of effort, easy grading, or doing just enough to pass ruin the image of math majors being smart.
In general, a good and prestigious university should have good programs where there are high requirements for entry and high minimum passing grades to stay in the program. Be mindful and be careful of bad teachers and bad subject departments in good universities.
Good At Math But Bad Personality
This section is similar to the Smart But Can't Teach section. Math majors in general are seen as smart. Being smart and intelligent is nice in general but it is not everything as we humans are multi-dimensional human beings. What makes the person is more than IQ, intelligence and skills. Personality and EQ are also factors in a person's character.
I have once met a younger math major a while back. She seemed friendly, outgoing and a bit too bubbly or something. Over time, I sensed that this girl was a bit psycho, her charm seemed forced and fake and she was loud and opinionated on various topics. For a math major, she did not seem poised and acted a bit ditzy. I have heard that she was not that organized with the time management and she favoured the graph theory section of math and hated probability and statistics. The point of this story is to be careful and not idealize people too early.