Mathsing Hard

I’m a freelance artist and educator which basically translates as me being a brain prostitute with creative tendencies. I hire out my brain by the hour and impart information to others and sometimes this includes tutoring in stuff that others daren’t have in their brain. Sometimes this is photography and psychology, other times it’s essays and English, sometimes it’s physics in Welsh. Today’s it’s statistics and Poisson distribution.

Some stuff sticks in my brain really easily but other stuff is harder to pin down. Most maths is firmly in there. I’m happy with Mechanics and Pure Maths* but Statistics is one of those things that is easy to slip out of my brain. I’m tutoring it then I have to spend a while rehearsing and relearning to get my brain back up to speed. I’d rather be playing with glue and doing art but that isn’t an option today. I’d rather be delivering photography workshops and empowering people but that’s going to have to wait until tomorrow.

This stuff doesn’t learn itself and I have to know the full philosophy behind why the Poisson Distribution works and why it is relevant. I need to work out when to choose this and when a simple Binomial approximation will do.  It’s not just numbers and language; it’s form and reasoning. Today I’m mathsing and I’m mathsing hard.


*I hold a joint honours bachelors degree in Pure and Applied Maths. It’s an extra string to my bow alongside the 1st class honors in Photography in the Arts


2 thoughts on “Mathsing Hard

  1. I am interested that you have dual degrees in Maths and Fine Art Photography. My high school subject area was science based rather than arts, but my college education was in art and design. I have however retained an active interest in science. and in recent years I have read a number of books about the frontiers of science, much of which is Maths based, or out at the far reaches of Maths. I am finding that some areas, particularly those in the Quantum mathematics and physics areas, are fascinating, dealing as they do with the need to use imagination creatively in order to begin to grasp what is happening there. While there still exists a huge gulf between ‘Art’ and ‘Science/Maths’, at least in many peoples’ minds, I suspect that the gulf will narrow as more people start to discover the nature of the digital world and its impact on creativity and all aspects of daily life. We might, perhaps, be at a point in history and intellectual development where there will be convergence, and that what we see, hear, learn and do will not have to be divided into such discrete categories, and we will be able to use and appreciate the word ‘knowledge’ rather than being corralled into ever tighter definitions of who we are and what we do – definitions that are, at best, rather pointless!

    • It was the done thing to have degrees in sciences and arts up until the early 20th Century. Lewis Caroll had a maths degree as well as an arts degree for example. I often consider scientific methods in my art and vice versa. Since the whole of life, the universe, and everything is down to a philosophical viewpoint then I reckon everything is connected. I pity those artists who limit their thinking to that of other artists. It’s great to know that there are other kindred spirits like you out there Richard 🙂

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