Math Makes Life Beautiful

» — originally shared here on

I’ve been quite fascinated with math lately (see my video recommendation below about Bézier curves), but one concept in general that is very intriguing is the overall language of math.

For decades now, I’ve been looking at math as more of a “how can I use this tool” mindset. Pythagorean theorem? Fibonacci sequences? Euclidean coordinated? Sure, whatever, I’ll learn that stuff and use it in order to get something done that matters.

But something that has occurred to me only recently is that some of the bigger concepts that connect us to the universe, like how to travel throughout our solar system and how to capture and sequester carbon, are only possible to understand when you can speak the math.

It’s a damn shame how many people don’t consider themselves “a math person” because they didn’t have someone explain this to them at some point early in their life.

Hannah Fry explains the Gale-Shapley matching algorithm, which essentially proves that “If you put yourself out there, start at the top of the list, and work your way down, you’ll always end up with the best possible person who’ll have you. If you sit around and wait for people to talk to you, you’ll end up with the least bad person who approaches you. Regardless of the type of relationship you’re after, it pays to take the initiative.”

The math may be complicated, but the principle isn’t. Your chances of ending up with what you want — say, the guy with the amazing smile or that lab director job in California — dramatically increase if you make the first move. Fry says, “aim high, and aim frequently. The math says so.” Why argue with that?

This is a really cool concept. I’m gonna start taking more shots in life because, hey, why argue with the math?