Maths has been in my life in many forms over the years, throughout primary school, high school, leisure, and university. This project has brought together the best parts of maths throughout my life, resulting in an enjoyable and inspirational experience. It managed to be interesting, useful, challenging, and social all at the same time.
While I was growing up, I enjoyed brain teasers, riddles and solving logic problems. From the initial feelings of curiosity, to stumbling around with various approaches, even when an approach did not lead to a solution, it still helped me get a feel for a problem, patterns would start to emerge, it started to become easier and easier to manipulate the problem. The feeling when everything finally clicked together, when suddenly everything you had been doing made sense, was the greatest feeling.
This feeling of excitement and connection to maths started to diminish during high school, I do not know if this were just due to me, being a high school student, with priorities outside of maths, or if the maths I was doing had just changed, either way maths did not feel like problem solving, but more as just calculations, where you just had to practice following the method, and it would bring you to the answer. This is not to say that was always easy, it was not, but it felt routine.
That changed when I started to find a use for maths outside of school. Games were where I found a place for maths, as I was looking for ways to improve competitively. I found maths again, I started to use basic data analysis as well as game theory. Game theory is super intriguing to me, the idea that you could come up with a strategy that would work no matter what the opponent did, there were no mind games involved, it was just maths.
University was a place where my mathematical curiosity could flourish, the coursework kept raising questions, and I started to enjoy learning about the answers outside of class. I was also surrounded by people who loved maths, their enthusiasm always showed, and heightened my motivation.
This project encompassed the best parts of all my experience with maths. It brought about my curiosity, as when I would solve problems when growing up, it had a purpose, as when I was using maths to help with games, and I was surrounded by many of the most enthusiastic mathematicians I had ever seen in my life, as at university. It never felt routine, at every step of the way I was intrigued, I always had to think of the next direction. Even though I found some answers, everything I did raised more questions, and I am looking forward to searching for solutions.