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sean
07-12-2002, 07:06 PM
Here's the situation, and I'll apologize right now because I have a tendency to write a lot, even though I consider myself to be quite brief... there I go already. After High School and serving a mission for my church and everything, I'd like to go to BYU (Utah) and eventually get a BS (the degree, not the big pile of doo-doo), a masters, and a PhD in Mathematics. I was at their post-graduate studies web-site today, and saw an interesting requirement. I'd have to learn 2 of the following: Italian, French, German, Russian. (Ialso figure that this placed next to 5 years of Spanish on a resumé, would look really good). I plan on actually learning all four of them, don't ask why, I don't know why I do half the things I do, but I think I should learn them in a certain sequence, so that I'm more likely to have the important ones done first, as the reason for this requirement is that these are the most common languages in the mathematical world. I've decided to definitely do French first, as French was almost what English is today, and it's considered to be some long name... like the second language of the Baccalaureate Society or something.... I don't know - but I'm doing that first, and I want your opionon on the others. Which one do you consider to be the most used (in Mathematics) of these three?

Dissata
07-12-2002, 11:47 PM
umm. mathematics are a universal language. there are some greek symbols used though. . .

french used to be the diplomatic language of europe.

the other three are just were, in the past, the greater mathmatition's(sp?) language

Dissata
07-12-2002, 11:55 PM
okay the last part of my post made no sense.

heres an example, you go to school where ever. you get you phd. your working for whoever, and you need to team up with some of the worlds greatest math minds. they were, in the past italian, german, russian, and english speaking, with french being the former diplomatic language of europe, so kind of a I don't understand your language but a I know french, so we can still comunicate deal.

fyodor
07-13-2002, 03:16 AM
Oh no...Another poor lost soul is going to BYU. It's not worth it. No matter what price you're getting. I sat in there in a few courses, and it is not the place you want to go when you're below 60. Social activities (read: parties with a lot of illegal substances, alcohol, and "unhibited" girls) are nonexistent. From what I can tell, BYU is worse than Harvey Mudd, and Mudd is a place where pocket protectors reign supreme (j/k). Who knows, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe there is a crazy party scene, hidden from outsiders by wild mormons.



they were, in the past italian, german, russian, and english speaking,

Italian and Russian? There were many more brilliant French mathematicians than Italian or Russian, or even English for that matter. Apparently you have never come across the names Laplace, Lagrange, Cauchy, Descartes, Pascal, Galois, Fourier, etc in your mathematical studies? Poincare? I'd say it would be a close call between France and Germany in the mathematics department. Possibly even Hungary.

Shiro
07-13-2002, 03:36 AM
At university, most of my math books were in English and a few in German. Probably because most people in the Netherlands master those languages very well. France is the country of Europe's most famous mathematicians whose math we still use, Fyodor summed up some of them.

I don't think there is a natural language which is typical for mathematicians since a lot of countries contributed to mathematics. English is the language which most people in Europe use to communicate with people from other countries, but one of Europe's greatest mathematicians is from Hungary, Paul Erdos. Also outside Europe there were great mathematicians, just think about the mathematicians from India, for example Srinivasa Ramanujan.

Most papers, also from Russians, German and Italian, are written in English and communications is also done a lot in English. So I think, you should choose the language which interests you most.

DavidP
07-13-2002, 10:46 AM
Social activities (read: parties with a lot of illegal substances, alcohol, and "unhibited" girls) are nonexistent. From what I can tell, BYU is worse than Harvey Mudd, and Mudd is a place where pocket protectors reign supreme (j/k). Who knows, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe there is a crazy party scene, hidden from outsiders by wild mormons.


Hey! dont insult us Mormons. I am a Mormon too, and I am going to go to BYU when I graduate. BYU is an awesome school. So there is not any beer and naked chics are partie...who cares...that stuff doesnt make u happy in life. BYU is an excellent school with excellent professors and several fun activities to do. I have been there several times and I love the environment there. It is one of the best places I have ever been to. So dont even go around insultin mormons around here boy...

fyodor
07-13-2002, 05:00 PM
but one of Europe's greatest mathematicians is from Hungary, Paul Erdos

Not to mention one of the fathers of CS, John Von Neumann. Did you read that book about Erdos, "The man who loved only numbers?" I would have liked to hear him lecture once. All the great mathematicians are dying off. Today, math is too specialized. In the last 80 years or so, there has been such an explosion that no single guy can be a "universal genius." There hasnt been someone who can understand it all (or most of it) since the turn of the century.

Shiro
07-14-2002, 02:49 AM
>Not to mention one of the fathers of CS, John Von Neumann.

And Norbert Wiener, an American mathematician, who also contributed a lot to information. He could read when he was three and before he got ten, he read about physics, chemistry and was taught algebra, geometry and latin by his father.

http://www.digitalcentury.com/encyclo/update/wiener.html

>Did you read that book about Erdos, "The man who loved only
numbers?"

Yes, it's a wonderful book.

>All the great mathematicians are dying off. Today, math is too >specialized.

That doesn't mean that there aren't great mathematicians today, they're just highly specialized, they are great in their field of mathematics. I've read some other biographies, one of them was about Leonhard Euler, a Swiss, an amazing man. He wrote about almost all mathematical, physical and technical topics. He has also written an article about music theory. Today it is impossible to be an universal scientist like he was. Even when he got blind, he went on publishing by telling the oldest of his children what to write.

nvoigt
07-14-2002, 04:27 AM
Italian

really good for getting girls :p

Russian

nice if you hire foreigners, after all half of europe and all of the soviet union had to learn russian as their first foreign language.

German

want to sound like a square jawed robot ? Want to read philosophy or poetry ? Then it's a must.

"The Frenchmen and Russians possess the land,
The British possess the sea,
But we have over the airy realm of dreams
Command indisputably."

-Heinrich Heine

"While we Germans torment ourselves with solving philosophical questions, the English with their practical intelligence laugh at us and conquer the world."

-Goethe



However, for math I guess any language will do, as math definitions are pretty straight and aren't that much hindered by translational faults.

fyodor
07-14-2002, 02:50 PM
Italian
really good for getting girls

So is French. Over my last five years in French (7th-11th), if you add the size of each class together, out of some 150 people, there have been exactly 14 guys.




"While we Germans torment ourselves with solving philosophical questions, the English with their practical intelligence laugh at us and conquer the world."

Except they don't solve the philosophical questions. They just write really long books about them:) Seriously, though, my dad studied philosophy in college and he said that he knew some German students that were forced to learn English by their philosophy teacher in Germany so they could read the English translations of German authors.



Russian

nice if you hire foreigners, after all half of europe and all of the soviet union had to learn russian as their first foreign language.

For some reason, I doubt that the Ukrainians are exactly eager to speak Russian. Maybe something having to do with planned famines.

Fyodorox
07-14-2002, 09:00 PM
First of all....don't confuse me with Fyodor. No offense to him, but what a strange similarity in names...

Anyway, as a "former" Mormon who did serve a mission, I respect your ability to commit to 2 years of your life to serving God in a way that you believe to be right. Bravo!

As for languages, I have been in Europe a few times and my wife is European. The universal language of Europe is German. Although most Europeans speak English, they learn German before that so this would be your most beneficial move.

novacain
07-14-2002, 11:06 PM
>>So there is not any beer and naked chics are partie...who cares...that stuff doesnt make u happy in life.

Blasphemer!!

I won't make fun of your holy festivals if you don't make fun of mine.........

sean
07-15-2002, 08:59 AM
Well fyodor, you have a good point there. There really are some wierdos out there. Why the heck would anyone not want to marry a slut? Why on Earth would anyone not want to go and get drunk, ruin their life, and then have wasted a bunch of money on college for nothing. Yeah - there's some real nuts out there... *cough* you *cough*

Well I'm learning French first regardless of the poll results because, like Dissata said, it was almost what English is today (Je parle Francais!), and then it's still a toss up between Italian and German (and there appears to be some speculation as to why they're making us do this - according to them it's because their are a ton of papers written in all sorts of different languages that need translating and stuff. It's just because those are the languages most mathematicians are coming from. I'm just surprized Spanish wasn't on there - it covers most of Central and South America and also part of Europe - Not to mention almost all of the Southwestern U.S.

Unregistered
07-15-2002, 09:39 AM
I would suggest German as the next one. From what I noticed although there is some translation a majority of works from Germany is not translated. I.e. in europe Germany is the only one that I can see that forces translation into german for almost everything (all movies etc.) whilst other nations have subtitles. (for all movies except for harry potter though....) German also is a bit easier to learn than russian and italian (in my humble opinion).

sean
07-15-2002, 10:35 AM
Well the translation I'd be doing would be Doctoral Theses and Paper on Mathematics. My family lived in South Africa for 17 years, so they all speak Aafrikaans, which is a cross between German and Dutch, but if you start speaking Aafrikaans is Germany they understand you - so maybe I'll be able to hear what the rest of my family is saying when I can't understand them! There's also the case for Italian - Italian would actually be easier for me to learn because there's several people I know who speak Italian and who have actually lived in Italy - so I'm still deciding between those. But Russian - I might actually leave that until College itself and take it as a class, because that'll definately be harder. It's a completely different alphabet, all 32 letters look like an h, and there won't be a whoel lot of cognates.

Shiro
07-15-2002, 11:12 AM
>Although most Europeans speak English, they learn German
>before that so this would be your most beneficial move.

That counts for some countries. In the Netherlands, children start learning English and German at same time. English because it is the main language in the world and German since it is the language of our neighbour country.

But I wonder if the French learn many other languages. I've been there several times, in the cities the French speak English quite well, they don't speak (or don't want to speak) German. But on the countryside, people only seem to speak French. Only the younger people know some English.

>but if you start speaking Aafrikaans is Germany they understand you

A prof of mine on university was from South Africa, Afrikaans sounds and looks a lot like Dutch. He regularly spoke Afrikaans and it was easy to understand, he also showed us an online newspaper.

www.beeld.com

Russian is sure harder to learn. Though it might be interesting to learn Russian, since this huge country is getting more and more important in science, technology and economics. Especially for Europeans it is getting important in economics.

Unregistered
07-15-2002, 12:57 PM
Russia Rules in Mathematics & Space technologists.

You don't want to accept that because they're communists.

rahaydenuk
07-15-2002, 01:02 PM
Deutsch wäre meine Empfehlung.

Many of the World's greatest mathematicians were Deutsch.

Regards,

sean
07-15-2002, 01:39 PM
First of all Unregsistered, my parents have spent 27 years trying to get their kids out of socialist countries, so don't get me started on communism, and I never said they weren't leaders in Mathemtics, I just said I wasn't going to take priority to learn a new alphabet so some communist can understand what I'm saying for free.

sean
07-15-2002, 01:41 PM
And I do believe Russia STILL hasn't landed on the moon.

Unregistered
07-15-2002, 06:39 PM
Russia didn't have money to land.

Nasa accepts that Russian Space Research is better than
theirs.

Russia has the best Space Station program (america
took its help to send some of its pals into it)

And landing on the moon is just one thing of the
whole space research program..

"For the rich and prosperous, it is unacceptable
and quiet impossible to conceive and comprehend,
that there can be other cultures, civilizations,
people, works, nations, doctrines, religions that
are far greater than theirs!"

Oh, by the way... I am not communist..
I am against communists.. but I do appreciate quality.

Just trying to tell you that some people are too
blind to accept the truth.

sean
07-16-2002, 02:29 PM
Alright - here's the deal - I already told you I have no patience for communism, so if you're not going to answer my question, you can take all the rest of your replies, and put them where the Sun doesn't shine, and I don't mean Siberia.

salvelinus
07-16-2002, 03:18 PM
"While we Germans torment ourselves with solving philosophical questions, the English with their practical intelligence laugh at us and conquer the world."

-Goethe

Well, it's not like they didn't try...
And they do make good beer.

Unregistered
07-16-2002, 06:49 PM
If you ..........ing don't have patience for communism, it doesn't
mean you should be too blind to accept that the russians
are good in Space Research.

You're too idiotic to learn to appreciate. So .......... your replies too!

novacain
07-16-2002, 08:21 PM
>>Alright - here's the deal - I already told you I have no patience for communism, so if you're not going to answer my question, you can take all the rest of your replies, and put them where the Sun doesn't shine, and I don't mean Siberia.

For a religious person you have very little tolerance. Such a closed mind. I believe it is due to your immaturity. I hope you grow up more understanding.

Hey, I could pick on you for believing that some guy called J Smith was given a book in the New York hills by a ghost, Moroni, who left/wrote it there by a after the Nephites war with the Lamanites in 400AD. This of course, makes Native American Indians jewish!


Russia, AFAIK is not a communist country anymore.


"Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate. " Thomas Jones

Shiro
07-17-2002, 10:09 AM
>Russia Rules in Mathematics & Space technologists. You don't
>want to accept that because they're communists.

Huh? As far as I know, I haven't said anything about not accepting the role of Russia in science.

>Russia, AFAIK is not a communist country anymore.

Officially it isn't. But you can't change a nation from one day on the other, it will take several generations before a nation is switched off from those ideas. People in the communistic countries have lived for many decades with a communistic system, for them that is the normal situation.

sean
07-17-2002, 10:23 AM
Exactly - I don't believe anyone even mentioned anything to do with politics before you came online. Are you just having a bad day because it's that time of the month?

Troll_King
07-17-2002, 10:27 AM
Originally posted by Unregistered
If you ..........ing don't have patience for communism, it doesn't
mean you should be too blind to accept that the russians
are good in Space Research.

You're too idiotic to learn to appreciate. So .......... your replies too!

I'm a Canadian and I appreciate the Russian space program. I think that it was very competitve with the American program and in some areas it was leading edge. The Russian astronauts were able to spend longer amounts of time in orbit. They could survive longer.

As far as Communism goes, if you follow history, it was perpetuated by the Cold War as well as civil revolutions, but that is another story.