First Post: Why Blog

This blog primarily exists for two reasons:

  • I want to share my joy in math and science in an accessible way. Both require a great deal of technical background to really understand…but I think that we as mathematicians and scientists should put greater effort into making our passions as comprehensible as possible. I mean, we are funded largely because the human race wants to know things—in a sense, we’re the Coyote Petersons of the unseen universe (he gets attacked by various animals and insects, we have to try to explain why we should get money to drink coffee and stick electrodes in rat brains…), so we owe it to other humans to document our findings in both formal and digestible ways. I’ve been introduced to a lot of concepts that would have made wayyy more sense if explained well the first time (although to be fair, a lot of stuff is just weird, and it simply won’t make sense at first. I’m looking at you, Tribal Tech).
  • Secondly, teaching helps me to learn and internalize, and a blog is a great way for me to consolidate my thoughts. Hopefully, this can benefit more than me, but if not, oh well. You’ll get to discover some awesome science, music, and coffee, so yeah, that’ll be nice.

A caveat—I’m new to this stuff. By “stuff”, I mean pretty much everything. I’m young and learning. So your feedback is appreciated—hopefully, we’ll all learn something in the process.


Food: This week, I made pork barbacoa tacos with cilantro cabbage slaw, classic salsa, and blueberry lime-infused water.


Add yours →

  1. Hey Michael!

    Not sure if you remember a Zach Hopkins from high school, or maybe junior high (I did drop out quite early in H.S.) but that would be me! It’s actually quite a twist of fate I stumbled across this. The past few months I’ve been considering switching my major to electrical engineering. Today I investigated it more and noticed it required some calculus and a couple physics courses…suddenly I remembered you explaining a physics concept to me back in grade school…why I remember this I don’t know, I don’t even remember the concept. But then I looked you up on Facebook and laughed when I saw the computer/electrical engineering tag on your profile. I’m currently an Information Systems major and find the material I’ve been studying not nearly challenging enough. Of course even going into the major, a small part of me knew this and took the easy route anyways. I certainly lack your (seemingly) inherent discipline, but as I’ve progressed through the major I keep coming back to a nagging regret of not challenging myself with Computer or Electrical Engineering.

    I recently started to work on my vehicle in order to challenge myself with more sensory driven tasks that I’ve always struggled with (apparently my psychological disposition is just to enjoy thinking about things and not ever feel any need to apply them). I seriously just recently learned to fold clothes…I’ve avoided things I considered to be mundane my whole life in this fashion.

    Anyways, as I’ve grown older and, hopefully, a little wiser, I find myself wanting to challenge myself more.

    Alright life story over lol. My question to you is, what was it that drove you to the Engineering fields, and how did you like it? How was the coursework? I’m just trying to get a better idea of whether it’s something I’ll be consistently engaged in, and figured you would be a good source! Plus I thought it would be fun to say hi and congratulate you on all the progress you’re making through your life!

    As a side note, these blogs are great. It’s a shame you’ve become inactive with them, you’re clearly a strong writer and you do a really good job of relating them to more familiar examples to make the topics seem far less daunting then they appear.

    Keep it up! If you return to blogging you got a reader!


    • Zach,

      Of course I remember you! So glad to see someone benefit from reading my blog. I’ve primarily been inactive because this has been my first year of my math PhD program, and it’s been absolutely kicking my butt.

      I would love to try to answer some of your questions, but I think that this conversation is better suited to a video call. I’ll send my skype to your email, and hopefully we can find a good time to talk.



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