From being terrible at math to a quantum physicist – my journey

From being terrible at math to a quantum physicist – my journey

Hi everyone my name is Mithuna and I’m a third year PhD student studying quantum physics at the University of Cambridge. In this video I just wanted to explain how I got here
since what I started off in high school I really wasn’t into science. In fact I
quite liked art. I mean you probably can’t tell from the quality of my illustrations
these days, but back then I wasn’t so bad, and I really enjoyed it and I also
really enjoyed English literature and learning a second language and basically
I really identified as a humanities student. So what changed and how on earth
did I get here eventually? So the big turnaround came for me when I
was 16 suddenly I understood what was going on in science class. Maybe it was
because I had a really great teacher at the time or maybe it was because we were learning some really cool topics at the time, but it made sense for the first
time. I realized that science was about coming up with basic laws that are
simple and yet can explain so much complex phenomena. So then after that I
picked up this popular science book which you might have heard of. It’s by
Bill Bryson and it’s called a Short History of Nearly Everything. I love that
book and I totally recommend it. When I finished that book I have this distinct
memory of closing it and thinking I’m gonna be a physicist. And yet it wasn’t
such an easy path. For one thing I was still absolutely terrible at maths. At
the age of 13 when we start high school we had taken a test that would show us
whether we were good at maths or not apparently, and then according to that we
would end up in different levels of maths class, and I was placed in one of
the lowest maths levels- in fact almost the lowest maths level -and I’d stayed
there for all these years. Suddenly I realized that if I wanted to be a
physicist I would have to do quite a lot of maths, so I decided that I would take
the highest level of maths that they offered at my school and I asked my
maths teacher at the time whether he thought I would be able to do it. He
laughed and walked away… but he couldn’t stop me and so I did it anyway -even
though my teacher the next year really really tried to persuade me to drop the
class. In my final year though I had a fantastic maths teacher and I finally
realized that actually a lot of the things that I liked about physics were
the same things that I could like about maths – that you can take simple rules
and use logic to be able to solve complicated problems. I still struggled a
bit with maths and so it wasn’t my very favourite subject. That was still
definitely physics. At this point I remember I often would skip having
lunch with my friends so I could go to the library and read physics textbooks. In my first year of university I did
physics and chemistry along with a second language and a maths course. The maths course that I picked though wasn’t the one meant for people who wanted to
become mathematicians, it was the one who meant for people who were interested in
engineering, let’s say. I decided to do that course because I was still not
feeling super confident about my mathematical abilities.
In that course we learned about linear algebra which is super beautiful- I love
that you can just visualize what’s going on. At the same time though I was
starting to feel more and more disillusioned with physics. Ironically
the final nail in that coffin was quantum mechanics in second year. Quantum mechanics was this course that I was super excited to do because it was meant
to be about like the strange laws that govern physics… and yet quantum mechanics class was mostly about solving this partial differential equation for
different boundary conditions. I’d come to physics because I thought that I’d
learned how to solve problems but instead I felt that I was just
learning how to use mathematical formulas. At that point I was feeling quite lost but I got very lucky because the next
semester I decided to take a course in abstract algebra for no other reason
then that it sounded similar to linear algebra, which I really enjoyed. This
course was meant for mathematicians and so in particular it was meant for people
who had taken the hard math courses the year before and in the semester before which I hadn’t, so I was completely unprepared. I took the course anyway and I
ended up loving it. This was the first time that I’d met
pure maths, and pure maths is all about taking axioms that describe a particular
type of system and then from those axioms driving lots of properties of
that system that aren’t obvious. It had a lot of these elements that are
really liked about physics but it was very very rigorous which was actually
quite a challenge for me, because up until this point I was a very intuitive
kind of person. Even in physics I would give very hand-wavy arguments for things
and I would just think that certain things are obviously true and because
it’s obvious to me but they’re true I wouldn’t need to show that they’re true.
Whereas maths is the complete opposite, and I really really did struggle because
of that culture clash. But it taught me so much and I after that was completely
hooked on the pure maths way of thinking and I decided to switch my focus from
physics to maths. The Bachelor of Science was very very flexible and so I did a
bunch of other subjects as well. I decided to take a course in information
theory because thermodynamics has this quantity called entropy in it and
information had this quantity called entropy in it and I was just wondering,
are they the same thing or not? So I did this class that was meant for computer
scientists I was the only not computer scientists in the class and it was so
cool -no matter what discipline you’re in I would recommend information theory. It
has such deep consequences for basically every other subject of human knowledge.
In my final year of undergraduate I took a course in functional
elseis which is basically the maths of quantum mechanics and it’s basically
linear algebra on steroids. I really loved that and so I had this crazy idea
that I would become a mathematical physicist who focuses on the maths of
quantum mechanics. So basically I would become a physicist just to have an
excuse to be able to do maths that applies to the ‘real world’. I’m so glad
that I didn’t end up there and the reason I didn’t end up there is because
of this channel. For some reason I made a couple of videos about quantum
mechanics. I made them about quantum mechanics, I
think, just because I thought well I understand quantum mechanics. I’ve been
doing all these courses on quantum mechanics, surely I could explain it. And
I loved explaining things so I just kind of made some videos. Those first two
videos were absolutely shocking and not just because of the quality …although
that is pretty hard to look at now, but also because of the content. See, I
decided that these videos wouldn’t have any maths in them because they were
meant for laypeople but when I have to take away the maths
I realized I didn’t understand quantum mechanics at all. Sure I knew how to
solve the Schrodinger equation and I knew what Hilbert space was but, when it
came down to what does quantum mechanics actually say about how the world works, I
had no idea. That’s why when I finished my undergraduate degree I took six
months off and started learning quantum mechanics. Like properly learning what it
meant and as I learnt things I made videos about them. Most of those videos
are now unlisted but I was actually really productive at the time I made it
like 20 videos or something. On this journey of learning quantum mechanics
from my bedroom I met Bell’s Theorem for the first time and started thinking
about the foundations of quantum mechanics and hidden variables and
bohmian mechanics and all kinds of crazy stuff like that and I just loved it so
much -and that’s when I realized this is what I want to do. I want to study
quantum mechanics but properly study quantum mechanics. Not as a mathematician trying to just manipulate symbols, but to actually
understand what was happening. That’s how I ended up doing a honours (which is sort
of like a one-year masters) in physics rather than maths and I had to pick a
subject to do my thesis in and I chose quantum computing (and information) -not that I knew anything about quantum computing but because it had the words quantum and
information which I already told you I was very interested in but also
computing which I’d learnt about in a course on logic and thought was super
fascinating as well, so I thought the combination of these must be cool. And
it turned out I was totally right. Quantum computing is a fascinating field. See
quantum computers are computers that use the spooky laws of quantum mechanics to do calculations faster than it should be possible for a classical computer to be
able to do them. When this was discovered people were really surprised because
there are many different ways to build a classical computer and yet they all end
up being equivalent -they can all solve the same class of problems to the same
sort of efficiency – and so it doesn’t really matter what kind of model you’re
looking at. And yet when you make this other model of computing using quantum
mechanics suddenly it does matter and the class of computations that you can
do is different and so this means that quantum mechanics obeys some
fundamentally different logic to regular classical mechanics. So there’s this big
open question in quantum computing which is why? What exactly is so special about
quantum mechanics? Exactly which part of quantum mechanics is allowing for the
speed up to happen? That was what I was interested in in my honours thesis. I
obviously didn’t solve it but I decided that I wanted to keep studying this
particular topic and that’s why I ended up on almost the literal other side of
the world, because my supervisor here in Cambridge is one of the people who’s
really interested in the question and has done a lot of work on it in the past and I wanted to work with him, so I applied and somehow ended up
here. So that’s my story of how I went from someone who thought that she was
terrible at maths and science and ended up as a quantum physicist. If I have any
moral or any advice at all it’s that I want you to be open-minded about the
kind of things that you could enjoy if you gave them a go, but also be open to
minded about what you could get good at with practice.
So thanks for watching this video this is the first time I’ve had my face on
these YouTube videos and I’m really nervous about the comments.. so please
don’t leave me anything too weird. My mom reads them. I’m just kidding she doesn’t
even watch my videos. Anyway you know what I mean. Also the video about Hilbert
space and Dirac notation and the maths of quantum mechanics- I’m writing it
right now and that means that it should be coming out soon which means that it
should be coming out within the next two months, probably. Hopefully sooner!

About the author


  1. If you think you're bad at something and you want to get better, I have a book recommendation for you. It's Peak by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool. It goes through the evidence for why peak performers are not necessarily the most naturally gifted, but the people who do the right type of practice. Then it talks about how you might do this yourself. (I kept recommending it in replies to people, so I thought I'd just pin it here.)

  2. I've watched your videos over the years and it has really helped me to see and understand some of the quantum mechanical equations. My unscientific personal conclusion about the physical nature of the universe at the quantum level is that equations (the act of human mental perceptional interpretation) point to the edge of our physical boundaries and take us into a realm of consciousness, which itself hasn't been scientifically explained to any satisfactory degree. I have come to realize that the construct of the universe is actually greater than our limited human perception of it–and that's what makes quantum physics so wondrous for me. Thank you for sharing a bit about yourself and of all the videos you've created.

  3. Madam,
    Please recommend more books like Noether's Wonderful theorem , to understand physics intuitively and good physics books and textbooks. thankyou.

  4. Hi! Thank you for your videos. If not mentioned already, can you please share which books you'd been reading regarding Quantum Physics especially during the 'transition' period that you mention? Thank you!
    Good luck with your thesis!

  5. I'm so happy for YouTube showing this video for me. I was so depressed because my quantum physics' test that I did and I sucked, beside studying a lot days before. I was thinking engineering is not for me because sometimes I'm very bad in math, but your video inspired me and gave me the strength to start again e to study harder. I love physics and math too, but I had the bad luck to have a poor learning basis here in Brazil, but this isn't a problem. Maybe I have to study two or three times more than a colleague, but this won't stop me to get mine bachelor in science and technology next year and later become a engineer. Thanks a lot and you got one subscription!

  6. Hello I'm doing my UG. I don't want to do this UG but I'm financially challenged which is the reason why I'm still continuing. It's barely been a year and in my free time I want to learn more about space and physics. Any recommendation of concepts,books or videos,exams I need to learn as a beginner ?
    Please need your thoughts..

  7. Hi, firstly, really nice video! really happy to discover this kind of story, which is very inspiring.
    I am a french student in an engineering school, and I hesitated a lot to make research in quantum physics or to keep doing engineering studies. Finally I kept doing engineering studies, because I knew I wasn't good enough in mathematics and I wouldn't do it all my life long. But during my studies, I kept taking online courses of quantum physics, and I really enjoy spending time thinking about the construction of main ideas and of mathematics. Well now I am still having these courses, I don't have any regret but I keep thinking about where I would be now if I had chosen a research school.

  8. Wow! You got an advanced degree from Cambridge???  Bravo! Please post some stories about life at Cambridge. After watching this video I recommend you should consider focusing on your artistic side. You are really good at explaining things (you are a great teacher!). You should consider a job in media such as a science correspondent. To be honest, Looking Glass Universe would be a good show on the Discovery Channel.

  9. I did my B.Sc.(Physics) in way back 1976.
    Now I'm 63 years old and again started learning relativity and quantum mechanics.
    It's fun !
    Thanks ma'am for your very inspiring speech…👍👌

  10. Really inspiring story. When I was 16 I hated science and Mathematics because of bad teachers. But fell in love with physics and started studying seriously after reading "Science matters" by Robert Hazen and James Trefil at 19. Next year starting my undergraduate studies

  11. great story and you're a joy to listen to/watch. I hope you'll continue to share your can-do attitude and enthusiasm and inspire others. best of success to you.

  12. Hey, please guide me I too want to become a theoretical physicist, particularly interested in cosmology but I don't know where to start I am so confused, afraid that I don't miss the opportunity. Please help.

  13. I was teaching mathematics to pupils in the middle of their course for 16+ exams. One bright, but not particularly outstanding young lady asked me about becoming an engineer. I said that there was no reason she could not. Her mathematics was certainly promising enough for physics. She had not elected to do physics. Her biology teacher suggested that "girls" could not do three sciences. Maybe she got it wrong. I could not believe any female teacher of science could say that. I suggested she talk to the head of science, a male and physics teacher. He offered to teacher her outside of class to catch up on the year she had missed to do her O Level in one year. She did this but it was not encouraged. A particularly outstanding male student had no problems taking history in one year after deciding he too had pick the wrong choices for what he wanted to study at A Level. This was 1979.

    From what you have said it seems the ideas teachers have has not improved in 40 years. I had difficulty understanding why intelligent and able young students had so much difficulty with mathematics. But 10 years of schooling had been a series of failures backed up by so many people saying "I am bad at maths too." GCSE is split into foundation and higher tier. I would want more to do higher mathematics but one year is not enough to over come 10 years of not having a mathematics specialist teach them or one supply teacher after the other so that there was no continuity or knowledge of the student's needs. Some students can not do well at GCSE mathematics at 16. We all need different periods of time for "the penny to drop". After 4 years never getting beyond a D and looking forward to turning 19 when she was no longer forced to study mathematics she started to put that little extra effort in. After explaining a problem in algebra to her she said "Is that all? It is really easy." She passed. For some it is just that time when it all fits into place. For me it was when I was 14. I was "lucky".

    I had several students doing level one arithmetic when they should have been doing at least GCSE Foundation mathematics. Getting them onto a GCSE course was difficult because they didn't have the grades or test results to indicate that they could pass. This ignored who they are, the level of effort they put in, which they might not have done just months before. Of these "failing" students many passed their mathematics and eventually went onto University courses. All they needed was someone to believe in them.

    Pure maths is the Queen of Science and the foundation of all things computing, engineering, physics, chemistry, biology and onto economics and everything else.

  14. Thank you so much for posting this. Like many others have said, it always helps to see that someone else has struggled too. Everyone engaging in higher level academics is not just naturally gifted but more curious and asks questions and pushes forward even though they may not be perfect. Over and over again I had people try to steer me in other ways because it was more challenging for me, I didn't get it right away. Instead of helping me to clarify the issue they just assumed I wasn't smart enough. I'm happy that I was able to persevere. I landed myself in a pretty sweet position, starting a PhD program in biochemistry this fall. Thanks for all your videos, explanations and your persistence. It has helped me understand complex topics in a very straightforward way. Science, physics and math especially are so fascinating and I love that it really explains the fundamental principals of how our world works.

  15. Interesting! Have you checked out the D-wave leap by any chance? I Do you need to relearn some stuff but I was impressed with the examples and simplicity of the sample use cases put together for people to understand

  16. I am terrible in math, and terrible in just about everything else, as far as being knowledgeable in all fields is concerned. This is because I flunked a grade, and later on had dropped out of school completely. But I was still interested in what exactly was different about the so called "smart folk". What about people like Albert Einstein? What was different about him. So I thought I would see just what it takes to understand "Motion" to the extent that he did. To find out, I started my own analysis of motion. I of course had to start from scratch, due to not having any physics background education. The outcome of my analysis of motion was that I obtained a complete independent understanding of Einstein's theory of Special Relativity, and I derived all of its equations, along with the Lorentz Transformation equations. Although, the way in which I derived these equations, is still 100% unique to this day, and thus was not, and has not, been used by any physicist of the past or present. So the point is, you don't have to be a person who others see as being a super smart person to accomplish Einstein's kind of work. Hell, even a high school drop out can do it.

  17. Very nice. My story is the same . Up to the age of 16, I was very terrible in maths but then because of one science book I was really fascinated by the mysteries of the Universe. So from the age of 17, I suddenly got deeply interested in maths and physics. Now I'm pursuing Theoretical Particle Physics. Thank you so much for creating this channel, I really like the way you articulate complicated concepts of physics & mathematics.

  18. Hey! So, how is your thesis coming along?

    Maybe you should include an extra chapter on how Einstein's GR theory is incomplete. It seems like it's not just mass and travelling at relativistic speeds that slows down time.
    Apparently writing down a Phd thesis has the same effect ! 😛 (sorry I couldn't resist a bad joke)

  19. YES! Noone thought I could Math! I'm an Artist/Musician, majored in Music, Drafting but everything lead back2Math! I found ABSTRACT ALGEBRA & Logic! I'm 39 back in school..Math Undergrad!! Me!!

    My Philosophy is "everything in front of you is Art, and everything behind it is Math." (my quote)

    I truly feel Math makes me a better Artist, a better Musician, and a better Philosopher.

  20. Being "bad at maths" is like being "bad at orienting yourself in a new city" you just have to walk it. Sure, there are differences among us, but at the end of the day, I think most of the "being good/bad at maths" is a matter of experience. People that is good at maths enjoy being good at them, so they tend to think more about them, so they gather more experience, just it…

  21. lol this is actually cute. keep it up girl. as a sociology major nerd who is interested in astronomy and physics casually, I like your uploads alot. idk why you've been nervous about the face btw, you are gorgeous. I also don't mind no-face uploads as long as they get the job done for me, so whatever suits you I guess.

  22. Very inspiring story! Thx for sharing. You know, I have a B.A in Portuguese and English languages and literature, but I recently realized it isn't exactly my cup of tea. So I started learning a little of bit of computer science and preparing for a job as a developer. I like computers, I like some programming, but I still haven't found what I really enjoy… I find maths also very interesting, although I could hardly say I excel at it…

  23. I am a physics undergraduade student and have a burning fire in my heart about physics , about how universe works, but i want time to study physics so that i can make myself stronger, But unfortunately it will take time and i have not that much because i am from middle class family and have to stand on my own feet financially so that i can help my parents, please can you suggest me how i can earn by keeping my study continuous.

  24. I'm very sorry about your high school teachers and glad that you're a person that doesn't let others destroy her projects. If I had been you, if I had told someone "I'm going to become a physicist" and that someone had laughed at me, I would have let myself down because of this.

  25. To become a good at physics. First you have to become good at math. Because every theory of physics need basic mathematics and physics is because of mathematics

  26. Quantum Physics seems to be stuck in a groove for a hundred years now. Young, fresh, rebellious minds like yours are needed for the next breakthrough. The eastern upbringing of yours should make it easier for you to understand the oneness, or nonduality, proposed by the radical Advaita philosophy, (of which Schrodinger was an ardent follower), which I am sure will inspire you on your way to becoming a famous Quantum Physicist. My best wishes.
    (Btw if your nice name has anything to do with your ராசி then you must be celebrating one of these days!)

  27. I'm just the opposite. Science was always my favorite topic from the sixth grade on, and I was always good at math. But then I eventually majored in history and minored in philosophy. I still love science, though, and obsessively read books on physics, cosmology, and biology, and watch videos like yours.

  28. You are making these videos and at the same time you are studying at university. Amazing! What will you do after university?

  29. Just WONDERING. What have YOU come up with. Any theories of YOUR own. Just WONDERING. Please do tell me. I cant wait.


  31. Hi Mithuna, I know this is quite random, but I am rather tired after hours of google-time with nothing to show for it… I would like to ask you a question if you don't mind.

    Ok here goes. So the wave function collapses apparently due to observation. As I have gathered, due to measurement to be more precise. Now the only way this is being done, as far as I can find, is via shooting electrons one by one and placing a detector at or near to the slits.

    Now I can find a bunch of variations but the basis remains the same. The detection or measurement happens at or near the slits.

    Now I absolutely wish I was super rich and didn't have to spend most of my life wasting time slaving away in monotonous discontent for meager scraps- enough only to sustain the repetition thereof. A story for another time. What I am curious to find out is why can't we use the screen as the detector?

    The delayed choice experiment, as complicated as it is, apparently proves that the trajectory of the particle can be a retrospective interaction. So so regardless of where or when one determines which slit the electron (or whatever particle) goes through, that it should still theoretically result in the disappearance of the interference pattern…

    So I then ask, why when fired one by one, and then simply counting and tracking the dots visually as they appear on the screen, does the interference pattern still appear after enough shots are fired at double-slit and back screen setup?

    Apparently, measurement sufficient for the collapsing of waves into particles requires finding either the exact position or momentum of the quantum particle. Which visual observation and manual approximation cannot reveal to the observer.

    So finally I am left with the following unanswered question. I hope you may shed some light on the matter.

    Suppose we were to construct the same old double slit experiment using a single electron emitting source, two slits, and a screen…Only now there are no detectors at or near the slits. Suppose the detectors were placed at the screen where either the interference pattern or the two-line impact pattern would respectively appear, only the screen was split into two bands that coincide with the locations of each of the slits, (something like Geiger counters or a photovoltaic cells), something that would produce a quantifiable reaction to the electron impacting it.

    Due to each detector being in line with the slit and independently wired to one another, surely that would provide sufficient measurement to determine which slit the electron passes through, and should result in the collapse the wave function?

    I can't find a damn thing anywhere about whether that has been tried before or whether it will work or not…

    If it does not work (ie. does not collapse the wave) then in my mind that reveals a great deal and settles a longstanding argument.
    If it does work( ie. results in a collapse) then it in my mind it reveals a much greater deal…

    One which I have some ideas for. Ideas for some pretty cool mass market consumer tech applications…

    Sorry for the essay. But I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter, and if interested, perhaps a chat about a potential collaboration of sorts…


    Alex Bosman

  32. In year 9 I thought I either wanted to do maths, geography, english lit or IT at university. Did like science but wasn't v good at it but now I've just finished first year of natsci at cambridge :).

  33. I'd like to reccommend this to the young girl in the pet store who confideded to me that she is terrible in math. Mind you i am, or was too, and we weren't talking about school but abouit doggies, so it was like a cry for help, and now I see this and it is the answer, maybe.

  34. Thanks for sharing Mithuna! I can totally relate as well. I hated physics back in high school, did well for maths but never really understood any of it then in sixth form met an incredible teacher who somehow sparked my interest in physics and then suddenly everything made sense. I decided not be a doctor then (much to my parents' chagrin) and went into a degree > masters in physics. Now, I teach sixth form physics and mathematics while learning different bits of maths / physics on the side. 😀

  35. The math teacher laughing at you for aiming high is freaking offensive to me. What a jerk. I can understand something like "You know, this is going to be super, super hard from where you're at, I'm not sure it will be possible." But to laugh at you? Why the hell is he even a teacher? Was he just not good enough to be garbage man or something? That kind of crap just pisses me off.

  36. giving a like cuz this video is very helpful to me. im considernig physics and I love math but am so horrible at calculus. I'd like to see if i can get good at it.

  37. I’m in college now and my biggest struggle has always been math. I’m 25 now and I only realized recently that I’m not stupid. That I can do anything if I work hard, I am very smart. Well, I was placed the lowest in my math entrance exam. So now I can’t even take a developmental math class, where I need to start to become a biologist. That is until I score higher on the exam. I feel so stuck…I don’t even know where to start. The tutoring program I went to was terrible, I didn’t understand anything I was being taught. So here I am. You make me feel like I can do this, I just need to jump in starting with addition. Then work my way up. Just like you did. Thank you for giving me strength and for inspiring me.

  38. you did the right move. your high school math teacher was a jerk. good thing he did not succeed in ruining your interest in math.

  39. Best quantum lectures, I have ever seen in my life… Mithuna, I really doubt you have any idea about how good your understanding and teaching of quantum theory is… This videos are great. However, I think you are wasting your precious time with them. Such a gifted brain can do and should do much better things… I think you are not aware of your potential. My guess is you are going to do many small projects for years till you realize yourself. So, to save you time, I am saying it now. YOU CAN DO MUCH BETTER. YOU SHOULD THINK BIGGER!

  40. What an inspiring and enjoyable video! It proves that good teachers matter, together with inquisitive minds and the correct attitude to learning. Thank you for sharing your insights.

  41. thank you…reallyyy…i have seen this video more than 5 times now! i stumbled onto this when l had to take big decision…you realllyyy helped me a lottt! thank u!

  42. I was actually quite good at math, but the only person who benefited from that was the guy next to me at class. He always got the right solutions hahaha

  43. Youtube suggested me this video, and I'm thankful that I watched because I'm gonna be starting my masters in Physics, and I'm planning to go into quantum computing too. Unfortunately our education system is a bit too rigid for me to able to take a similar journey that you took, but your story gave me a different outlook towards things. Thanks for that. Amazing video <3

  44. And compare this to indian unis where there is no flexibility and relentlessly one after another subject comes at you without learning one subject property and filling all the gaps in learning properly.
    And yeah don't forget you can't take gap in between like other foreign unis.

  45. This is very inspiring! I was terrible at maths back in high school but right now finishing up a Masters degree in applied maths! I am trying to get into a PHD study in fluid dynamics! Did you graduate from Melbourne Uni BTW?

  46. Just stumbled across your channel, really inspiring story. Good luck with the rest of your quantum career. I look forward to watching more of your videos.

  47. May I ask if you’re of Thai descent? Thai surnames are beautiful, each is like a little poem. Thanks for your videos as well.

  48. Hi Mithuna, can't believe I only found your channel today, it's great. I abandoned my original dream of physics when back at school specifically because my maths was rubbish, I get the impression your "terrible at maths" is very different to mine! So while this was enlightening to listen to, I am still pretty sure I would've never made it as a physicist. Saw you did AEOUD, I'm doing my first in a couple of months, perhaps see you at one some time (provided we both finish our theses…good luck!)

  49. Actually maths = mathematics in all English speaking countries (an abbreviation of a plural is itself plural), it is simply that Americans incorrectly call it math. Sadly, this now also occurs in Canada, but when I was in school, it was correctly abbreviated as maths. I find it funny how Americans will abbreviate statistics as stats ( see the plural being maintained) , but don't do the same with mathematic So?

  50. I'm interested in knowing more about the transition from engineering-oriented math you learned first then jumping into a very deep physics-mathematician math training. As an engineer, I get intimidated by that but now I'd like to know how in an autodidact way you could get a good math level, not to pretend become a mathematician but to be more rigorous and have fun. What you think, do you have some ideas on how to depict a path in that sense?

  51. this was so motivating to watch and i relate sooo much and it makes me want to go down this road i have set for myself thank you

  52. To be perfectly honest, your personal story is exactly that: personal. But the fact you have a Dali clock in your library; well that's a heart breaker.

  53. Hi! Your channel has a lot of awesome content! It is really inspiring, I wanna do something similar with art; like record the stuff i'm learning through explanation. really cool!

  54. Thanks for your honesty! I got interested in physics at the age of 33 and a year later I did a maths GCSE, realising that if I wanted to study again and do anything in the realm of science, I would need maths. I can say that I was very dedicated and filled books and books up with a basic level of maths that teenagers learn at school. Boy oh boy – I had to realise that maths is far too difficult for me – despite respecting its logic. I took the GCSE that only allows a C level as the highest. I passed, but my dream ended there. I now study chemistry with youtube videos and I am learning Russian – a subject that I am better at; languages. You are so pretty – but try to stop saying 'super' like Americans. It is cringe! 😻💚💛💜💙❤💖

  55. Although I really struggled at math at the high school level, I took math courses in preparation for going to college as a mature student in my mid 40's, and as a result I 'thought' I was fairly good at math. BIG SHOCK, and wake up call. I was totally unprepared for college math, and have had to completely revamp my study habits and how I approach learning. Things are improving slowly, and I hope to be able to say some day that I am 'competent' at math.

  56. Your story is similar to mine. In high school, I barely squeaked by Algebra 2. Bad experiences and personal issues distracted and fueled my hatred for the subject. But I was/am a very curious person and was/am determined to learn math. I enrolled in to a community college and discovered I had a passion for math.And was better at it than most of my peers. This gave me so much confidence. Later I took chemistry and physics, and discovered my true love; science. I think it is a mixture of having some aptitude but the will to succeed and preserver outweighs natural talent. Now I study mechanical engineering and physics. Next year I graduate.

  57. Very inspiring! Like yourself I love physics and am currently studying relativity. My ultimate aim is to understand the mathematics involved in general relativity. I know it’s a tall order, but I love a challenge and with the right educational resources I believe it is possible. Could you recommend some books for this branch of physics?

  58. I have a book: How to Teach your Dog quantum physics. Maybe, you have the power and tenacity to write: How to Teach your Cat Quantum Mechanics. Cats are harder to teach than Dogs I must be a Cat. 😉

    Nice story People who give up never get anywhere. As someone who understands programming, I have programmed Human Minds I used to work as a Clinical Hypnotherapist and someone immersed in Gnosticism over the last 25 years it's important to ask if everything is a lie. Are we beguiled by a Trickster God? Do Tachyons exist, Are scientists already using Time travel and other exotic technology against us? Is AI going to destroy us or is humanity or part of it destined to become Borgs? Have you read about the Archons and the nature of the Archons? So many questions and so little time!

  59. Hey! Thk u! I am older now and a postdoc, but due to personal struggles I have been not really there in physics for years, I lost passion for it and also for myself. Now I founded again and due to my age and that time lost people do not believe in me anymore, but I am starting to again… And listening to your story makes me feel (Even thought stories are different, but with the same motivation, passion for knowledge) that I am not alone! Thk u very much! Keep it up with Ur Career and Ur vídeos, u r great! 🙂

  60. I failed calculus multiple times, I'm starting my master's in plasma physics in the fall en route to a PhD, it can be done!

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