If they can only fit in one music concert per year, it is not enough for me.Of course, this applies to anyone who is obsessed by his work.Indeed, the list on page 64 starts: number of them.That isn’t necessarily because I like mathematicians so much; I just do not meet anyone else. At some point during the movie, she told me: “Leonid, please don’t become like this”.While this was a very thoughtful comment, it made me realize that even intelligent and well-educated people may believe that mathematicians resemble John Nash as he is represented in the movie.The first one was targeted for mathematicians and the second for physicists.The first one was very quiet, and the second one was all boozing and partying.
The author’s blog is also worth checking out as it is quite extensive with posts dating back to 2007.
Of course, almost all stereotypes (except for the very outlandish ones) are based in reality.
The problem with stereotypes is not that they are false, but that they are too general, and substitute a generalization that frequently fails to apply for our ability to judge people for who they are.
So first, let’s close our eyes and imagine a mathematician based on what we know from popular culture and the media, conjuring up as precise an image as we can, including physical appearance as well as character traits.
Chances are, the image you have will look something like this: a white male in his late thirties, with clothes covered in chalk dust and hair in disarray, self-absorbed but with eyes lighting up when working on a challenging mathematical problem.