A student asks: why do you love maths so much?

A question I don't remember ever having been asked before:

Why do you love maths so much?

It's a really hard question to answer - if you asked someone why they like music or football, they'd probably shrug and say 'I just do!'

There are loads of things I love about maths - on one hand, it's this brilliant, creative game that's completely limitless and at the same time very strict about what you can do; and on the other, it's a huge set of tools you can use to understand the world better.

I love that you can do it anywhere, on restaurant napkins, in the margins of newspapers someone's left on the train, on envelopes, even (once, and for reasons I can't really remember) using fridge magnets.

I love battling against a puzzle until I find a solution, getting completely lost in different approaches, finding mistakes, putting them right, scratching my head, getting a flash of insight, realising I'm making it too complicated, simplifying...

But above all, I love the neatness of it - when a puzzle finally drops into place, or you spot a pattern you've seen somewhere before, and it all ties together like a detective novel...

It's glorious. And there's always another episode just around the corner.


Colin is a Weymouth maths tutor, author of several Maths For Dummies books and A-level maths guides. He started Flying Colours Maths in 2008. He lives with an espresso pot and nothing to prove.


7 comments on “A student asks: why do you love maths so much?

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  • Rahul Bhatt

    I love maths too.

  • Sanjana

    Honestly, you could wake me up at 2:00 am (I’ll probably be awake) and ask me to factorise a polynomial and I’d be up for it! Thank you for all your posts by the way, they’re great!

  • Msandinator

    I love maths too. when am stressed maths can calm me down, I love solving problems and maths is a problem to be solved…….

  • Kasia

    I have no contact with other people who would feel way I do. Sometimes people ask me how my day was and I If I was solving maths problems my heart is contend but zero words to asnswer what I actually did. It is great to find online others who love her as much as I do.
    Like how you put your feelings into words.

    • Colin

      Thanks, Kasia! I wonder if there’s a MathsJam near you where you could find similarly-minded people.

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Where do you teach?

I teach in my home in Abbotsbury Road, Weymouth.

It's a 15-minute walk from Weymouth station, and it's on bus routes 3, 8 and X53. On-road parking is available nearby.

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