What is life if it is not imbued with chance?
We often meet our girlfriend or boyfriend or soulmate by chance. Chance events affect our health, our employment and the course of our lives. We usually do not know when (or how) we will die. The weather and other forces of nature (earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, drought, floods, bushfires, mudslides, avalanches, etc.) are also, to varying degrees, unpredictable. Your house may get burned, your car stolen, or you (or a friend) may be subject so some crime. On the positive side, you may win some lottery or event.
At the foundation of our universe, at its very structure, is probability. Sub-atomic ‘particles’ behave more like probability fields than what we would think of as solid matter or ‘energy.’ The more closely one looks at this world of the very, very small, the less certain one is of many things. The more we learn about one feature of a particle, the less we know of another. Heisenberg’s Uncertainly Theory underlies all of nuclear physics.
Some mathematicians choose to study our amazing world and the chance events of our lives. Their fascinating fields of study are called probability and statistics.
|Combinatorics (The Art of Counting)|
|Set Theory and Venn Diagrams|
I had the privilege of being one of Graeme’s students in 2005. As a creatively minded individual I struggled greatly with Mathematics and was falling behind in my HSC studies. Under his careful and creative tutelage I began to truly understand Mathematics for the first time in my life. Graeme patiently taught me to master mathematical concepts in ways I could understand. In the week intensive I spent with him he taught me the entire HSC course, and I went on to receive a Band 6. I cannot recommend him highly enough.
Roxanne G (student, 2005)
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