August 3 2011

Math, Numbers, and What I’m Reading this Summer

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I love math.  I love numbers.  Those that know me in the real world know that I have a math tattoo – if that doesnt say that I love and appreciate math in my everyday life, I dont know what does.

Math and numbers bring peace to me.   I do all the bookkeeping for ADi.  I’ve been mocked by my peers (all in good fun, I’m sure) that I should hire a bookkeeper, that I dont have to do that.  But I look forward to it every week — my pocket of time on Fridays that I do AP /AR, that I check in on my cash flow and forecasting.  I get a little joy seeing the quarterly calendar reminder for reconciling the credit cards and books because that means it’s going to be a mellow day filled with accomplishments.

Though I work in 3D animation — which is heavy on the math and physics, not just the creative — it really is just happenstance that I own an animation company. I’ve always loved math but fell victim to what many 12 year old girls fall victim to – wanting to be cool and not too smart or geeky so I’d be liked, especially by the boys (see the movie Mean Girls to get insight into this).   Twelve year old girls do wacky things.

I completely regret that decision.  I wish that I had had a strong adult figure in my life who would have seen that out-of-ordinary interest I had in math and numbers, who would have encouraged me to stick with it in some way.  If I knew then what I know now, I wish I had continued on to become a mathematician of some sort, or gone into mechanical engineering.   I’ve enjoyed the finance work I do here at ADi but my interest in math goes more towards the “the only way that that was built / figured out / designed is because of a series of math equations.”  Math is one of the most creative things I’ve ever encountered.

In my adult life, I tried to read some proper academic math textbooks — but that’s not the most stimulating way to intake that information.  So this summer I’ve been reading:

Alex’s Adventures in Numberland (which is the UK title; the same book is called Here’s Looking at Euclid in the US) by Alex Bellos — a really fabulous and very accessible breakdown of numbers and maths with compelling interviews providing the thread of interest to counterbalance the hard maths being discussed.  (I love that the Brits say ‘maths’ — and since this book was originally published in the UK I’m always going to say ‘maths’ whenever I talk about the book).

I’m just starting on Taming the Infinite by Ian Stewart.  I’m looking forward to the computational mathematics chapter in that one.

I’ve been running ADi for over 11 years now so I certainly have joy in what I do here — I love being on the business side of creativity.  In fact, I’m more content now than I’ve ever been (chalk that up to an excellent team and lots of lessons learned.)

But my dream job?  Figuring out fuel mileage for a NASCAR team. If anyone can hook me up with that, please do leave me a comment.

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