Sunday, November 02, 2008

the more you know...

At A-level I was very certain of what I knew. I was one of the best mathematicians in the school, and understood pretty much all of what we were studying. And then university came. Not only was I no longer the best, but it became quite clear as to the depths of my ignorance. Sadly, this has only increased. As one studies a subject area more intensely, one becomes aware of the gaps in ones knowledge. So further education of the paradoxic effect of increasing your knowledge and making you feel more ignorant at the same time. Part of this is due to the company I now keep. At the majority of conferences/seminars I go to, the people there, at the very least, more advanced phd students, and there are often quite esteemed statisticians there. This is bound to make even the most ego filled fellow feel slightly stupid, so it just barely effects me.

Still, it's fun, and in certain areas I am certainly becoming more knowledgeable. At a recent seminar I went to I got a good grasp of what the speakers were actually saying, which was nice, and perhaps in three years time I shall, at least, feel knowledgeable on some subjects. It would be all to easy to go to an earlier level. One of the most enjoyable things about TAing undergrads is becoming aware of the knowledge you take for granted is beyond many people. It's nice, I get to feel smart, mainly because I've been dealing with the concepts they are struggling with for the first time for about 4 years, so obviously I'm a little better. It all comes down to repetition and experience in the end.

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