4 Lessons I Learned From My Senior Math Project

A valuable experience

Albert Ming


Photo by Benjamin Davies on Unsplash

Over the last few months, I have been exposed to an introduction in linear algebra, teaching myself the basics. It was for a project for my math class at school, which culminated in me giving my classmates an in-person lecture. Since linear algebra was a completely new topic to me, I did struggle from time to time with the mechanics and the reasoning behind the math, but in the end, I felt like I had a good grasp of all the topics I taught. Today, I want to reflect on a few lessons that I learned about math and myself as a result of this experience.

1. Endure

Linear algebra isn’t exactly easy. Even though I just covered the beginning parts of the topic, I needed to think a lot about what was really going on with the math, especially when I got to eigenvectors. I was expecting it to be hard. So, when it came down to it, I just had to read over the text more or consult extra online videos for help. In the end, this endurance proved to be key; as I mentioned before, certain topics within linear algebra took longer to understand. I needed to stay focused on understanding the math behind the mechanics, and if that meant looking over the work multiple times, I was ready to do so. As a result, I felt like the experience taught me both math and life skills. As I make the transition into college, I know the math will get harder, so I will make sure to keep hammering away at different concepts and problems that give me issues.

2. Math is Visual

Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

As somebody who has been involved with numbers inside and outside of school for as long as I can remember, I have to say that I didn’t always think very visually of math. In lower school and middle school, I mainly just thought about my arithmetic, my equations, and my algebraic skills (there were a few times where I used graphs). That was enough for me to survive up until high school. In 9th grade, I learned about geometry, and that opened me up to a bit of what it meant to think visually. However, I think I really started thinking in a more visual manner throughout the second half of high…