Want to know who I am ? No problem.

My name’s Johann. Nice to meet you.
I studied mathematics at Claude Bernard university in Lyon, France, and now they won’t leave me alone. But I don’t work in the field. Why ? Where to begin…

  • First of all, the rigidity of school programs and textbooks that’s not my thing. Teaching may be one of the most beautiful jobs on earth, but it has to be a calling.
    I still give occasionnal one-to-one courses, mainly to work with kids who need to see that “being wrong is not the absolute evil”, that math are useful and not that hard when it becomes interesting.
  • Reasearch could have been my thing, but I’m a member of the clan “I understand quickly, but only when explained at length”, and I’m the stubborn type. There is no freedom in the “publish or perish” world…

So I started by creating a startup in webmarketing, and I now work as a data scientist in the medical field.
And I occasionaly blog. That’s the perfect way to appreciate sciences without the hassle, and one really understands a concept only when he can explain it clearly, so it’s also a way to learn. Unfortunately I was incredibly busy of late. With the Covid-19 crisis though, like lots of people I’ve had some time on my hands, so I thought why not dust off the old blog and give it some new posts ?

A few words on my strong and weak points (don’t take it too seriously) :



Of course, after 5 years of study, one starts to know a thing or two in a particular field (nowhere exhaustive, but enough to ``really get started`` I'd say)... My thing is algebra. But I don't mean abstract algebra, because two-sided ideals are only fun for about 5 minutes, then how do you visualize that thing ? No, what I like is algebra's relations to geometry. And analysis. And arithmetics. And... well I won't list everything, my point is it's a central component of mathematics. That said, we all have our own style of doing math :

Intuitive reasonning

80%To have an intuitive approach to mathematics is good, it's useful, but it can be costly !
It's useful to ``see things coming``, ``visualize what's happening`` or just take a step back and admire the landscape, but it took me some time to realize that visual representations and ``gut feelings`` don't play nice with rigour. It's a constant fight not to fall in traps and bad shorcuts because something feels ``obvious`` ou aesthetically pleasing (usually some kind of symetry)...


80%Ah... Logic. So efficient, so reassuring. Never tell me that you ``have no logic`` because it's a preconceived idea that makes me mad. Do you often try to cut your steak with a spoon ? No ? So don't tell me you ``have no logic`` ! Logic is probably the heart of mathematics. It helps us go forward, trace our steps back, find our reasonning's missteps, and she helps calm down Mrs Intuition who has a quick temper and sometimes brings us close to irrationality.


50%Ugh... Why do we need to do so much calculations in math ? Seriously ! (of course it's a rethorical question, I'm not that dumb) Probably the least exhilarating part of mathematics (but otherwise a little bit useful^^). Calculus is good, but only when there isn't too much of it. Or when it's low-risk : ever went through pages of calculations before finding a mistake at the very beginning ? Yeah... Story of my life ! At least it taught me to never forget to simplify beforehand ;-)


70%What is this doing here ? Well it's simple : one doesn't like math because it's useful or because one likes calculus (or so I'd like to think). For me, it's their signification. There is beauty in the fact that IT WORKS ! It's like an extension of our thoughts, made coherent and reliable. And pushed far, very far. So far that the most advanced mathematical concepts are so different than the usual rules of logic that it's baffling. And it still works. And we use them to understand the world better. Isn't that fascinating ?



That's not the field that I studied, so I'm obviously not much knowledgable in it. Experimental physics ? Urgh. On the other hand, it's fascinating to see theoretical physics make extensive use of math to express the laws of nature ! Beautiful !



Calculus is boring as sh**, most of us agree on that. So why not take it with a laugh ? Admittedly I'm not that funny, but if I can at the very least put a smile on your face while you read my stuff, I'd be a happy camper. And if you don't find me funny, go do some calculations !