Who Says You Can’t Write An Essay (maybe even for College Applications) About Math?

Juggling - applied math?

Do you love math? Read this wonderful essay in The New York Times by Richard A. Friedman,  who explains his own love of math. Consider the possibilities of writing a college application essay – Common Application or personal statement – on  a complex subject that you just happen to love:

“I was doing KenKen, a math puzzle, on a plane recently when a fellow passenger asked why I bothered. I said I did it for the beauty.

“O.K., I’ll admit it’s a silly game: You have to make the numbers within the grid obey certain mathematical constraints, and when they do, all the pieces fit nicely together and you get this rush of harmony and order.

“Still, it makes me wonder what it is about mathematical thinking that is so elegant and aesthetically appealing. Is it the internal logic? The unique mix of simplicity and explanatory power? Or perhaps just its pure intellectual beauty?

“I’ve loved math since I was a kid because it felt like a big game and because it seemed like the laziest thing you could do mentally. After all, how many facts do you need to remember to do math?

“Later in college, I got excited by physics…. READ THE REST