If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.
– A. Einstein
Sometimes calling a subject “boring” is merely a way to dismiss a topic we find difficult. Many people find mathematics boring, but I believe that this is almost always because those people can’t see the patterns in math. When mathematics is just symbol shunting to you, it is hard to truly appreciate it. This difficulty might be conceptual. Physics, mathematics, and chemistry are often ‘boring’ to many people because they can’t see the real pictures they represent.
The best analogy I have with this is magic eye pictures. They are those pictures that look like a slightly distorted, abstract pattern. However, if you can change the focus of your eyes just right, you can see a 3D image within them. When I was a child, I couldn’t see those 3D images. I knew they weren’t boring because of how much other people seemed to enjoy looking at them. However, they didn’t interest me; to me, they were just abstract blobs of colour. An empty wall was about as interesting as them. Then one day I saw one of those pictures in a glass frame. I found out that by focusing my vision on the reflection of the surface of the glass, I could pop the 3D image into view. The best part was that once I had learned this with the glass-covered prints, I could do it at will, even if they were on a matte surface.
I think about all the topics, especially science and engineering ones, in the same way. Many people find it boring only because they’ve learned to see it as abstract symbols. Maybe they’ve even learned to pass tests by pushing those symbols around. However, they don’t find it interesting because they don’t realize there’s a 3D picture hidden beneath it.
It sounds cliché, but I am a true believer that we all have at least one unique extraordinary ability; some become good musicians; others, good speakers. Some people might be excellent at providing care to others, and others might be brilliant at solving alone the most complex puzzles humankind has ever faced. We come in different shapes and sizes, so does our interests, stories, backgrounds, and experiences. We can all fly as high as we believe we can.
Please see below the list of courses I am teaching (and will be teaching!). I hope I can help you see beyond equations and symbols!
SYSC 4203 – Bioinstrumentation and signals*
BIOM 5202 – Applications in Biomedical Image Processing
*more information coming soon