Unusual mathematical studies have got me wondering. Stranger questions than this now have the benefit of a mathematical formula to explain them.
The probability of a biscuit collapsing after dunking in hot liquid is one example. Another memorable piece of work was the formula that explained why cold pizza still tastes good the next day (apparently it’s down to the cheese).
If you are a mathematician and you have worked on studies like these: first and foremost, I salute you; And second, now the big questions about biscuits and pizza have been answered, I’m interested in your thoughts on the following...
The question “Where do you want to be in 5 years time?” is linear so if my (very) limited formal maths training is correct, this suggests the possibility of a mathematical equation being drawn up.
This question is linear because you have two points, let's call them Point A and Point B. Point A is where you are now. Point B is where you want to be in 5 years time.
Point A is a known/knowable quantity (I appreciate that ‘knowable’ isn’t a maths term but stay with me a little longer maths geniuses!)
Point B is an unknown quantity but the potential to define it exists between the degree an individual understands their position at Point A and the relative difficulty their path from A-to-B represents (based on the Point B that the individual has defined).
For example: if you are at Point A as a student just leaving college with an arts based degree in humanities, and you decide that in five years time (i.e. at Point B) you’d like to be a celebrated rocket scientist, the relative difficulty of the path you have chosen will be high. Much higher than if you had chosen 'Geography Teacher' as your Point B instead.
An additional relationship exists between Point A and Point B that might also help the formula expand. It lies within the experience of individuals who have already reached Point B and how they compare to the individual attempting to move from Point A (to a Point B others have successfully reached).
The relative similarities/differences between the individual at Point A and the individuals already at their target Point B could also enable greater definition of the quotients that decide the relative difficulty of the individual’s five year progression from A-to-B. (Providing the framework for an individual to define both Point A and Point B is also possible but the extrapolation of this might be best left for a later time).
Mathematicians: this will of course be wrong to your trained eyes and minds but, nonetheless, here is a simple formula to get you started with the proving and disproving that you do so well:
A = where you are now
B = where you want to be in 5 years time
x = relative differences to individuals already at point B
n = relative difficulty of proposed route from A-to-B
With the age old biscuit and pizza questions answered by you for all time, maybe the moment has arrived for mathematics to tackle a new question.
I’m not one for throwing down the gauntlet, especially to mathematicians. But let’s pretend for a moment that a gauntlet has clattered to the floor. Are any of you willing to pick it up?
All the best for now,