Learn Mathematics on YouTube

Who doesn’t love Mathematics? Actually, I think most people I know don’t really like Maths. And I believe the reason for this is primarily the lack of good Maths teachers. Teaching is tough and if you don’t love it, you will likely not be able to do a good job of it. And Maths is an important subject in high school and has long reaching and long lasting impacts on the lives of students. Mathematics does matter a lot in everyday life. I used to think when would I ever need such and such concept from Mathematics as well. But you’d be surprised.

If you’ve had good Maths teachers, chances are that you’ll love or really like Maths. On the other hand, if you’ve had mediocre Maths teachers or worse, then you might just hate Maths. Teachers play a huge role in students’ lives, some of them might not even be aware. I’ve been blessed to have absolutely legendary Maths teachers wherever I went to school. So I really like Mathematics. I wouldn’t say I absolutely love Maths, but I do really appreciate and enjoy it. I really love Physics. But I digress.

I recently discovered a fantastic YouTube channel where an Australian Maths teacher makes Mathematics fun. Mr. Eddie Woo’s channel, called WooTube (https://www.youtube.com/user/misterwootube) is filled with videos of Mathematics classes where he demystifies Mathematics concepts for his students and the world. His style of teaching had me hooked and I binge watched several videos such as his Visual Proof of the Pythagoras’ Theorem

and the one about Thinking Deeply about Simple Things

Since I love Physics, I also found some really interesting Physics channel on YouTube, For the Allure of Physics. Do check it out:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCliSRiiRVQuDfgxI_QN_Fmw

Finally, if you know how to teach and love explaining concepts to others, you might want to try teaching as a career. If you’re good, you have a real chance to make a huge impact on the lives of many students.

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Learn something new every month

As human beings and students of knowledge it is important for us to keep learning new things constantly. Seeking knowledge is a lifelong journey. In my humble opinion, seeking knowledge be it through reading or through exploring or traveling or speaking with people or through any other means is necessary for a truly fulfilling life. Therefore, I think it is good to put a system around this thought and learn something new every month and keep track of it to give yourself the motivation needed to keep going.

Seeking knowledge doesn’t have to a boring exercise. In fact, in order to be successful it has to be something you enjoy so focus on the subject areas that interest you the most. But do not shy away from anything as you never know if you would enjoy something until you have tried it. Obviously this doesn’t mean trying everything because there are clearly things to avoid in this world. So avoid the bad and focus on what is good.

Last month, I was intrigued with Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Astronomy as I made my way through A Brief History of Time. The world of science is a fascinating experience and I truly enjoy learning more and more. There is so much to learn 🙂

This month I’m focusing on learning Python programming as much as I can. I find it intriguing and have been wondering why I didn’t explore Python before! It has become a very important programming language recently due to the demands from Data Science, Machine Learning, Big Data and AI.

Next month it might be something different. But the point is to keep acquiring knowledge (there is a sea of knowledge for every domain out there just waiting for us to embrace it), putting it into practice if possible (because what is knowledge if we don’t act upon it?) and propagating what is good to others (sharing the knowledge with fellow human beings to make this world a better place).

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Python & Data Science

A fair warning to the readers: this blog post reeks of geek so proceed at your own risk.

With the explosion of the ways human beings are creating, collecting data these days thanks to ease of storage (storage media has been becoming increasingly affordable (in other words, cheaper and cheaper). Additionally it has become increasingly easier to generate and collect data from so many devices (smart phones, satellite systems, cameras, social media etc. et.c). So with this incredible amount of data (literally in the tera-bytes) there is a need to utilize to make sense of the data and to utilize it in useful ways (to make better predictions, make more money, avoid more crimes, design better medicine, create better products, sell more services etc. etc.). Companies (as well as universities) have realized how important it is to do science with data. As a result, the discipline that has recently become very popular is Data Science. Just do a Google search for Data Science and you’ll be amazed at how much information there is out there.

Data Science usually requires skills such as Mathematics, Statistics, SQL, Data Analysis, Business Domain Knowledge and Programming in R or Python. Python and R are the two most popular programming languages with the Data Science discipline these days. So if you’ve a solid Math background and love to do programming, this might be something you might want to look into. It seems like a really interesting field with a lot of opportunities for really meaningful work.

A data scientist typically works in one dedicated domain area: it could be anywhere or anything. For instance, you could be working in marketing, medicine, product engineering, urban design, smart cities, transportation, astrophysics or whatever else you’re into or find opportunities in. There are sure to be a lot of opportunities in pretty much any discipline. Exciting careers for bright students. Study your Mathematics well!

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What Am I Reading: A Brief History of Time

I just finished reading the late Stephen Hawking’s best seller “A Brief History of Time”. What a treat that book was! I totally recommend it, if you’re into science, specially physics, chemistry and mathematics. Although you don’t need to know or understand all of the science behind it to appreciate it, it does help. I don’t claim to understand everything he’s written there or agree with everything he put forth, but it was still a treat for the good old brain. It was probably the best book on such mind (and space/time) bending concepts as Einstein’s General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. And if you are at all interested in the mysteries of time travel, black holes and the origins of the universe, among other things!

I started reading Dr. Israr Ahmed’s (may Allah have mercy on his soul) book Allama Iqbal Aur Hum (which is in Urdu) but I found it to be a bit too advanced in the language it was written it. It was Urdu interspersed with Persian on some pages. I found a recorded video lecture on YouTube where Dr Israr is explaining the book! I’m going to watch that first and attempt to read the book again.

I’m now starting to read another book “How to Approach and Understand the Quran” by one of my favorite authors and scholars of Islam (Sheikh) Jamaal al-Din Zarabozo. I have actually met the Sheikh a couple of times as well and sat in one of his classes. I have also read another book of his, “Commentary on the Forty Hadith of Al-Nawawi” (two volumes) which was the required text for two semesters in my BA in Islamic Studies, Alhamdulillah. I can’t wait to start the book. InshaaAllah I’ll write about it after I finish reading it.

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Health Is a Huge Blessing

Our health is a huge blessing from Allah. We don’t realize how truly big a blessing good health is until we get sick, may Allah always keep us in good health. We should never take good health for granted and thank Allah for the good health. Alhamdulillah! Always take care of our good health. We should watch what we eat and drink, avoid everything that is hazardous to our health as much as possible (including processed foods). We should also keep an active lifestyle, walking, jogging, running or biking for a few minutes daily. This is the bare minimum we should do to keep us healthy. Although this is all common sense, but it is not very common as a practice.

I have generally had good health but have had some problems recently due to the terrible amount of pollution of every imaginable type in my environment. I generally avoid taking medication unless it is absolutely necessary, may we never have to take any medication. With the help of Allah, I am recovering now, Alhamdulillah. It has made me miss praying at the mosque which by far is the biggest disadvantage. Aside from the pain and suffering, may Allah protect us from sickness and disease.

The environment is a really important factor in our health and well being. A good environment is supremely important for our physical, mental or spiritual well-being. I have been irritated with the lack of care for the environment and it has recently affected my health. I am writing a research paper on the subject of pollution, it’s numerous hazards and suggest some practical solutions that everyone can actually act on to contribute to a better environment, inshaaAllah. Pollution is not something to be taken lightly. No matter what aspect we look at pollution, it is nothing but bad news. We need to work hard to root it out and keep it at bay for good. May we succeed in this endeavor.

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Model of our Solar System in the Milky Way

I found these videos depicting the model of our solar system in the Milky Way galaxy amazing. Fascinating to see the motion of the planets around the sun and the sun’s own motion through the galaxy. It’s hard to say how accurate this model is. Still it’s pretty awesome. SubhaanAllah!

I’ve always been interested in Science in general but specially so with Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy. My interest in these areas were recently reawakened by a book I’d long wanted to read: A Brief History of Time by the late Stephen Hawking (read my other blog entry about that book here). What a fascinating book that was. It’s surprising that life throws so much at you that you forget what you’re passionate about it put what really fascinates you aside for so many years. Doesn’t resonate with you? Maybe it’s just me then 🙂 I’ll likely start writing more about Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy more now as I’m reading more about those topic areas now. Obviously my other interest areas are the Quran & Hadith, Computers & Programming (and most recently Data Science, Machine Learning & AI) and Languages (particularly in love with Arabic (for most of my life), Persian (because of their beautiful art movies and books of poetry), Turkish (because of Ertugrul and German & Dutch just because). Did you know I took a course in Linguistics in college and enjoyed it immensely.

Here are a few of the verses from the Quran relevant to astronomy:

O company of jinn and mankind, if you are able to pass beyond the regions of the heavens and the earth, then pass. You will not pass except by authority [from Allah ]. [Surah Ar-Rahman, Verse 33, Al-Quran] (https://quran.com/55/33?translations=20)

It is not allowable for the sun to reach the moon, nor does the night overtake the day, but each, in an orbit, is swimming. [Surah Yaseen – Verse 40, Al-Quran] (https://quran.com/36/40?translations=20)

Then I swear by the setting of the stars, [Surah Al-Waqiah, Verse 75, Al-Quran] (https://quran.com/56/75?translations=20)

 

 

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Never take your health for granted

Health is such a huge blessing from Allah, alhamdulillah. We should never ever take our health for granted. We should take good care of ourselves in terms of diet and exercise and healthy habits all around to care for the bodies entrusted to us by Allah for this life. We only realize how incredible the blessing of health is when we are not well. May Allah protect us all from falling ill. We should be in the habit of thanking Allah every single day whether we are healthy or sick.

We should do everything we can to ensure we are thankful to Allah for our good health and get into good habits as a lifestyle choice. I have highlighted a few items that I think we should pay special attention to in terms of ours and our families’ health and well being. This is not an exhaustive list by any means:

Make the morning and evening Azkaar daily – the daily remembrances of Allah and the supplications were taken from the sunnah of the Prophet (ď·ş) who taught us how to remember Allah, make Dua and ask Allah for continued blessings. These duaas and azkaar are readily available in printed form or as apps for our smart devices. Make this a daily habit after fajr prayer (mornings) and after maghrib prayer (evenings).

Pray the “Duha” prayers daily – this is a great habit to acquire. Pray 2 (or 4, 6, 8, 10 or 12) units of prayers in the morning (15 mins after sunrise to right before zohor time). There are a lot of benefits mentioned in the Hadith of this prayer.

Give Sadaqa regularly – Giving charity regularly is also a great habit.

Take care of our health as a habit – This goes without saying: take special care with what we eat and keep a healthy exercise/walking/jogging/biking/swimming schedule to stay in shape.

Avoid unhealthy habits – This also goes without saying: avoid unhealthy habits such as smoking, drinking, sleeping too much or too little, eating too much or too little, eating unhealthy foods, not eating a balanced diet etc. Our bodies are a trust from Allah to us, we are obligated to take care of it.

Visit the sick regularly – this is another great habit. It builds humility, gratitude and awareness in us of how great a blessing health is. And as a bonus, this is a very rewardable good deed and is often neglected.

Go with the Janazah (funeral) regularly – this is also another reminder for us that this life is temporary and we are all destined for the grave one day and so we need to prepare for our death NOW.

Get health checkups regularly – Doctors will tell you and this is common sense as well. We need to keep an eye on our health and get regularly tested to ensure we are healthy inshaaAllah.

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What’s up with this thing called Data Science

Data Science is the newest thing that has become popular for Math, Statistics & Computer Science geeks. This is a new area of study that has increasingly gained popularity over the last couple of years or more. This is evident from the many courses and numerous well paying jobs that turn up with a simple Google search. The courses available online for those who are interested in acquiring this new skillset. And there seem to be tons of jobs for Data Scientists as well. Mose of these jobs require an advanced degree (such as a Master’s or a Doctorate).

Data Science is a new discipline that includes various topics of interest such as Statistics, Data Analysis, R or Python Programming, Regression Models, Machine Learning and more. Usually, the courses demand that learners have Math/Stats & Comp. Sci backgrounds but there are people who have business degrees or humanities background that have ventured into this area because it is so attractive to people who crave creativity and challenge in their work.

A typical Data Scientist does a lot of different things, but primarily it has to do with making sense of data in a meaningful way that is useful for a purpose. That sounds vague actually. It really means extracting meaning from and interpreting data, analyzing it with tools (using pre-built software like Microsoft Excel or custom programming usually with R or Python). It requires the use of Mathematics and Statistics skills. First and foremost it requires acquiring the lots of data, cleaning, cleansing and formatting data and asking useful questions and getting really creative with the use of the data in some way that may be useful for medicine or policy making or urban development or whatever else might be the area you are interested in using Data Science for. In other words, Data Science has tons of applications.

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Amazing Math

1 x 8 + 1 = 9
12 x 8 + 2 = 98
123 x 8 + 3 = 987
1234 x 8 + 4 = 9876
12345 x 8 + 5 = 98765
123456 x 8 + 6 = 987654
1234567 x 8 + 7 = 9876543
12345678 x 8 + 8 = 98765432
123456789 x 8 + 9 = 987654321

1 x 9 + 2 = 11
12 x 9 + 3 = 111
123 x 9 + 4 = 1111
1234 x 9 + 5 = 11111
12345 x 9 + 6 = 111111
123456 x 9 + 7 = 1111111
1234567 x 9 + 8 = 11111111
12345678 x 9 + 9 = 111111111
123456789 x 9 +10= 1111111111

9 x 9 + 7 = 88
98 x 9 + 6 = 888
987 x 9 + 5 = 8888
9876 x 9 + 4 = 88888
98765 x 9 + 3 = 888888
987654 x 9 + 2 = 8888888
9876543 x 9 + 1 = 88888888
98765432 x 9 + 0 = 888888888

Brilliant, isn’t it?

And look at this symmetry:

1 x 1 = 1
11 x 11 = 121
111 x 111 = 12321
1111 x 1111 = 1234321
11111 x 11111 = 123454321
111111 x 111111 = 12345654321
1111111 x 1111111 = 1234567654321
11111111 x 11111111 = 123456787654321
111111111 x 111111111 = 12345678987654321



Now, take a look at this…


101%



From a strictly mathematical viewpoint:



What Equals 100%?
What does it mean to give MORE than 100%?

Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%?

We have all been in situations where someone wants you to
GIVE OVER 100%.

How about ACHIEVING 101%?


What equals 100% in life?


Here’s a little mathematical formula that might help
answer these questions:


If:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Is represented as:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.


If:



H-A-R-D-W-O- R- K


8+1+18+4+23+ 15+18+11 = 98%


And:


K-N-O-W-L-E- D-G-E


11+14+15+23+ 12+5+4+7+ 5 = 96%


But:


A-T-T-I-T-U- D-E


1+20+20+9+20+ 21+4+5 = 100%



THEN, look how far the love of God will take you:




L-O-V-E-O-F- G-O-D


12+15+22+5+15+ 6+7+15+4 = 101%


Therefore, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that:

While Hard Work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will
get you there, It’s the Love of God that will put you over the top!

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Voyager 1 & 2

I have long been fascinated with the exploratory spacecrafts sent into space by NASA some 37 years ago. Human beings do not have much capacity to travel in space as we are dependent on so many things on this planet, including the air that we breathe, the water we drink, the food we need to consume and the temperature that must be maintained constantly for us to survive. Still the desire to discover what lies beyond the solar system remains. Both the energy required for us to travel on such a journey and the sheer time that the travel takes, is formidable. For now we have to rely on the spacecrafts: Voyager 1 and 2.

Voyager 1 entered interstellar space (outside of our solar system) in August 2012. NASA’s web site dedicated to the Voyage of Discovery is pretty detailed: it contains a lot of the images taken by the spacecrafts, among other things.

voyager1_large

 

Voyager is carrying a disc, dubbed the golden record, which contains a sampling of sights and sounds from our planet. The idea behind it carrying data from earth in case it is discovered by some other space explorers far far away. There is a list of all the stuff that’s on the disc on the web site as well. While browsing through it, I found that there is an image of a street scene from Pakistan – complete with rickshaws, taxis, people on bicycles, a woman beggar, a goat and cow sitting on a heap of what looks like garbage, horse carts and a family on a vespa scooter. Isn’t that something?

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