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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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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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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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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