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'2D characters in 3D world' - Intellectual Vitality Essay - Stanford


answers: 6
Aug 26, 2009, 05:47pm   #
1. Stanford students are widely known to possess a sense of intellectual vitality. Tell us about an idea or an experience you have had that you find intellectually engaging.

Satirical, analytical, whimsical, mathematical, and downright bizarre, the concept of uniting fictional two-dimensional characters within a three-dimensional world is a story straight out of science fiction. While some students searched the page's contents for pictures or tried to doze off, I eagerly traversed through Flatland with the idea that mathematics can be applicable in any sort of reality. Edwin A. Abbott's classic opened my previously one-sided, strict Catholic mind to a completely new way of thinking, as was the author's intention.
Why stop there? I discovered the DVD version of Flatland to provide a visual aid. I mentioned it to my Honors Geometry teacher who initially denied the existence of such a movie. When I brought in the movie she included it in a class presentation.
I continued this expedition by reading Sphereland. These concepts were more difficult to analyze and comprehend. For example, I still grapple with how to imagine what a hypersphere would appear like. The hotly-debated issue of the fourth or fifth dimension began to unfurl in my mind and led to an inevitable progression in Flatterland.
Exploring dimensional concepts further in Flatterland almost overwhelmed me with the idea of an infinite amount of universes, a mathiverse, and advanced references to Calculus. I am confident that I will understand many of these concepts better as I take AP Calculus this year. A great idea that I have taken from this engaging experience is that multidimensional/multivariable mathematical models can become infinitely complex. I fully expect to further explore multidimensional, mathematical modeling in my future career, albeit without the aid of cute fictional characters.

Aug 26, 2009, 08:01pm   #
Love the premise and the first sentence. The second sentence is wonky, leaning me wondering who are these other students and where you all might be. You could maybe omit them and focus on your own reactions to the piece. In so doing, you might want to provide a more complete overview or synopsis of Flatland, for anyone unfamiliar with the work.
Sep 16, 2009, 02:28pm   #
I must admitt that as I read your essay I am not at all familar with flatland, will this be a topic that an AO will have knowlege about to be able to evaluate the content of the essay. I can tell it has a relation to math, but is it such an obscure topic that it won't hold the AO attention
Your writing style is fine, just not sure the content will hold attention?
Any one else agree?
EF_Sean:
ou need to explain what Flatland is in order to make certain that the reader can fully appreciate your experience.

^I think that is the problem I have. I do not know what Flatland is, therefore I can not relate to it.

[quote=treehugger77]I am confident that I will understand many of these concepts better as I take AP Calculus this year. A great idea that I have taken from this engaging experience is that multidimensional/multivariable mathematical models can become infinitely complex. I fully expect to further explore multidimensional, mathematical modeling in my future career, albeit without the aid of cute fictional characters.[/quote]
^Id suggest removing the above, to make space to explain what Flatland is actually about. Perhaps then, it may be an interesting read to people such as myself who do not know what Flatland is.



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