Sunday, May 29, 2011

chocolate, coffee, maths.

an interesting headline:

the improvement, however, doesn't sound specific to maths, though ..
For the study 30 volunteers were asked to count backwards in groups of three from a random number between 800 and 999 generated by a computer.

The findings show that they could do the calculations more quickly and more accurately after they had been given the drink.

However, the same was not true when the group was asked to count backwards in groups of seven, which the researchers described as a more complex task, requiring a slightly different part of the brain.

The findings also show that the volunteers did not get as tired doing the calculations if they had been given the cocoa drink, despite being asked to do them over and over for an hour.
i think i'll stick to coffee. there's something nice about waking up and doing maths in the mornings while drinking coffee ..

.. because it really feels like i'm slowly becoming smarter, as one hour passes and then another.
conversely [1], the drowsiness (before the caffeine kicks in) can also be helpful. sometimes i find myself trying ideas that -- were i fully awake, alert, and judgmental -- i would never attempt.

it's led to a lemma or two, which is empirical enough for me. q-:

[1] in a conversation once, i was explaining something to a non-mathematician acquaintance.

when i said "conversely," he pointed out that i was already talking. (he thought that conversely meant referring to something regarding conversation.) so then i explained what conversely meant ..

.. to his embarrassment. in retrospect, i should have just nodded, said "on the other hand," and mentioned it to him later.

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