Mental Stretches

Sanderson’s Second Law Of Mathematics:

The mind is a muscle and must be exercised.”

My high school maths teacher had this written on his classroom wall, along with two other “laws of maths” he claimed as his. They’ve resonated with me a lot over the years. You only get better at something intellectual by doing it. It’s not enough to have done some work in the past, you have to keep going, stay sharp and look for new ways of thinking.

That’s the main point of viva prep. You can’t just rest on your laurels when your thesis is done. You have to stretch, keep your mind in shape. Exercise for your brain: small exercises to test your skills and knowledge.

Nowhere near as much work as you’ve done before, but enough to keep you thinking, remembering, honed and ready.

(Sanderson’s First Law Of Mathematics: “A lazy mathematician is a good one.” The Third: “Mathematicians think in pictures – so use them!“)

(Let’s stick with the Second for viva prep…!)