Maths and… love, hate, despair, joy…

At a Further Maths Support Program session on 7 July, we talked about the emotions aroused by maths. Below are mine. Despite contrary reputation, isn’t maths the most emotional of all fields of study?

This verse by Keats conveys well some of the good bits. (Though frustration, shame, and despair are also inseparable from maths).

Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes
He star’d at the Pacific — and all his men
Look’d at each other with a wild surmise —
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.