For some of us, the thought of maths spreads fear into our very souls, counting change at the supermarket brings us out in a cold sweat, and the idea of sitting an arithmetic test is enough to bring on a heart attack. If this sounds like you, then you are most definitely not a Philomath. A Philomath, or numberphile, is someone who just loves numbers. They relish complex algebra, working out ratios and showing off their superior maths skills. If you find yourself nodding along then the chances are you fit into this category and we’ve got some hobbies that we think you’ll enjoy.
Working Out The Odds
Betting is a popular hobby amongst numberphiles because it taps into the very thing that is so appealing about numbers. Figuring out fractions is simple for those who enjoy maths and ruminating over probabilities is a fun pastime. Working out how to find value is what makes betting exciting. Shortcuts like finding free bets help to skew the odds in your favor a little, but the real joy is spotting an underdog that nobody else has found yet. Scouring the paper for horses that are underperforming on their breeding or spotting when a football team is playing well beyond the cost of its players, these are the things that bring sports fans and numerophiles together. It’s the perfect sociable hobby, where fortune, sometimes, favours those with maths knowledge.
Becoming a Trader
If you’re not already trading on the stock market as a full time job, then it might be worth considering as a new hobby. Philomaths make brilliant traders because they often find it easier to spot patterns and, if not, then they certainly find it more enjoyable than most. You don’t need a great deal of capital to begin trading, you just need to find stocks that you can afford and that you believe in. Sure, it would be great to dive straight in with Bitcoin, but penny shares will give you the same kind of satisfaction when you work out the market and you won’t have the same risk if it all goes wrong. Once you’ve found your feet with penny stocks then you can move onto bigger things. It might be that your hobby ends up making you money, it might not, but you’ll get to enjoy that smug feeling of working out a maths problem and what numberphile doesn’t enjoy that?
Ratios are a fascinating area of maths, one that infiltrates many parts of our lives. Ratios bring betting and photography together, in fact. Photography obviously has an enormous artistic element to it, but good compositions can also often be broken down into old favorite ratios. The golden ratio appears in nature all the time, but it also appears in photography and maths! In maths it can be explained as two quantities being in the golden ratio, if their ratio is the same as the ratio of their total to the greater of the two numbers; in nature, it’s a snail shell. The rule of thirds and the golden ratio are both widely used in photography to ensure that an image is pleasing to the eye. These are just two examples, but if you really read into it then it is fascinating.
If you want to take this even further then photographing nature can be incredibly exciting for those interested in ratios and patterns. As mentioned before, snail shells respect the golden ratio rule, but so too do many plants. Seeds, nuts, buds and clusters of petals often appear in beautiful patterns that can be explained by maths. Much underwater life, including corals and jellyfish, also exhibit the golden ratio. Any excuse to take a trip to the Caribbean and don a mask and snorkel should be leapt at by numberphiles and nature lovers alike. Treat yourself to a waterproof camera and you could be taking beautiful photos of underwater ratios before you know it.