Intelligence

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What is mathematical intelligence?

Definition*

Mathematical and logical intelligence is the ability to quickly understand mathematical and logical problems. People with mathematical intelligence can easily translate abstract problems into mathematical notation ("writing in Greek"). They like to "play" with numbers and detect (numeric and visual) patterns. It is easy for them to mentally carry out complicated calculations.

Mathematically gifted people have uncovered general laws from empirical observations and have formulated these laws in mathematical equations. The law of gravity, or the famous relation between energy and mass have been specified in elegant mathematical equations by Newton and Einstein.

Some people with mathematical intelligence can do astounding numeric calculations in their head, such as carrying out multiplication of large numbers or identifying large prime numbers. People with mathematical and logical intelligence are usually very well organized, precise in their use of language, and pedantic - sometimes to the extent that others find pathological. There are numerous examples of mathematical geniuses that have rather limited social, emotional and practical intelligence. However, mathematical intelligence is often related to musical talent. Johann Sebastian Bach could intuitively compose music (fugue), which strictly follows certain mathematical patterns.

Mathematical and logical intelligence include the following mental abilities:

a)

the mental ability to comprehend abstract concepts,

b)

the mental ability to quickly make logical deductions,

c)

the ability to imagine general solutions for specific problems,

d)

the ability to recognize (numeric, visual, or logical) patterns,

e)

the mental ability to develop rational strategies for games ("prisoner's dilemma")

f)

the mental ability to create efficient (numeric) algorithms or analytical solutions for very complex (procedural) problems ("traveling salesman", optimization theory)

 

* I am very uncomfortable writing something about mathematics, because I know very little about it. You have to read this description as the impressions of an outsider, who has observed for a long time colleagues with advanced mathematical abilities.

 

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Updated: 12 February 2012