Mathematical Autobiography

**Disclaimer: I originally used this work for a previous assignment for one of my classes, MA 4213 at Mississippi State University. I have already been given a final grade for this assignment and I think it would be super fun to share this story of mine with whomever wants to read it. I know there are some obscure plagiarism rules out there. So to be safe, and avoid plagiarizing myself (the fact that you can actually do this is absolutely absurd to me) the I’ve put the whole thing in quotations and saying that I said it at the end. 😉

”     My first ever memory of mathematics is one that I actually do not remember myself. It is story told to me by my mother on a couple of occasions, a story of me as a three-year-old boy. The story is short but shows my love for problem solving and puzzles from a very young age. During my third Christmas of existence my mother, brother, and I were at home in the den. She elected to go ahead and put together a Christmas tree stand my father had bought a few days earlier. As she pulled out all the pieces, she could not figure out how to put them all together and screw them in place. She got very frustrated, yelling under her breath at the tree stand and saying, “Where’s your father the engineer when I need him!” Having given up, she marched into the kitchen to begin cooking dinner, leaving the tree stand pieces scattered in the den. A little while later, three-year-old me walked into the kitchen and, with a huge grin on my face, announced, “Finished!” My mom had no idea what I was talking about, so she asked. I then pointed into the den. She walked into the den and sitting on the floor was the finished Christmas tree stand. She smiled, shook her head and with gleefully tearful eyes she hugged me, whispering, “It looks like we have another engineer in the family.” That is my first remembrance of my love for problem solving.

As I grew from a baby to a boy, I became more and more enthralled by puzzles, shapes, Legos, numbers, and everything in between. Lego structures, Rubik’s Cubes, puzzle pieces all filled the floor of the room my brother and I shared. I excelled in my math classes. My other classes were not far behind, but math was easy for me. I was always the first to finish those timed multiplication and division pages filled with problems.

I continued to excel until I was held at bay, only for a time, in Pre-Algebra. My parents had my siblings and I change schools. Although I understood the material very quickly, I would have to take Pre-Algebra again in the seventh grade, but this time it would be an accelerated honors class. Finally, I had challenge.

I continued throughout junior high and high school loving math and continuing to collect my puzzles, cubes and Legos. I took Geometry in ninth grade, Algebra II in the tenth grade, and Trigonometry in the eleventh grade, learning and enjoying every second. In those classes I had absolutely wonderful teachers who taught me how math truly is an everyday thing and how it relates to real life, not just the classroom. I was then ultimately sold when I took Calculus my senior year with the same teacher I had in Trigonometry, Coach Mark Landry. These teachers, especially Coach Landry, showed me over and over again how beautiful math really was, and I will forever be grateful.

My senior year I decided on going to college at Mississippi State University. I had no idea what degree I was going to get, but little did I know, God would shortly remind me where my passions lay. Yet, instead of waiting, I searched long and hard for a major that seemed exciting and challenging freshman year at State. I eventually landed on biomedical engineering and declared that my second semester. I could solve problems and make bionic arms like in Star Wars, right? That would be so cool! Wrong. The first semester of my sophomore year I took Biology 1. It was so boring. Memorizing facts, photosynthesis, cells, osmosis, etc. are wonderful, but did not interest me at all. I dropped the class and realized I would have to change my major again. After thinking through options and what I enjoyed as well as consulting with my friends, family, and my math professor grandmother, I changed my major to a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. I finally remembered where my passion was. It was in the numbers. It was in the puzzles and patterns.

In the last two years, I have never regretted this decision. Not even once. Though, until recently, I had no idea what I would even use it for regarding my career. I had thought about teaching like my favorite high school teachers, impacting the lives of young students and possible mathematicians. Ultimately though, that idea never panned out because fighting the public school system would be an unending challenge that I did not yet want to fight. I finally rested in the fact that I would eventually find my place if I continued on the path the Lord had set for me, but for now I was just majoring in something that I loved, something that intrigued me and stimulated my mind.

During Christmas break of the 2014-15 school year, my senior year at Mississippi State, I was urged by my mother and father to look into the Masters of Science in Analytics program at Louisiana State University, tour the facilities, and meet with the professors. As soon as I walked into the building and shook Dr. Joni Shreve’s hand, I knew this was where I needed to be. I fell in love with it. Solving problems, looking for patterns in massive amounts of data using statistical methods, math, and computers? Yes. I knew that was exactly what I wanted to do; I had been doing it since before I could walk, just with significantly fewer and simpler data points. So starting in June 2015, I will be attending Louisiana State University pursuing a Master’s of Science in Analytics, all the while continuing to use numbers. Lord willing, I will be privileged enough to continue to do so for a very long time…     ”     -Jayson Curry

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About Me

I am currently a 20 year old pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics. Immediately following my undergraduate degree, I will pursue a Masters in Education. My dream, subject to change of course as all dreams do at some point, is to first become a Math teacher. I enjoy math more than most and the good Lord gifted me with the ability to do it, at least decently well. I also believe The Lord gave me the desire to pass down knowledge that He has so graciously given me. Teaching a subject like math to the next generation is something I know would fulfill said desire.

After a few years of teaching, I will enroll somewhere and get a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership (or something similar) to become a principal or maybe even something greater in the educational field. Honestly, I just love people. I enjoy people. Getting to hang out with people and be around people is just so fun. I genuinely want to impact this world and the people in it. I am by no means bright and brilliant. I am just trying to do something that I love to the best of my ability all the while trying to impact others along the way in the little way I know how.

Speaking of things I love… My first love in this world was my mom of course. She’s awesome. Best mom ever. My second was basketball. I fell in love with basketball a long time ago. Since my early years I cannot remember a day where I didn’t think about basketball or want to play. I am not all that good, but I do enjoy everything to do with basketball. Playing it. Watching it. Analyzing it. Breaking it down. Looking at statistics about it. Reading about it. I love pretty much anything about it.

Right up there with basketball, probably even higher on the list…actually definitely higher on my list of favorite things…is Star Wars. I am nerdy, geeky, and borderline obsessed when it comes to George Lucas’s greatest idea ever. Star Wars has had an absolutely extraordinary impact on the world, especially the cinematic industry. Some would argue Star Wars just had an impact on the Science Fiction film making industry, ultimately that may be true, but in my ever so biased opinion, I think that it has impacted the whole world since it hit theaters back in 1977. However, that is an argument for another time. As you can see there is definitely a passion, “…misplaced may be…” in me for Star Wars (only you fellow Star Wars nerds will know that quote is from a certain little green alien). There will most definitely be a post about this Science Fiction fantasy world in the very near future.

Next I would like to mention my wonderful family. I love each of them dearly. My two younger brothers and younger sister are the absolute best siblings a guy like me could ever dream of having. I have grown so close to them as I have gotten older. Being their oldest brother has been a blessing. They often tell me they look up to me, yet even more often I do not understand why they ever would. Being able to be there for them time and time again is one of my greatest treasures. Barely more than a year apart, my oldest younger brother and I have a bond I could never hope to share with anyone else. He is my closest friend, my ally, and my most trusted advisor. My sister, a little more than two years younger than I, is such a blessing from the Lord. Every time I see her, she points me in the right direction. She has such a genuine love for the Father and it is so very inspiring. I value our relationship more than she can imagine. My youngest brother, we are eight years apart, is my mini me, not for long though I might add. He’s going to be a giant when he’s done growing! I got to spend all day, every day with him for two straight weeks this past summer. I can honestly say it was the best two weeks I have ever spent on this earth. Getting to pour into him, see how much he has grown since I have been away at college, and just hang out with him is my most cherished memory from the last few years. I love him dearly and cannot wait to see him again.

My mom, where to even begin??? She is a woman of the Lord who puts Christ first, my father second, her children third, and herself last. I can’t even start to describe to you how incredible she is. Her unconditional love, complete care, and selfless service towards our family and me are but a taste of her Christlike character. My father is a man who has led our family to the best of his ability since the day he married my mother. When his strength and love has failed, he has ALWAYS run to Christ for help. He never ceases to amaze me with his love for the Lord and his willingness to give all he has to his family and to those in need. If I can be but a small fraction of the man he is today, I will have made it in life.

The last love of mine that I will mention is definitely not the last of my loves and MOST definitely not the least. In all actuality, it is the greatest of my loves. This love is the Love of my life, and will always and forever be the Love of my life. His name is Jesus Christ. He is my Savior, and He is my Lord. He perfects my imperfections. His grace overflows where I fall short. He called my out of darkness and into His everlasting light. The person I am today is not only because of Him, but also through Him. I was a child deserving of His holy and just wrath. I turned from His righteousness and was dead in sin. Yet, He loved me anyway and provided me with a way to gain righteousness. God, THE God of the universe, humbled Himself by becoming a measly human being, and furthermore, to the point of death on a cross in payment of the debt we owed God for our sin. Wow. Just wow. He chose to love me in my sin, so I will fight in return to daily, hourly, minutely chose to love Him before and above all things. “I will run in the way of Your commandments, for You have set my heart free!” Psalm 119:32

 

Honestly, I am just starting this blog for fun. I will be writing like I think, so I apologize in advanced for not being entirely grammatically correct. I am not sure how often I will post here either, but I will post when I can. I have thoughts on lots of things, obviously, and I would like to share some of them with the world. Hopefully I will hit topics from all over the place. Who knows right? We shall see what the Lord has store…