How to woo a MathGeek

Should you happen across a girl who, though she might masquerade as a writer, has hidden within her a dark, mathsy little secret, it would behove you to know how to approach the matter. Whether you wish to woo her for friendship (or more) there will be ways of reaching those secret, almost-shameful parts of her soul, which *whispers* words can’t quite reach…

Mathsy secret

Start your day in a botanic garden, where you can stare together in wonder at sunflower seeds spiralling simultaneously in opposing-but-perfect, living renditions of the Fibonacci sequence, and point out where it repeats throughout the gardens in the positioning of leaves spaced around a stem; the unfurling of a fern’s fronds, or in the perfect proportions you both inhabit – betwixt knuckles of your fingers, lower to upper body, or the spacings of your eyes. Meanwhile, surrounded by beauty, you can busy yourself whispering sweet nothings; delicious words like ‘calculus’, ‘trigonometry’ or ‘logarithm’, and press a few of her literary buttons with the sheer, aesthetic delight of the way those words sound when spoken softly.

Whisk her away on a surprise trip out to sea in a paddle-steamer, taking her by the hand and running to the engine room, before it sets off, so that you can both marvel at the enormous, gleaming brass pistons, and every intricate working in burnished metal, then watch her eyes glitter with excitement as the noise ramps up, and imperceptibly at first, the giant machine begins to move, taking the boat with it – the thunderous splashing of waves being beaten in the paddle-boxes is only muffled by the excitement of seeing several tonnes of intricately-connected metal speed up and up and up, in perfect symmetry and timing, flinging around the engine room so fast they almost blur to a great, shimmering light, all held in perfect balance and power by the precision of mathematics made live.

Then take her to dine, on whatever you wish, but ensure that you serve, as a focal point (and just to delight her) a portion of romanesco – that the two of you might marvel in wonder at its florets, arranged in perfect fractals by Nature, as if it was explaining “Look! Numbers are everywhere – and these ones taste good”

Romanesco Numbers

Afterwards, take her out into the night, where you can both see the stars, drink wine and ponder the finesse of numbers, mulling over the nature of zero, the infinity achievable between any two integers, Fermat’s last theorum, and the wonder of the way that everything in the world comes back to mathematics. Play Bach (for if there were ever a composer who understood the incredible connectedness of mathematics and music and the fact that a high C has the same wavelength as blue…it must surely be he) and marvel together at the sheer brilliance of Lewis Thomas’ idea that this music should be beamed into space to explain our species most fully:

Perhaps the safest thing to do at the outset, if technology permits, is to send music. This language may be the best we have for explaining what we are like to others in space, with least ambiguity. I would vote for Bach, all of Bach, streamed out into space, over and over again. We would be bragging of course, but it is surely excusable to put the best possible face on at the beginning of such an acquaintance. We can tell the harder truths later. – Lives of a Cell

Finally, as the night draws to a close, and the muzziness of sweet wine and good company begins to still the conversation from sparkling mathematics to those deep, empty spaces filled with a silence which can only exist between two souls when they are both utterly content; all algorithms aligned, then you might reach out and trace along the lines of her MathGeek tattoo – fingertips to Fibonacci – and see if she gets goosebumps, for if that is the case, then perhaps Pythagorus was (almost) right, and the love shared between you is greater than the sum of the squares of two separate hearts.




83 thoughts on “How to woo a MathGeek

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    • Well, okay, I guess it’s romantic in a fairly standard way, too (but wouldn’t it be a little weird when your person snuggled up to you and whispered “logarithm” in your ear? 😉 )


        • Well, fair play then 🙂 I like how beautiful it is. But that said, there’s something about being with or around someone who has a real PASSION for something (as long as it’s interesting and they’re a good communicator) because they can make it fascinating, just through their enthusiasm.


            • Depends what for, but I think it helps if they’re eloquent about it. Ack. The more I talk through this post, the more I realise that in spite of my fascination with and love for maths, it’s WORDS, every time words, which gets me… 🙂


  4. Adore this, and isn’t it amazing how much the maths have to do with life, the universe and everything beautiful and terrible? I thought I didn’t like math in school until college and took statistics. Which most people hate, but I latched onto like well metaphor whatever here, latched onto big huge. It’s like the manipulation of the numbers that way made me appreciate all of the numbers. I rocked that class, and use it daily when telling people even the simplest of things, like “averages don’t mean shit. look at the median.” Fascinating. And beautifully written.
    Also loved your as the night draws to a close… perfect. Enjoy. Celebrate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m now laughing that you liked the ‘end of the night’ bit, and your comment was 69th… 😀

      But thanks. I never really took to statistics, cos you can cherry pick to prove almost anything (e.g. the correlation between fewer pirates and the rise of the iPhone…) but I never went into them too deeply. I’m glad you understand them, though, and that you like them so much. Ahhhh I just love that you’re much, much smarter than me. I enjoy being around people I can learn from.

      Glad you found a way to love maths in the end 🙂


  5. This is a lovely, quite romantic written post.

    That last sentence reminded me of my Grade 8 teacher lecturing on Pythagoras. Though I think she likes him more than you do.

    I never took higher maths though and failed when I tried it at University level.


    • I stopped mathematics at age 15, when I left school, because I hated it and found it so challenging and difficult and awkward. But now that I have had the opportunity to engage with it on my own terms, I kind of love it.

      And thanks 🙂

      (No, though, I doubt I love Pythagorus as much as your Grade 8 teacher did…though perhaps I love Fibonacci more…)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ah, math and science. Two of my faves. I see I’m not the only one who can exist in both realms (arts and sciences). I tend toward psychics, but all science-y and mathy things sort of fascinate me, especially how they reflect in nature. And then you go and add a sexy element…..ME LIKEY.

    Liked by 1 person

    • oh jeezuz, did I just type psychics? shows you where my brain is right now. I meant physics, DUH. *shakes head* Actually, the paranormal is fascinating too, come to think of it…..


    • I’m not smart enough for physics, but biology I can just about keep up with. I know that one of the things which utterly blew my mind was otoliths – fish ears – which exist in the tiny-weeniest fish imaginable – just a coupla mm long (all eyes and tail) and within them, a chamber, lined with sensitive nerve endings, and within that chamber, a piece of bone of a different density than the rest of the fish…which allows it to vibrate slightly off kilter with the rest of the fish as soundwaves travel through the water…rattling the bone in its chamber…allowing the fish to hear.

      In. Fucking. Credible.

      Mind completely splattered everywhere 🙂 Love it.


  7. I love the way math can make sense of the universe…even love….considering how badly I struggle with math its no wonder life remains such a huge mystery to me.


    • Me + Wine = Drunk voice messages and mucho hilarity (and also indoor frisbee, but nevermind…)

      Good to know though 🙂 😉

      And thank you. I know not everyone will see the world this way, and that’s the beauty of it – other people will see other, equally wonderful things.

      Me + You = BONKERS (would love to see it happen! Not kidding)


  8. Um…. yeah. Put me in a field of flowers and let me stare at the sky. No counting necessary. 🙂

    And even though I am still scratching my empty head at most of these words, I also notice how they dance along the page so perfectly in sync with a rhythm that only a brilliant writer can give. Where do all your glorious words come from Lizzi? The well is endless… THAT is your gift.

    Liked by 1 person

    • …and then everyone would look, and wonder whether you’d stared at the sky for so long that small pieces had floated down and taken up residence in your eyes, they shine so blue…

      You haven’t an empty head, Kitty – I won’t have it said! Yours is just full of different things than mine, and both things are okay 🙂 My words come from all of the books I’ve stared at over the years, and read so much that little pieces have broken off and taken up residence in my soul…

      Thank you, my dear, lovely friend ❤


  9. This was great Lizzi and leaves me hope for my math and numbers centered brain LOL! 🙂 I have phone numbers memorized from childhood to give you and idea. Weird to you I suppose 🙂 We hope all is well! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I remember my childhood phone number. And the registration of the family car we had for longest. Memory is good – especially as I still haven’t remembered Husby’s mobile number, even though it’s been the same the whole time I’ve ever known him… *grins*


  10. Awwww, in fact I did NOT know you had a secret mathsy (fabulous word, that) secret. I admit to skimming parts of this because the math anxiety started to rise. I’m not at all original in this regard.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. You my friend are the first clark I know who is so mathematically “inclined”:) You know so much more than I about the “number connection” in nature… I bet you could write an entire series of posts about it! (hint, hint :))

    Love all those jokes up there! lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am an anomaly then? But as I said to Christine; it’s the beauty and poetry of those numbers in nature, repeating over and over through so many different life forms, proving again and again that there is symmetry and mirroring everywhere we look, and it’s stunning.

      I might allow this to diffuse into a few more posts, but honestly, I couldn’t write about the golden number better than already does 🙂 It’s lovely.


    • Word games are fun, too.

      You know that words will always be my first love.

      I forget where I was, but I had a group of people in stitches the other day because I was trying to describe something someone had told me, and it had a very technical word in, and (of course) I hadn’t been paying attention when the technical word was said, so I missed it. So I invented a word. Because it’s easier to invent a word and continue talking, sounding like you’re making sense, than explain that you forgot the real word.

      But then I had to explain anyway, which is when they all laughed…


  12. Oh my goodness! I was always adequate at math but my dear darling son is a self-professed math whiz!! You and him could probably talk for hours and both be happy, understand each other and probably laugh at the same silly things involving numbers!!


    • That sounds delightful, but I’m not a whizz, by any means – just a very keen amateur, who is fascinated (mostly) by mathematics in nature, and the interconnectedness of it all 🙂


    • Algebra’s a bit more manageable than those utterly frustrating crossovers where you have to decipher at what point two trains set out when one’s going east at 145mph and the other’s coming due north at 102mph and they both cross over after 15 minutes


          • I am a problem solver. While I can appreciate the beauty of that sunflower pattern, I get a great rush out of solving something, especially when it is a difficult problem.
            A lot of poems make very little sense to me.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I’m not. I find beauty and poetry in the way maths appears in nature and science, again and again like the chorus of some incredible song. And so, perhaps, at heart I am not a mathematician…and you maybe are! 🙂

              Do you like jigsaw puzzles?


              • Funny, as I read this post and our comments back and forth, I was thinking you aren’t a mathematician at all. In my head, a math person is someone who likes to actually DO math, not gaze at an example of it.
                Love jigsaw puzzles.

                Liked by 1 person

                • No, I never pretended to be a mathematician – a mathgeek is rather different (to my mind) – I am entranced by mathematics; baffled and astounded by the levels of beauty and symmetry which can be reached only with numbers and the repeating patterns of the natural and the incredible all intertwined throughout our world…

                  I *hate* jigsaw puzzles. Nothing frustrates me more (except when some item of technology doesn’t work).


    • Now chemistry never did it for me – all those ions and covalent bonds and titrations…BUT I love chem jokes, and I couldn’t think of any maths ones, soooo there’s that 🙂

      I love *love* love science though – biology and environmental and the world around us, and nature and the amazing way it all interconnects and works together.

      So here, just for you:

      Heard any good jokes about sodium lately? Na…

      I never trust atoms – they make up everything.

      A police officer stops an electron speeding down a motorway and asks it “Did you know you were going at 251 miles an hour?” “CRAP!” says the electron, “now I’m lost…”


      • I like chemistry because it is so tied to math though 😀 My son is all about biology, which I don’t like much. Weird kid. 😉

        Thanks for those jokes, I needed them today 🙂 I have to get going, but before I leave:

        A neutron walks into a bar. He asks the bartender, “How much for a beer?” The bartender offers him a warm smile and says, “For you, no charge”.

        Liked by 1 person

        • *snorks* I love that 🙂

          How about this? A Higgs-Boson particle walks into a church and the priest tries to throw him out, but he looks at the priest and says “But father, without me there is no mass…”

          OH or (my favourite):

          “We don’t serve faster-than-light neutrinos in here!” said the Barman.
          A neutrino walks into a bar…

          Glad the jokes helped. I have a tonne of them!


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