No Pipe Dreams
No Pipe Dreams
  • Jeon Sang-hak (MATH 13)
  • 승인 2017.02.10 19:44
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Maybe I am not good enough." / "Yes, you are." / "Maybe I am not. It is like a pipe dream." / "This is the dream. It is conflict and it is compromise and it is very, very exciting." - La la land
The idiomatic expression “pipe dream” is a dream that cannot be realized. I have had several dreams, which seem to be unfeasible, but I pursued them tenaciously, with some strategies. In this column, I would like to suggest some strategies based on my personal experience, for the ones who may be distressed and exhausted by their own dreams. The strategies I suggest are divide & conquer, enhancement, and circumvention. One of my dreams is establishing new approaches to Partial Differential Equations (PDEs).
Becoming a prominent mathematician requires not only mathematical insights, but also research ability. I have focused on school lectures, URP programs, weekly seminars, reading seminars, irregular colloquiums, math camps, and conferences since I entered POSTECH. As a result, they successfully developed my ability as a mathematician in some sense. Dividing a dream into smaller requirements is beneficial, as they refine the objectives.
Consequently I decided to study abroad after my graduation. The main obstacle was English. I had a really hard time passing the GRE; I spent three consecutive vacations to get over it. Failing twice made me reconsider the previous method and change my mind. After the introduction of aggressive biweekly vocabulary quizzes and competition with other test-takers, I could barely get the score I wished. For the arduous but crucial step in your way through the dream, you need to put "more" resource "smartly." That is what enhancement means.
I once wanted to contact Doctor Daniel Tataru, a professor in UC Berkeley who works in PDEs. I wished to learn insights from him, but he never replied to my email. Soon, I "enhanced" my approach; I tried to contact with the graduate students whose supervisor was Dr. Tataru, but I failed to find them. In addition, he seemed really busy so that he refused to talk with anyone after the weekly seminar. Fortunately, sooner or later, I found another eminent scholar in UC Berkeley, Doctor Maciej Zworski. I could not notice him at first glance since he worked in another field. It was no sweat to make an appointment with him, and I fully enjoyed the time, learned considerably, and gave up trying to contact with Dr. Tataru, simply because now I did not have to! Sometimes the same goal can be gained in a totally different way. That is what circumvention means.
Every dream has obstacles. The mightier the dream, the more the obstacles. In ‘La la Land,’ as Sebastian unyieldingly advocates for Mia, I sincerely hope you accomplish your dream. Your forthcoming success is guaranteed with your confidence and perseverance.