I really enjoyed listening to the Strongly Connected Components podcast interview with Tom Henderson. Henderson (@mathpunk on Twitter) is a professor who takes a punk do-it-yourself attitude to doing and teaching mathematics. In The Philosophy of Punk Rock Mathematics, an interview at Technoccult, he sets it out:
1) People use the average Joe’s poor mathematics as a way to control, exploit, and numerically fuck him over.
2) Mathematics is the subject in which, regardless of what the authorities tell you is true, you can verify every last iota of truth, with a minimum of equipment.
I like this quote:
I’m trying to get across that if you are highly motivating, if you have a high degree of fire and “Fuck yeah!” and “What, that’s impossible, but true!”, you can get students to express interest in theorems named after dead Hungarians.