Hacking The Math Skills – How To Set The Mind For The Higher Mathematics

It is for academic level mathematics/ rather hard stuff.


Practice is the obvious hack.


 


Here is what I take and the result with reference to my math performance.


 


Modafinil (three days in a row per week 50mg + on the fourth 25 mg to come back)


provides good focus


makes me involved


 


Nicotine (every day, 1-3 mg for last week, almost got addicted!)(considering to take it 3 days per week and cycle to not get addicted)


I just figure out the connections.


the best drug for math so far


I miss it so much during my day, that I consider even to take it every day despite the possibility of addiction.


 


N-back training


Provides me with more memory for derivations and understanding of proofs.


 


Of course I drink the Bulletproof Coffee and stay in ketosis all day. Also I take one day off meat per week. Additionally, I use emWave2, Peanut HEG and go for EEG neurofeedback training.


 


 


My vitamin stack that I use everyday:


 


vit d3 Doctor's Best   4000 IU                                              after breakfast


Magnesium glycinate/lysinate Doctor's Best             100 mg            before sleep


Magnesium MagTein Source Naturals                      144mg after breakfast+1 during the day


MK-7 Now Foods      200 mg                                               after breakfast


Iodine iosol formula ii            1830mcg                                after breakfast


Krill Oil Now Foods  500mg                                                after breakfast


vit A Garden of Life cod liver oil     10000 IU                    after breakfast


Selenium Life extension se-methyl l-selenocysteine 200mgafter breakfast


Folate Solgar Metafolin                                                        after breakfast


Calcium d Glucarate  500mg                                                after breakfast


L-Ornithine Source Naturals  1.9 g                                       before sleep


L-Theanine Suntheanine Doctor's Best         150 mg            before sleep


Rhodiola Rosea                      2 times during the day between the meals


Unfair Advantage                  in the morning on empty somach


Choline Force               1 capsule                                        after breakfast


B5                               200 mg                                               after breakfast and 1x during the day


Ester C                       1000 mg                                             after breakfast and 1x  during the day


 


 


 


 


I did not try:


 


TRNS


It has been investigated that electric stimulation of the brain improves math skills:


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23684971


And the device:


http://www.neuroconn.de/dc-stimulator_plus_en/


 


TULIP (improves cognitive performance, may be good for math skills too)


http://www.longecity.org/forum/topic/63228-lostfalcos-extensive-nootropic-experiments/


 


Nootropics


Noopept (probably good for math skills I don’t know)


 


At this moment I try to stop using the nicotine and I seek for something to replace it on daily basis.


If you have any suggestions please help me.


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Comments

  • Cool post, I am currently studying for my double major in computer science and mathematics, and I like the effects of caffeine and l-theanine at the moment, but I am thinking of trying nicotine aswell.


    Couple questions.


     


    How are you dosing the nicotine? (could i just use nicorette gum?) do you know of any long term negative side effects that are associated with nicotine?


     


    thanks 


  • edited October 2014

    You will get the best results if you take a long-term view on this. Setup ways to evaluate yourself. Then do a baseline period where you do those tests daily until you hit the line of rapidly diminishing returns (this is important so that any spikes in performance can be isolated to mostly drugs taken rather than an improvement in abilities from training).


     


    Then, simply test things in detail yourself for what gives you the best effects for math.


     


    Ideally, your tests are as closely related to what you need to do for mathematics as possible. I can't know what those things are in detail based on your post, but you should evaluate it in detail and design appropriate tests.


     


    Continuing from that, I'd suggest examining the following things and seeing how they fare for you:


     


    keep in mind, this is based on my experiences. Yours may vary. Testing is advised. These are some starting blocks, however.


     


    Also this is just a sampler of the first things that come to mind for your given question. it is not an exhausive list of everything you could possibly try.


     


    # Oxiracetam - This racetam for me is incredible for anything that is highly analytical. It also tends to make my brain see the world in a very pragmatic, unemotional way. "Just the facts" and no bullshit. Which is great for analytics over and above the cognitive benefits as well. I also notice a significant reduction in compulsive behavior from this racetam. Experiment with 1,200mg-3,000mg a day in 2 or 3 doses. The half life is 6-8 hours for most people.


     


    # Phenylpiracetam - Builds a tolerance fast so can't take it daily. But it's incredible for anything that is heavily left brain. I use it for doing mental math training and software engineering stuff. It puts you on a whole 'nother level. It also tends to glue me to my work and make me not want to do anything else ... which is desirable if you need to get some things done.


     


    # Zembrin CILTEP - CILTEP with Zembrin in place of artichoke extract has quite an incredible motivational effect for me. It makes me not want to do anything but intellectual pursuits. It also gives quite a focus boost.


     


    You can stack all of those above, but I'd test them one at a time at first.


     


    You may also consider trying noopept. If it's for you has a lot to do with what your main obstacles are. I find that oxiracetam and phenyl are better cognitive boosts, but noopept is better for removing behavioral inhibitions in my experience. So I take it any time I am going to do something that usually causes a great deal of resistance and associated stress.


     


    It's also worth noting that caffeine is good for quantity, but not necessarily quality. Use it to do more of the things your already good at. Take something else instead if you are learning brand new material.


     


     


    ----


     


    In terms of brain training, I'd decompose what you do regularly into the functional patterns that underly all of it. Find the most generalized algorithms that you repeat over and over again ... the ones beneath the larger calculations. Then, create training programs that focus on those. Improving these more generalized patterns in your mind will have a huge impact across all of your other math training, because they are the under-current of many different types of algorithms and equations.


    Biggest takeaway after several years as a hardcore biohacker: think long-term. Focus on health first before adding in boosters. It works a lot better.
  • Thank You DanteRomero for you post.


    I am applying your advices and I will be posting soon.

     



    Cool post, I am currently studying for my double major in computer science and mathematics, and I like the effects of caffeine and l-theanine at the moment, but I am thinking of trying nicotine aswell.


    Couple questions.


     


    How are you dosing the nicotine? (could i just use nicorette gum?) do you know of any long term negative side effects that are associated with nicotine?


     


    thanks 




     

    I had to rethink that and I concluded that nicotine definitely does not work for me in cycles 3 days on 4 off. The day after the cycle I am not interested in anything (I am so lazy). Probably I have developed some kind of dependence after about 10 days on it (I was too in it to drop it - wrong idea) Now even after one day on it (1-2mg) I feel "dependent" on the following day. For those who didn't make such mistake it may work well once per week. (1-2 mg will be enough) I've assumed that I will use nicotine in cases like the deadline of the last exam in the semester and only if everything else will fail.

     

    I have used the nicorette classic gum (without the aspartame). 

    Lozenges are better then the gum (didn't have a chance to buy them)

     

    Here is more information about nicotine:


  • DManDMan Master of Arts ✭✭✭

    I guess understanding the fundamentals is critical in math. And make something usefull with it. Find the true meaning of math and see see why it is fun for you. Enjoy it. Be motivated!


    May you be well, may you be happy, may you be healthy, may you be loved.

    How much to eat:
    advanced | How to train: bulletproof training | HRV: HRV FOR TRAINING HRV BASICS What Affects HRV | Brain  & Memory dual n back training advanced training

     

     

  • GarrettGarrett
    edited November 2014

    All of your nootropics are piquing my interest!! Especially Noopept.


    Also, you say that caffeine is good for quantity over quality. If a person IS learning new things, would it be wise to hold off on caffeine, until said things are quite dialed in? And THEN adding caffeine into the mix? Say if a person is at a new job, or working on a new business venture - cutting out caffeine / BPC for a specified period of time, until some of the 'finer details' and brain grooves are in place.... and at that point, boosting the output via caffeine?


     


    And why are more computer programmers not using a combo of float tanks (for relaxation / deeper thinking / visualization / ideas), focused & quiet areas for work (interruptions are a programmer's worst nightmare), and nootropics (for the boost)? Seriously, it seems as if the combination of those 3 things would light programmers up to the next level, and FINALLY get some of the quality technology created, which we KNOW needs to come out... 




     


     


    # Oxiracetam - This racetam for me is incredible for anything that is highly analytical. It also tends to make my brain see the world in a very pragmatic, unemotional way. "Just the facts" and no bullshit. Which is great for analytics over and above the cognitive benefits as well. I also notice a significant reduction in compulsive behavior from this racetam. Experiment with 1,200mg-3,000mg a day in 2 or 3 doses. The half life is 6-8 hours for most people.


     


    # Phenylpiracetam - Builds a tolerance fast so can't take it daily. But it's incredible for anything that is heavily left brain. I use it for doing mental math training and software engineering stuff. It puts you on a whole 'nother level. It also tends to glue me to my work and make me not want to do anything else ... which is desirable if you need to get some things done.


     


    # Zembrin CILTEP - CILTEP with Zembrin in place of artichoke extract has quite an incredible motivational effect for me. It makes me not want to do anything but intellectual pursuits. It also gives quite a focus boost.


     


    You can stack all of those above, but I'd test them one at a time at first.


     


    You may also consider trying noopept. If it's for you has a lot to do with what your main obstacles are. I find that oxiracetam and phenyl are better cognitive boosts, but noopept is better for removing behavioral inhibitions in my experience. So I take it any time I am going to do something that usually causes a great deal of resistance and associated stress.


     


    It's also worth noting that caffeine is good for quantity, but not necessarily quality. Use it to do more of the things your already good at. Take something else instead if you are learning brand new material.




  • Most math students will say that Liebniz and Newton didn't need nootropic stacks and that you either have it or you don't.  I tend to agree.  If find that certain noots help a lot when I'm studying math, but I don't have "it" so it doesn't really matter.  


     


    What am I saying?  There's a lot you can learn by working hard, but I don't think that there is any drug that can make one see what they can't see.  You would need to be "enhanced" all the time to have a chance at break through that wall and that is not sustainable - it just means that you're not smart enough.


  • edited November 2014


    Most math students will say that Liebniz and Newton didn't need nootropic stacks and that you either have it or you don't.  I tend to agree.  If find that certain noots help a lot when I'm studying math, but I don't have "it" so it doesn't really matter.  


     


    What am I saying?  There's a lot you can learn by working hard, but I don't think that there is any drug that can make one see what they can't see.  You would need to be "enhanced" all the time to have a chance at break through that wall and that is not sustainable - it just means that you're not smart enough.




     


    I've taught myself *dozens* of skills, all of which I never had at birth ... or even a predisposition towards at birth. Outside of certain things like becoming a sprinter if you lost both legs in a car accident or other extreme examples, anyone can learn anything. Even assuming a predisposition of some sort ... predisposition is not the same as predestination. A healthy dose of learning meta-learning can over come any learning obstacle.


     


    Example: I sucked at foreign languages throughout my life. Until I traveled full-time for 3 years. It's amazing how necessity suddenly made me have to be good at something I thought I was terrible at.


     


    But no one need wait for such outward pressures to see they can learn anything and then tackle it.


     


    The biggest obstacle is usually a psychological one, not one regarding the actual hardware and software of your body or its capabiltiies or incapabilities.


    Biggest takeaway after several years as a hardcore biohacker: think long-term. Focus on health first before adding in boosters. It works a lot better.
  • edited November 2014


    All of your nootropics are piquing my interest!! Especially Noopept.


    Also, you say that caffeine is good for quantity over quality. If a person IS learning new things, would it be wise to hold off on caffeine, until said things are quite dialed in? And THEN adding caffeine into the mix? Say if a person is at a new job, or working on a new business venture - cutting out caffeine / BPC for a specified period of time, until some of the 'finer details' and brain grooves are in place.... and at that point, boosting the output via caffeine?


     


    And why are more computer programmers not using a combo of float tanks (for relaxation / deeper thinking / visualization / ideas), focused & quiet areas for work (interruptions are a programmer's worst nightmare), and nootropics (for the boost)? Seriously, it seems as if the combination of those 3 things would light programmers up to the next level, and FINALLY get some of the quality technology created, which we KNOW needs to come out... 




     


    Thinking of caffeine on the level of abstraction of a new business venture or job would be a mis-leading concept. It's more about the underlying skills being applied. If you are learning a new skill, and don't quite have the feel for it, hold the caffeine. Of coruse, this could be in cycles. No caffeine while practicing in the morning, and then caffeine a few hours later when reviewing or applying a skill you do know. It doens't have to be cold turkey for a set duration.


     


    Once you can do it well, and know it well, caffeine is a great boost.


     


    When you take it or don't will require some reflection on your part. I focus on consulting and entrpreneurial ventures, so I have a lot of free space in terms of scheduling what I ingest to coincide with what I am doing in any given time block. If you are unable to do that, you may need to consider the overall content of your time each day or each part of each day instead. Are you overall doing a lot of new material? Overall, doing a lot of stuff you know well?


     


    It's also worth noting that it has more to do with applying skills than new knowledge. For example, I have study skills down to a science, so caffeine is a boost. It doesn't matter if the material is new or not, it's about the skill. If I were learning study skills or adding in new ones, I'd drop the caffeine.


     


    You can also supplement other things in its place of course during these times.


     


    Dave also has a few articles on caffeine that talk on similar areas I've covered here if you wanted to see some alternative opinions on this.


    Biggest takeaway after several years as a hardcore biohacker: think long-term. Focus on health first before adding in boosters. It works a lot better.
  • I don't expect people to like the news, but the OP knows what I'm saying for sure.  In math, everybody has a ceiling no matter how hard they want to work.  There's no inspirational quote or drug that will get you to abstract beyond your capabilities.  This was as true for Einstein as it is for me, but his ceiling was obviously as high as anyone's has ever been.


     


    Knowing my limits, I still spend over 20 hours a week studying math and science (on top of a 50 hour a week job and a family) because it is about who I have to be to push the rock up the hill that brings forth my potential - but you'll likely never see me discover anything of value directly - its not about that.   


     




    I've taught myself *dozens* of skills, all of which I never had at birth ... or even a predisposition towards at birth. Outside of certain things like becoming a sprinter if you lost both legs in a car accident or other extreme examples, anyone can learn anything. Even assuming a predisposition of some sort ... predisposition is not the same as predestination. A healthy dose of learning meta-learning can over come any learning obstacle.


     


    Example: I sucked at foreign languages throughout my life. Until I traveled full-time for 3 years. It's amazing how necessity suddenly made me have to be good at something I thought I was terrible at.


     


    But no one need wait for such outward pressures to see they can learn anything and then tackle it.


     


    The biggest obstacle is usually a psychological one, not one regarding the actual hardware and software of your body or its capabiltiies or incapabilities.





  • I don't expect people to like the news, but the OP knows what I'm saying for sure.  In math, everybody has a ceiling no matter how hard they want to work.  There's no inspirational quote or drug that will get you to abstract beyond your capabilities.  This was as true for Einstein as it is for me, but his ceiling was obviously as high as anyone's has ever been.


     


    Knowing my limits, I still spend over 20 hours a week studying math and science (on top of a 50 hour a week job and a family) because it is about who I have to be to push the rock up the hill that brings forth my potential - but you'll likely never see me discover anything of value directly - its not about that.   




     


    The person who knows it can be done because they've done it ... vs.... the person who insists it can never be done. Clearly, this conversation isn't going anywhere so I'll let it die here.

    Biggest takeaway after several years as a hardcore biohacker: think long-term. Focus on health first before adding in boosters. It works a lot better.
  • GarrettGarrett
    edited November 2014

    Have you read up on Steve Jobs or Henry Ford? They made the impossible possible. Reality distortion fields. 


     


    Who knows what type of ceiling a person has? Or IF there is a ceiling? You say Einstein had a ceiling... I wonder what his 'ceiling' would've been like, had he had technologies such s floatation tanks & cognitive enhancers. 


    The question is, why would you ever say that there is a ceiling? Why would you put limits on how far you can go? How do you KNOW that there's a ceiling? Your life situation says that you 'need' to work 50 hours a week at a job, and then only spend 20 hours a week working on your mah skills. Have you considered the possibility that you could design a reality which flips that? Have you considered that, perhaps, with some tweaks in how your current reality is built, that your capabilities can be pushed a lot further? A reality in which you have more 'spare time' in which to improve your capabilities? Are you truly learning in the most optimal way (aka how elite performers and elite athletes train) in which to enhance your capabilities.


     


    Just some things to consider.



    And please don't limit other people's realities. This is the Bulletproof Forum, which is all about Biohacking, and about PUSHING the edges of one's limits, and seeing where a person can all go. 


     




    I don't expect people to like the news, but the OP knows what I'm saying for sure.  In math, everybody has a ceiling no matter how hard they want to work.  There's no inspirational quote or drug that will get you to abstract beyond your capabilities.  This was as true for Einstein as it is for me, but his ceiling was obviously as high as anyone's has ever been.


     


    Knowing my limits, I still spend over 20 hours a week studying math and science (on top of a 50 hour a week job and a family) because it is about who I have to be to push the rock up the hill that brings forth my potential - but you'll likely never see me discover anything of value directly - its not about that.   



  • 1. If knowledge of a ceiling makes someone work less hard then they either 1) weren't that smart to begin with; or 2) too emotionally fragile to succeed to begin with.  Anybody who dies before recognizing their ceiling has wasted their potential.


     


    2. The OP is studying math at the graduate level.  Contrary to popular belief, this isn't some MBA program that any idiot can get through with a good attitude and the right inspirational quotes in their journal.  Many really smart people will simply fail to get over the hump somewhere and there isn't anything a drug or their daddy can fix.  Not saying that the OP is in this category - on the contrary I'm saying that nootropics just won't help that much here - it is likely he'll do fine and would have regardless of his stack. 


     


    3. Feynman used drugs to expand himself but who wants to argue that he wouldn't have made it as a physicist otherwise? 


     


    4. I'm all ears if someone wants to come here and say that they couldn't learn PDEs until they started doing float tanks and taking oxiracetam regularly. 


     


    5. Ford and Jobs accomplished what in mathematics?


     


    How do you explain why I still study my ass off as a grown adult decades away from university?  The notion of a ceiling doesn't stop me from pushing it in the slightest.  That's Bulletproof my friend.




    Have you read up on Steve Jobs or Henry Ford? They made the impossible possible. Reality distortion fields. 


     


    Who knows what type of ceiling a person has? Or IF there is a ceiling? You say Einstein had a ceiling... I wonder what his 'ceiling' would've been like, had he had technologies such s floatation tanks & cognitive enhancers. 


    The question is, why would you ever say that there is a ceiling? Why would you put limits on how far you can go? How do you KNOW that there's a ceiling? Your life situation says that you 'need' to work 50 hours a week at a job, and then only spend 20 hours a week working on your mah skills. Have you considered the possibility that you could design a reality which flips that? Have you considered that, perhaps, with some tweaks in how your current reality is built, that your capabilities can be pushed a lot further? A reality in which you have more 'spare time' in which to improve your capabilities? Are you truly learning in the most optimal way (aka how elite performers and elite athletes train) in which to enhance your capabilities.


     


    Just some things to consider.


    And please don't limit other people's realities. This is the Bulletproof Forum, which is all about Biohacking, and about PUSHING the edges of one's limits, and seeing where a person can all go. 



  • This guy lived on coffee and  tons of amphetamines for 25 years.  1525 published articles.  Your mileage may vary.


     


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Erd%C5%91s


  • Erdos was a child prodigy who was ordained to be a great mathematician from the time he was 4 or 5 years old.  He wasn't struggling to understand concepts at university before he found amphetamines.  He got his PhD at age 21!


     


    These things (drugs) help at the margins at best when it comes to this, which for Erdos may have meant a hundred or so more papers.




    This guy lived on coffee and  tons of amphetamines for 25 years.  1525 published articles.  Your mileage may vary.


     


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Erd%C5%91s



  • Taking prodigies as examples adds no weight to the argument, as we are dealing with the general population.


     


    For the general pop, people have to learn maths, they don't just look at a tin of beans and figure out fibonacci sequences. For most its this simple, regardless of how smart you are you still have to learn the material. A smart student good at maths will pick it up quicker, on his first go as opposed to a lesser able student, who has to go over it again.There is no"not getting it", break the problem down into separate components and keep applying yourself.


     


    Because of being bulletproof, Op will obviously have an edge over people who can't study as efficiently due to bad diet, sleep etc. Desire and hard work trump all.


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