Today is Geek Pride Day, a day to celebrate people who love mathematics and computers - and Star Wars films.
The idea of Geek Pride dates back to the 1990s when a man named Tim McEachern organized Geek Pride Festivals in New York. May 25th was chosen for Geek Pride Day by Spanish blogger Germán Martínez, because Star Wars Episode IV (A New Hope) premiered that day (40 years ago last year). It caught on and today is celebrated around the world.
I am proud to be a geek; geeks make the difference in this world. Look at Albert Einstein, Carl Friedrich Gauss, Steve Jobs, Linus Torvalds - all geeks!
When I was young, I wanted to be an architect – a real architect who designs and builds houses, bridges, and other buildings. I used to work with my father on construction sites and I wanted to be part of the “creative” side of the job.
I fell in love with mathematics when I was roughly 13 or 14 years old. I was fascinated by the clarity, the rigor, and the (yes) beauty of mathematical reasoning. I came later to computers, mathematics was my fascination along with art, music, and literature - all of which I love too. I remember that people found it “strange” that I enjoyed reading mathematics papers and books voluntarily in my spare time.
Not that I was teased much about it. If people asked why I was so interested, I was happy to explain it. I am a firm believer that young boys and girls should take up and learn mathematics. Unlike the common belief, I truly think that everyone is able to enjoy math. The only reason why one cannot appreciate the beauty of mathematics is the inability to convey it.
More than ever, mathematics is at the core of modern technology. Look at hyped topics like cryptography and artificial intelligence, to name only two. I would even encourage young kids to do math as “l‘art pour l‘art” - it didn’t hurt me at least.
In my career, I love to create something (useful or beautiful) out of nothing. This is possible in mathematics and software just by using your mental capabilities (and a computer). Digital transformation is fundamental change where technology meets creativity. And seeing other people use your stuff for their benefit is very satisfying.
At Software AG, geeks are indispensable. Growth is based on new ideas. And geeks are good at those!