Einstein Never Actually Failed Math

Barry Lenson

By Jeffrey Simons

We’ve all heard it: before “Everyone knows that Einstein failed math.”

Albert EINSTEINTurns out, that’s just plain wrong. He excelled in math. What failed was the traditional education system, which didn’t know what to do with a unique talent like Albert Einstein, one of the fathers of modern physics. As Einstein himself put it, “The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.”

Clearly, though, Einstein never let that stop him. And even though Einstein finished college before the start of the 20th Century, one thing hasn’t changed: the traditional educational system is still failing hundreds of thousands of students in this country.

That’s Lesson #1 we can learn from Albert Einstein today, on his birthday: Don’t let traditional education stop you from learning.

But that’s not the only lesson we can take from Einstein’s life. In 1905, unable to get his doctoral dissertation accepted or get a job as a professor, Einstein was working in the Swiss patent office as a third-class examiner. In other words, one of the greatest minds of the century was wasting his time in a drag job. (Sound familiar?)

So what else did he do that year? He wrote 4 scientific papers. The first showed that light was both a particle and a wave. The next proved that atoms and molecules actually exist. The third was the Special Theory of Relativity. And the last one contained the most famous equation in the world: E=MC2.

Stuck in that lousy job, Einstein decided that there were more important things he could get done while he worked.

That’s Lesson #2: Even if you’ve got a job, you can find the time to work towards your future. (And with our self-paced, online college courses, we make it convenient for you to do just that.)

Finally, Einstein knew that you didn’t always get things right the first time. You can’t expand the boundaries of knowledge without taking a few wrong turns. In fact, Einstein also said “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”

And that’s Lesson #3: Don’t be afraid to try something new and make mistakes on your path to your future. Here at StraighterLine, we make it easy for you to try new courses out. And if you don’t like them, you can just drop them, with no impact on your transcripts, unlike what happens if you drop a course at a traditional school.

Are you stuck in a drag job? Has the educational system failed you? Maybe it’s time to think outside of the box, the way Albert Einstein did.

In honor of Einstein’s birthday today, I leave you with one final quote:

“I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.”

Your future is coming, and it’s all in your hands. Take control. Take online college courses at StraighterLine today.

One Last Thing: It’s also Pi Day
In a strange coincidence, Einstein’s birthday is also Pi Day. March 14th is the day we celebrate that critically important mathematical constant that represents the ratio between a circle’s circumference and its diameter, Pi. And while nobody has ever calculated Pi fully,* we all know the first 3 digits: 3.14. Hence Pi Day, 3/14.

To celebrate both Pi Day and Albert Einstein’s birthday, StraighterLine presents the STEM Courses Bundle. You can pick 3 of our most popular science and math courses for the low price of $496, which includes a 4-month subscription and online tutoring. That’s a savings of $47 compared to a normal monthly subscription plus 3 courses.

Have a happy Albert Einstein’s Birthday and a happy Pi Day! Now go out there and do something smart.

*Mathematicians have used supercomputers to calculate Pi to 1013 digits, but, excuse the pun, there’s still more pi leftover.

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3 thoughts on “Einstein Never Actually Failed Math”

  • Alison Fayers-Kerr
    Alison Fayers-Kerr June 20, 2013 at 5:28 am

    You deserve a comment for making my day and for putting some of my wrongly and half-digested 'facts' into perspective. Thank you for that! I sent your link to everyone. Kind regards Alison

  • Thomas T. Dean
    Thomas T. Dean June 9, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Does your company offer different levels of higher college math courses that can be applied to a B.S. degree in Math