I wanted to break away from Blender Learning/Modeling (Current passion) for a day or two. And so I began my exploration in Mathematical Groups using FreePlane Mind mapping software. I had recently switched from Freemind to to Freeplane. There was a simple enough reason for this decision - LaTeX support. Freeplane allows us to enter Mathematical equations using LaTeX. But a certain disadvantage of using Freeplane is that you have a broken Flash support for web pages. Freemind has an excellent Flash export.
Freeplane Code (Table)
Here is a sample Latex code using Freeplane
And here is the result in Freeplane
Mindmap for Mathematics
Now I find Mindmaps to be a great tool for complex topics. I certainly use it for my Mathematical explorations. Certain advantages of using Mindmaps for explorations are:-
- It helps organize complex information in a non-linear fashion. It mimics the way your brain thinks(non-linearity).
- A great tool for careful reasoning and solving problems. You can track down your steps that led you somewhere.
- A great recollection tool for complex topics.
- It helps you find deeper meaning in your subject.
- A tool for logically organizing new ideas of your own.
Here is a screen grab of Mindmap for my Group Theory Exploration.
When not to Mindmap
When not to use Mindmaps:-
- It slows you down considerably. So choose your problems carefully. Go for difficult problems.
- Mind mapping takes more time than making linear notes. So again, choose your problems carefully.
- It is not a great tool for situations which demands detailed explanations.
- Stop when you have already reached your goal.
- "I have gone through my entire life without this. Why should I start now?"