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Dec 25 '10 at 9:12 comment added Jay Suresh's answer is great! To the OP: Building mathematical "muscles" means getting used to the language and tools of math (combinatorics, graph theory, analysis etc) and also getting used to prove theorems! (And this is the really exciting part! :-)
Dec 20 '10 at 18:06 comment added Sylvain Peyronnet Nice answer! "you need to reserve blocks of time for your independent study": this remembers me of my own experience. I used to be a lazy math student, then in master I discovered a nice TCS problem (centered around the busy beaver function). I started working on my free time on it with guidance by one of my prof. I never found something interesting on the problem, but 12 years later, I wrote more than 15 papers with him (but he never was my phd/master advisor, only an "external" mentor).
S Dec 20 '10 at 13:45 history answered Suresh Venkat CC BY-SA 2.5
S Dec 20 '10 at 13:45 history made wiki Post Made Community Wiki