History of Mathematics: The Vectors of Mind

My title for this column is that of an influential book, first published in 1935 by the American psychologist L. L. Thurstone. It is almost self-explanatory: although we are accustomed to see intelligence measured as a simple scalar, the IQ, most of us realize that this single number has to be a gross oversimplification of the underlying reality. Different people exhibit different mental capacities. Here is an obvious example: there are those of us who (like Parabola's readers) are good at Mathematics, but there are also otherwise highly intelligent people who have no aptitude for it at all!