Why Twitter Hates Math

I am bad at implementing stuff myself. So when it comes to gathering data, I always have to rely on some smart dude(tte) on the Internet to provide me fool proof tools to do my data gathering. Recently, i found a tool to get data from twitter in the most idiot proof way possible.

So i could finally gather data for my project: “How do people feel about math?”
To anticipate the outcome: Not very positive…

“Mathematics is a place where you can do things which you can’t do in the real world”. [Marcus du Sautoy]

Sentimental Analysis of Tweets

My dataset comprises around 15000 tweets between 11:30 and 16:00 on March 25th that used the keyword “math”. From these tweets, I sampled 1000 at random and performed a sentiment analysis via the API of viralheat. In a nutshell, the tool takes a piece of text (a tweet) as input and analyses the mood of the tweet. A tweet like “One day I am gonna perform suicide because of math” would clearly be classified as a negative sentiment towards math. In contrast “math is beautiful” would express a  positive sentiment (The first tweet is actually in the dataset. The second one I had to make up…)

These results are kind of scary. Yet, after randomly reading some of the positive tweets I expect the gap to be even greater. Consider these two tweet: “I swear I love math ..on Opposite Day” and “give me love – math is killing me”. Both were classified as positive, but clearly aren’t! So I went through all the positively classified tweets and did a classification by hand. And by all I mean 100 out of 304. I got to depressed then and did an extrapolation. I also added a neutral category for those tweets that don’t really express feelings.


The result are shocking! But at least there were also a lot of entertaining tweets. One of the most disturbing ones was this tweet

“Don’t know why we have to take math like wtf I’m not fucking with triangles when I’m older omg”

I decided to gather the most entertaining and disturbing tweets and put them on an unrelated background picture as it is done with so many inspirational quotes. As long as I haven’t figured out how to put a nice gallery in here, I will post them on my facebook page.

I will continue to gather tweets about math and other scientific fields and extend the gallery, since this is way to entertaining…but also sad.


Posted in: Data Analysis, math

Written by Dmathlete