At work, I'm doing the sort of mathematics I haven't done since the second year: calculus, as in Legendre. This means that I drew a graph of y=x on a piece of paper, and I've been staring at it all day, making assertions about it. The trick is to create a space such that the answer to the "difficult" question in hand is of the form y=Bx, then solve for B. However, the art is very much in the creation of the space - not the solving for B, which is relatively standard. It's half analysis and half seat-of-the-pants, and I'm equally weak at both.
Unfortunately, I've been rather shafted by my data set turning out to be bimodal, so tonight I'm tracing through the entire process to work out where this bimodality came from. I have a nasty suspicion, which will be very difficult to prove. In the meantime, I will be staring at many more straight line graphs, all of which differ only in the labelling and scale of the axes, and all of which mean utterly different things.
Mathematics would be so simple, if only I understood it.