Must I study Math?
Must I study mathematics?
Yes you must!
And that is my final verdict. I know you may be strung up right now and you may find yourself torn in between the confusion of whether to drop or continue with that one and very important glorious subject everybody has got something to say about.
Many people I have come across are of the view that mathematics is either so hard to understand or it is completely irrelevant in what they become later in life in their chosen careers. They are always saying things like “I hate math” and “Must I study mathematics?” Such people are of the view that mathematics is only for those people in engineering, physicists and economists.
But is that so?
No, of course.
Granted, some people find the subject so hard. But that does not mean that such people will be “allowed” to escape learning Math on that basis because that will be like postponing the dooms day, the day of reckoning when the application of that branch of knowledge will be called upon and it would be found missing…
The first problem I foresee here is that with such mental disposition or attitude to such an importance subject like mathematics, chances of making any headway is very infinitesimal for the student who thinks the subject is too difficult to understand. Another problem is that there may not be enough teachers/professionals who could teach the subject with fervor such that every student will always feel like he/she is being carried along.
But from experience, I know that interest (or disinterest) in mathematics is what matters the most.
I believe that people should be encouraged to put in more effort and focus on the learning and understanding the subject because of the huge importance of mathematics in our human society as it concerns the ever changing face of technology in today’s world.
On the other issue of people thinking that mathematics has no (real or applied) impact in their chosen career, I have only one thing to say to them: please stop fooling yourselves.
Let me explain myself.
Mathematics and your thinking abilities
Mathematics improves your thinking capabilities. You may not know it but the whole idea of mathematics is to develop a thinking human being who is able look at the whole problem before attempting to provide a solution. The whole process of problem solving can easily be inculcated in the mathematics student who is now in the position to think about a problem, understand the constraints before diving in to proffer solutions. Mathematics is the bedrock of logic. It has often been said that everything in life is about thinking and there is no doubt that mathematics is just about the only subject that allows and encourages the student to think and reason critically as well.
Mathematics and your memory
Many people are always complaining of their poor memory. You often hear them say they will do everything humanly possible to improve their memory.
Is that the same for you?
Well, if that is the case and you are reading this now, then I have good news for you. The solution to that very problem of yours is very simple –why don’t you try just a cup of arithmetic mixed with algebra and mathematical theorems on daily basis? It works like the almighty formula!
Mathematics is all about your ability to remember things. You have to remember the simple and complex formulas. You have to memorize and understand those theorems and trigonometric formulas. You have to remember the formulas for solving those differential equations and integrations. You have to memorize patterns in geometry. You have to note the process in which simultaneous and quadratic equations are formed from word problems. You just have to remember something and use that something to have an overview and the most likely solution to the problem at hand.
Do I need to mention what an improved memory can do for you? The fact that you want to improve your poor memory is a sign that you are so aware of the benefits of such a healthy achievement. Your will increase your concentration definitely. With mathematics, you will learn how to visualize thus your imaginative and creative power will receive some big-bang boost. You will be able to become a good judge of situations and circumstances. You will be also be able to plan ahead of time.
In fact, you will become more productive, more analytical and more efficient.
Are you still in doubts why you MUST pay more attention to math?
Mathematics and the economy
In today’s world, science and technology is almost relegating all other branch of knowledge to the backgrounds at an alarming rate. Everywhere you go, you witness inspiring though confounding technological breakthroughs here and there.
It is a fact.
But one thing you may be missing is this question: what is the bedrock of all science and technology?
Aha! Mathematics of course.
From complex shapes to mind boggling engineering drawings and designs. From latest state-of-the-arts electronic designs to the stunning but appreciative modern civil engineering designs in housing and constructions. From accurate weather forecasting to precise predictions in solar system studies. One thing so obvious is the controlling hands of mathematics in all these technological advancements.
Because of the importance of mathematics, no wonder people in sciences are more likely to find jobs easier than their counterparts in other fields especially in this age of economic meltdown.
It is not like mathematics is just all you need to become relevant in today’s world economy but you cannot simply dismiss its heavy importance. Problem solving and analytical thinking is becoming more necessary in areas of management and long term planning all thanks to mathematics. No wonder computer programmers are always amongst the group of professionals earning high incomes.
If you tell me this is attributable to the high level of logic, thinking, problem forecasting and problem solving nature of their jobs, I will tell you you are right!
Mathematics for the Non-mathematician
Mathematics and everyday life
I wonder if people who say they don’t think mathematics have any use in their later life have the ability to see beyond their noses.
Come to think it, it has got EVERYTHING to do about your present and future that is to come. Look around you now. Look at it closely, and you will see that everything around you is all about mathematics.
Your daily life is structured alongside mathematics. We are always involved with counting numbers be it in counting money or signing checks or even paying our bills. We plan our budget using simple arithmetic and percentages. We always encounter measurements and rates in our everyday life. We are always calculating how much a particular commodity will cost and how affordable something we desire might be. We are always involved in judging how much time we can spare. As students, we are always concerned with our scores in examinations and the grade points.
The truth is that everyday, we simply live mathematics!
Mathematics and your mental well being
Mathematics has also got a very huge role to play in the mental well being of an individual. Mathematics stimulates the brain. You have to think about a problem and when you succeed in finding the solution, you will surely notice a flabbergasting “hooray” escape your lips.
Oh what a joy! Your whole body, soul and mind will join in the fun.
While you are trying to solve a mathematical problem, your brain cells get replaced so fast. You gain more brain cells forcing you to increase intellectually. The end result is the general improvement of both your mental and even physical well being.
Now compare that with seating on the couch and watching TV all day long. You will gain something too as a matter of fact – some fat on your body and a couple of dull and unchallenged brain to go with.
Given both choices, I will say give me my mathematics anytime any day!
So my friend there you have it! If you are simply considering dropping mathematics or even skipping those math classes because of one thing or the other most especially because of your ill-perceived difficulty of this wonderful subject, I will say to you, think about it again.
How safe and comfortable will you feel if I tell you that the person who designed the bridge you are always using, or the person who designed that your wonderful house or even that your special car is somebody, actually a charlatan, who never paid any serious attention to the subject of mathematics?