Why Do Mathematics?

As a new high school teacher a couple of decades ago, my 15 year old students asked me (with all the dramatic tones of that age group) : “Why do we have to do maths?”f orbiting

My brain raced – we didn’t cover this at teacher’s college! Momentary panic. Deep breath. Quick prayer: “Give me a clue, God”.

My response was like this ::

I believe in a created order and in that order, there are patterns, sequences, cycles, relationships, and series. There is a rhythm to life. A coming and going. People and living things grow old and die, then there’s another cycle that brings new life and fruit.

There is a time for the sun to shine, then the moon. The moon goes from new to full moon every 27 days. The tides ebb and flow because of the gravitational interaction of the earth and the moon.

Look at the seasons. We can closely guess what weather to expect in August because there is a pattern throughout the years.

We can not get away from maths concepts.

We use maths to get to our friend’s house, buy food and clothes, to decide if we can cross the road so as not to get run over by the bus coming, to get ready for the party on time.

So, why do maths?

1. Because the school says so.

2. Maths Certificate tells employers you can multiply and add and a bit more.

3. More importantly, maths teaches you to solve problems, follow logic, find relationships between number-based ideas, and to make real-world decisions based on known and unknown information or data.

4. It;s fascinating.

Let’s start being number detectives. 😀

Articles online ::

http://jerry.praxisiimath.com/whymath.html – one of the clearer and more succinct articles “why”

http://www.popmath.org.uk/centre/pagescpm/imahob95.html

Occupations ::
There are uses of mathematics in all the “hard” sciences, such as biology, chemistry, and physics; the “soft” sciences, such as economics, psychology, and sociology; engineering fields, such as civil, mechanical, and industrial engineering; and technological fields such as computers, rockets, and communications. There are even uses in the arts, such as sculpture, drawing, and music. In addition, anything which uses a computer uses mathematics,

Mathematics is used for biomedical engineering, food technology, building technology, chemical sciences, civil and structural engineering, graphics and computer-aided drawing (CAD), electronics, environmental health, mechanical engineering, mining technology, nuclear medicine, occupational health, petroleum technology, prosthetics, forestry and wildlife, robotics, and surveying. it is used in so many other subjects.

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