Monday, February 22, 2010

Is Math Boring?

It's funny because I love math. I have always loved it, but my wife almost gets physically ill by the mention of trigonometry. If by some accident I happen to mention anything that could be construed as a mathematical concept or problem my wife sushh's me as quick as she can. Some people really do struggle to accept mathematics for the exciting and interesting explanation of how everything moves and exists in our universe, ok maybe that is overstating it a bit but you get my drift.

Well the question is who is right, Is Math boring? I obviously say no and here is my case to prove it. Is TV boring, well much of it is TV is not a good example I'll try again, Is space travel boring? Or are computer games boring? or what about movie special effects? or mobile phones? The web? Flying? Even the driving the car? They all to a degree employ mathematics to achieve what they are designed to. The easiest first space travel is all about math. Everything is based on distance, relative speeds and intersection points all normal mathematical concepts but vital in successful space travel.

The whole tech industry is built upon the shoulders of mathematics. All computers at the low levels only understand math. Everything you want a computer to do from play a game, send an email, watch a video, social networking, twitter etc everything is translated to mathematical functions for computers to understand. Your computer only looks like it knows what you want it to do, to your computer all it really is doing is solving mathematical problems for you all day long. Math really is the one and only common worldwide language, it is the only language that every community in the world has in common and understands. Mathematics comes from a greek word meaning leaning, study and science all very basic tenets of education.

Form my above argument I would say to be bored by mathematics is to be bored of life. I blame how and what we were taught in schools for this perception that math is boring because taught properly it should only emit wonder from students. But the teachers tried to drill into us formulas and learn of theorems when in reality we needed to see it applied in the real world to grasp how it effects us everyday.

Now ask my wife for her argument and her response is the same as nearly every bored student in math class "But I'll never need this when I leave school". I always counter that as she grew up working in the family shop she used it in a very practical way everyday dealing with money. But hey these differences of opinion is what makes life interesting, I have only one thing left to say one the subject…I'm right Q.E.D.

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