Tonight, I thought I would write about how I came to become so interested in Mathematics; and the importance of Mathematics in scienfic disciplines; and more importantly the importance of Mathematics in our everyday life.
Mathematics, in my opinion, is a universal language which can be understood by everyone providing they know how to write and read Mathematics; it is very much like how English has become the universal language within Business and Latin has become the universal language when classifying new species; Mathematics is the fundamental language of scienfic disciplines and the language which we speak everyday.
I would not consider myself to be a Mathematician of any sorts, since quite honestly, I do not like every area of Maths. I loathe Differential Equations and Calculus. However, the main areas of interest to me are the following: Graph Theory, Number Theory, Set Theory/Logic and Abstract Algebra. There is something about these areas in which I have a particular interest with.
I never really appreciated or learned Maths until after leaving secondary school at the age of 15. The culture of the school at the time, was that Maths is one of those subjects which is useless and abstract and a pass in the subject would be suffice. Ironically, I had a deep interest in the Natural Sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics), achieving two A*s and an A. I only bothered to pass my Maths class since I adopted the culture which was a popular at my school, a serious mistake which I regret and wish I could reverse.
I believe Mathematics is poorly taught at schools – it certainly was at my school – and the importance of Mathematics isn’t fully expressed by teachers, ask any person who doesn’t have an interest in Maths, and I guarantee that if you asked them, what do you think Maths is about? They will immediately answer with either Numbers or Equations. This is not what Mathematics is about, it is about rigorous and rational thinking; an application of intuition and abstract though to find solutions to complex puzzles which provide important applications to our understanding of our beautiful and weird Universe.
Once we overcome the stereotypical perception that Maths can only be exploited by intellectuals and academics, we will finally begin to overcome the bottleneck created by ourselves, to enable everyone learn, appreciate and apply Mathematics to their everyday life. Mathematics can be learned and appreciated by anyone, it is finding that dedication, enthusiasm and motivation to begin exploring a very interesting subject!