Math is boring. Math isn’t useful. You’ll never need to use math again after school. It isn’t necessary to learn math, now that we have cash registers, calculators and computers. Math is just plain boring.
For over two millennia, the greatest minds of their time have helped us to understand our world. The movement of objects. Force. Gravity. Waves. Energy. Motion. The great expanse of the universe, and the tiny universe of the atom.
And their knowledge was derived, expressed, taught, and passed on to future generations in a common language – the language of mathematics. This common language enabled future generations to build on what had gone before and to continuously expand human knowledge.
This mathematical knowledge is not just theoretical – it is the very basis of our everyday lives. For every individual, math determines:
- if your car accelerates smoothly, handles well and brakes safely;
- if your mobile phone maintains its connection as you drive (I wish mine did L);
- if your elevator stops exactly in line with the floor;
- if your portfolio has the correct level of risk;
- if the medications you take are absorbed by your body at the correct rates;
- if the airplane you’re in maintains its proper course;
- if your mail arrives on time; and so much more.
If you are a business, math determines the design of your products, the efficiency of your manufacturing processes; the effectiveness of your quality control; the cost of your products, and your margins. Math determines your competitive advantage.
Mathematics underlies the products and processes that are the basis of modern life.
And mathematics continues to help us understand where we have come from, improve our daily lives, and create a brighter future for all of us.
Boring? Useless? Unnecessary?
I don’t think so.