ATWhen we open Math WeekDebates are raging The question of their place in the undergraduate reform program. The questions and discussions that come with such a course are reasonable, but we must avoid tarnishing the exchanges at the risk of losing the real problem: the sanctity of mathematics in our country. And the shock it goes through. Because at the risk of upsetting those who love this discipline that I am a part of, we need to open the discussion to understand this. Mathematics is everywhere !
In France, mathematics is the state path to success in the academic sense – strictly – as long as one imagines in half a word that the apparent zero in this field is the sign of a failed future. Let it be clear, we all want to have more compulsory math for all students, but wanting to achieve this goal at any cost can accomplish the cause by intimidating more and more students without trying to control them with a practical view of the subject.
Obviously, mathematical concepts are used in fields such as physics, chemistry or life and earth sciences. For the first time we often use mathematics at a very complex level to describe events around us, such as derivatives – speed – and seconds – acceleration -, calculating high-sequence static moments or volumes and densities. For example, to understand the mathematical challenge of physics, look at Maxwell’s equations with all these integrations and partial derivatives.
Mathematics elsewhere than mathematics
The use of mathematics in subjects such as geography, history, sports or economics is less obvious, but equally important. In geography, we may have to compare the area of territories, the length of borders or the ratio of agricultural land. In sport, you may want to calculate the difference between the average speed and the runner’s top speed or the improvement over time in the long jump process. These analyzes present mastery of basic geometric and statistical calculations.
Just look at that The best mathematicians in history To be persuaded. Many were philosophers, writers, physicists, zoologists or even economists. Mathematics is everywhere, and to understand it is to succeed in regaining the brilliant idea that one can learn the best concepts in mathematics elsewhere than mathematics. Take advantage of Math Week to find out!
Read our special issue Daily Mathematics