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What is the value of Maths?

You will always find takers for mathematics and its significance in life, right from your teachers all the way up to the government. However, students continue to dodge the subject, perennially questioning the usefulness of infinite equations. When you factor in the increased difficulty level, it all adds to being a wildly unpopular option among many students.

That being said, there is a compelling argument to be made for its merits. Jordan McCabe, a beloved STEM teacher & Private Tutor at Carfax Education, takes you through the many reasons you should reconsider avoiding mathematics.

The Practical Value Contrary to popular opinion, there is a regular use of mathematics in daily life. From measuring distances to calculating budgets and taxes among other fiscal decisions, there are innumerable instances. Essentially, it helps develop intellectual traits like the power of thinking and reasoning, induction, and analysis. While online tools today certainly facilitate these processes, one still needs to appreciate the implications of the various numbers and results. That aside, mathematics also underpins baseline knowledge for subjects like science, engineering, and economics. You definitely want the civil engineers building your roads, and medical professionals administering medicines to have their basic mathematical concepts and calculations down pat.

Widespread comprehension of mathematics can promote a well-functioning society, so you know what you are looking at when it comes to understanding and interpreting critical percentages & graphs on the news. The Disciplinary Value The best thing about mathematics being exact, logical, and to the point is that it trains and disciplines the mind. By developing reasoning and thinking powers, it demands less from memory. This can aid a whole host of tasks right from working efficiently, rationalising, teamwork, and even breezing through unpleasant tasks like homework! Given that definite facts are always expressed in a simple language makes it easily understandable. There is also the characteristic of certainty; students can verify results by using the reverse process and eliminate difficulties themselves. This of course, translates into an ability to analyse a situation and correctly perceive the state of affairs. The Cultural Value Hogben says that mathematics is the mirror of civilisation and this is no farcical cry. Prosperity of man and his cultural advancement have depended considerably upon the advancement of mathematics.

Maths is vital for understanding logical connections between societies and issues that impact populations. Interpreting data and making predictions about the progression of diseases requires excellent statistical and analytical skills. In recent times, it was the mathematical modelling of the COVID-19 pandemic that enabled scientists to predict the most efficient intervention methods and usefulness of mass vaccination programmes. Mathematics is also a pivot for the cultural arts like music, sculpture, painting and poetry. Music, basically, is mathematically organised sound, with rhythm often following complex mathematical series. Art thrives on a sound knowledge of geometry, and students with the same often go on to craft impressive art pieces. Think literature doesn’t have maths? The metre of poetry, the number of words to include in a line and the effect of certain rhymes are all products of mathematical calculations. Given the holistic nature and use of mathematics, one can better appreciate why universities continue to prize the subject so highly. The essential values of maths can be applied well beyond the confines of any syllabi, making it an almost inextricable part of life.


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