Maths is the universal notation of the universe, and we use maths every day without thinking about it. You look at the dairy shelf in your local shop? You’re using geometry by way of instinctively measuring distance, angles, depth and widths and height. Maths is just the notation needed to describe this.

You might not see numbers floating in the air to indicate the coordinates and the dimensions of the object you’re observing, but they’re still there; immediately translated by your eye and your brain into vision.

I thought about this when the usual complaints about maths came up. A girl at the free period complained that she had wasted so much time with maths, and that she would never use any of it in real life. And I was thinking – silly one, you’re using geometry and audio and all right now, without even thinking about it.

Maths and language share a bond. They’re the finger pointed in awe at something beautiful. Unfortunately, maths teaching have you counting syllables and rhyme frequency instead of looking at the thing that maths point at. In maths, J Evans Pritchard rules, and Shakespeare is forgotten. Well, the old bard is quite immaterial, because who wants the setting sun when you can have angles!

Beauty and meaning and the idea is lost. People can instead despair over the angles, and then like this student that I met they can think that maths is hard and irrelevant to their lives, and not think that when they measure the red pepper in the grocery shelf they’re using geometry and arithmetic, the basics of algebra. And since they’re that close to algebra.

Sometimes I miss maths. It was never a favourite subject, but I think I was pretty good at it. I did get an MVG (which means A) in the final grade from secondary school. So, the complaint is excrement. Rip it out!

I never liked math but that was because no one realized I probably have “Dyscalculia.” I frequently “see” numbers inverted so 52 can be 25 most often when the numbers are part of a larger string of numbers like a phone number. Once I started using math as part of statistics foe epidemiology, (I worked in Public Health), I came to enjoy it but still had to check figures to make sure there was no inversion of numbers. I wish I had been identified with the problem while in school as I did well in other subjects. In any case, you are right that math is part of everyday life. I have seen things marked in supermarkets that try and fool by offering 2 for price X while a larger box, carton of bottle costs less but has more of the product.

I was obsessed with math and science until four abysmal high school science teachers and two abysmal math teachers sent me spinning off toward the humanities. Now I’m happily surrounded by language.

I was never particularly good at math either but, like you I could see its value and pushed The Daughter to continue with it to year 12. It was a struggle because she is very artistic and couldn’t see the point. But what did she study after high school? Maya! [Maya is The graphics tool for film and game developers]. And guess what? She found that her hated math made certain parts of Maya much easier for her to learn. 😀

Music too. You wouldn’t believe how much maths there is behind it—beginning with harmonics and scales, but not ending there by any means. Good thoughtful post. It’s a pity so many people see maths as something utterly foreign to them.

I never liked math but that was because no one realized I probably have “Dyscalculia.” I frequently “see” numbers inverted so 52 can be 25 most often when the numbers are part of a larger string of numbers like a phone number. Once I started using math as part of statistics foe epidemiology, (I worked in Public Health), I came to enjoy it but still had to check figures to make sure there was no inversion of numbers. I wish I had been identified with the problem while in school as I did well in other subjects. In any case, you are right that math is part of everyday life. I have seen things marked in supermarkets that try and fool by offering 2 for price X while a larger box, carton of bottle costs less but has more of the product.

I was obsessed with math and science until four abysmal high school science teachers and two abysmal math teachers sent me spinning off toward the humanities. Now I’m happily surrounded by language.

I was never particularly good at math either but, like you I could see its value and pushed The Daughter to continue with it to year 12. It was a struggle because she is very artistic and couldn’t see the point. But what did she study after high school? Maya! [Maya is The graphics tool for film and game developers]. And guess what? She found that her hated math made certain parts of Maya much easier for her to learn. 😀

Music too. You wouldn’t believe how much maths there is behind it—beginning with harmonics and scales, but not ending there by any means. Good thoughtful post. It’s a pity so many people see maths as something utterly foreign to them.