No surprise that throughout your school career, there wasn't a single moment when you haven't heard of what good Math is and why you need it. Some may say it's our education system; Some think it's the professors doing a poor job at explaining; Some think the books recommended for study isn't sufficient enough; Some "truthers"—you can find them on YouTube—say that our governments and news media take their citizens' focus away from doing problem solving to get them distracted with entertainment, false conspiracy theories, false news reports, or information that misleads; Lastly, integrate ways to brain-wash the majority into pursuing careers that continually slow the progress of the country, in order to keep communications up with international trades and surpluses.
The list goes on, but those who have re-kindled a liking for Mathematics, like I have, all these do make you wonder why majority of us aren't pursuing a science that can help our country advance farther than where we are currently.
There's one thing you can't deny: It is impossible to live without numbers. You encounter them, you see them and you deal with them every single day—every day. Something as easy as knowing your age or what time it is, you can't expect to live through life without knowing the properties of these numbers and what they're trying to tell you.
The average Math hater complains about the subject's purpose going as far as the philosophical purpose of what the subject is trying to accomplish (i.e. "why do we need Math?"). This is where confusion slips in very easily, not wanting to understand what they're actually asking. The Philosophy of Mathematics is a very deep subject, and asking why we need Math, of course, will trip you up since other folks generally don't know how to summarize an answer for that question. What you may want to ask is how much Math is needed to get by in life.
Perhaps the following list is able to break down what the areas fit using Math. Its usages in the real world really depends as there are a plethora of jobs and professions out there using different kinds of Math, which would be beyond the scope of this page. Anyway, here's a brief list of them:
Pure Mathematics
• Counting: Arithmetic, Integers, Real Numbers, Imaginary Numbers, Complex Numbers
• Structure: Algebra, Number Theory, Combinatorics
• Space: Geometry, Trigonometry, Topology
• Rates of Change: Calculus, Differential Equations
• Foundations of Mathematics: Mathematical (Symbolic) Logic, Set Theory
Applied Mathematics
• Computational: Game Theory, Statistics, Probability [Theory], Mathematical Physics/Economics/Biology/Finance/Chemistry, Fluid Dynamics
Arithmetic is the most common discipline one should know in an instant, something as simple as counting. This area involves simple computing and numbers in general. No matter what, some of these computations are expected in doing them in your head by the time you're in your teenage years. Granted, depending on your major, and/or your job searching, you may not need to integrate, via
Calculus, but something as high as
Algebra should be good enough for the average person. Want a top profession that pays well, not related to entertainment? Some higher Mathematics may be required, and it's near-impossible to avoid those Derivatives.
Now, look, everyone has their tastes and interests. How I resolved my "friction" with Math was self-teaching in
Software/Web Development (Computer Programming). When the codes I would write were very similar to a Math problem, that was when I wanted to get better and better at Math. From that point on, I wanted to venture into other areas, namely Math tied with computers (Discrete Mathematics) and, just for fun,
Astrophysics and
Quantum Physics. The more I learn about the history and development of these disciplines, the more I realized that Math is much easier than, say, Politics. Pondering about issues like income inequality and/or racism sure uses a lot of your brain to try and solve, but knowing I can use
SchrĈdinger's equation calculating the behavior of [light] waves/particles can get me by without too much mental strain.
In terms of self-improvement, Math reminds you that you can always solve your way out of Life's problems; There will always be a solution to every problem. Even if you don't completely arrive to an answer, at least you got the gist and feel much better than you were before. That's the truth.
Math is the universal language of the world, and the Universe. It's what defines all that surrounds us, how it operates and, if possible, why it works the way it does. It will always stay here no matter what.
No, really, Kris, what's the point of Math?
Thinking logically, in abstract terms, to reason and to solve problems. Look at the world around you, and you'll see many people who don't have this kind of thinking. Worse, when you're cooking or shopping, not knowing Math gives retailers a huge advantage into raking in profits from unsuspecting shoppers on a daily basis. No one wants to get ripped off, and I know you don't want to, so a simple application of Math can go a long way. I mean, come on, is there a reason to purchase a mediocre picture for $25 plus tax? Think before you spend.
If you ever use their services,
Google Maps,
Uber and
Lyft need Math to calculate, in real time, how long it will take to get from your current point to the point of your destination. Sounds like one of those word problems we all disliked growing up, but there isn't any other way to find out without the aid of Math. If you asked your driver how long it will take to get to your destination, you wouldn't want them to answer "we will arrive there when we can," would you?
Even if you don't need
Geometry,
Trigonometry or heck, even
Probability, the goal of Math is to get you prepped for the real world when numerical problems are thrown in your way, in hopes you can solve them in a nick of time. It is the branch of science where straight-forward thinking is the only requirement.
The smartphone/tablet/computer you use to view this website? Requirements such as
Discrete Mathematics,
Calculus,
Differential Equations and
Mathematical Logic are needed to build your tech devices from scratch. The TV you use to watch your favorite shows and movies?
Quantum Mechanics/Physics—as you know, Physics needs Math to solve and define various motions from solids to atoms. Accessing your bank account online ensuring high-end security?
Cryptography (a discipline whose involvement such as
Combinatorics and
Number Theory are needed). Everyday items like these prove that though we take them for granted, it's easy to forget that we need some form of problem solving to make these possible. Without Math, we'd barely search for the wheel, or still be searching it.
The goal of this website is to teach Math and, hopefully, get people to learn the subject without being incredibly overwhelmed by the operators, symbols and numerical equations. Some of these you may be familiar with, some you never succeeded with, and some you may never have had the chance to learn. Heck, there may be some stuff you've never seen nor heard of before. Everything here will be explained in clear-cut fashion. If someone like myself can back in the hunt in understanding, and even increasing my expertise in Mathematics, then I know you can do so too. My advice is not to overthink, not to overwhelm yourself and to know its functions and properties before you tackle in solving the problem(s). Easy does it.
If you've read this far and are still not convinced, take some personal time to find your niche and your strengths. There's absolutely nothing that you can't do; I'm sure there is something you're passionate about and can handle in a flash. Perhaps working at some jobs for about a year or so may help you figure out where you feel you should be at. Once again, don't overwhelm yourself but see what you're well versed in, then come back and see if Math is involved.
With all this said, pay respects to the mathematicians and math professors who went as far as to master the art and tools of problem solving, while some of them, and a few others, have taught and/or have written books to help out thoe who want it, who need it and who seek it. Together, we can learn, study and make incredible progress in being the change that past leaders and philosophers yearned for before our lifetime started here on Earth.