Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A view of Mathsland


To most people, mathematics is that subject they have always had difficulty understanding. It is a form of communication, a kind of strange language in which complete sentences must have something called an equals sign or some other equally strange symbol. It appears to be a form of the English language but interlaced with rows of austere symbols and incomprehensible formulae (some Martian language!).

For different reasons, the majority of the world's `educated' population, by the time they graduate from high school, have already made up their minds that mathematics is difficult and that nothing new ever happens in mathematics. My suspicion is that this uninformed majority spreading these unfounded rumors have no personal experience with mathematics. They probably heard this story from a friend who in turn had heard rumors from elder brothers and sisters that mathematics is a difficult subject. Believing this lie and obviously lacking self-confidence and motivation, most decide to give up before they even give it a try.

The world of mathematics is an ever-changing one. It is a world highly endowed with provocative ideas, very rich in poetry and full of vivid images.

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