Sunday, January 12, 2014

What is math?

What is math? The answer to this question depends on how submersed an individual has been in mathematics. For some people, math is adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. For others, math is just a hard subject in school that “they will never use”. My answer to this question has developed greatly over the last three semesters. To me, math is thinking critically about different kinds of systems. These systems can range from the number system in algebra and calculus, to a system of shapes, such as geometry, to a system of rings as we saw in modern algebra. Each of the components of math consist of some sort of system that follows a set theorems, or rules, to draw conclusions about the specific field that an individual has chosen to study.

Biggest moments in math:

I think that one of the biggest math moments was the number system. I think that this is important because the number system is the basis for most of the math that people do today.

I think another big math moment was the invention of the computer. Computers allow for certain mathematical processes to be done quicker and with more precision. Computers also allow for us to get a visual representation of certain things with programs like sketchpad.

Another big math moment is the understanding of different formulas. I think this is important because it meant that we can generalize certain aspects of math, such as volume or surface area. These formulas also allow us to see things like patterns, which we can use to find different relationships between two mathematical aspects. One example of this is the relationship between volume and scaling.

I think that algebra is a specific field of math that is important because people use algebra in everyday life.

Lastly, I think that geometry is important because geometry breaks away from the usual idea that math is just computing numbers.

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