The Potential of Mathematical Skills

I’ve always been good at Maths, in High School, I liked Maths, but I didn’t particularly enjoy it. However, when I went to college, I picked Maths and Further Maths in my options, not because I enjoyed it but because I was good at it, but that decision changed my life. I absolutely loved Further Maths, the step up from high school, also the fact I was with people who were also there because they liked Maths.

Also, the reading of two books would lead to my enjoyment of Mathematics. I read ‘Letters to A Young Mathematician’ by Ian Stewart, in which he talks to a girl (who progresses along to become a Maths Professor) about the world of Mathematics and what Mathematics is. This book changed how I saw Maths, I no longer saw it as a bunch of numbers I saw it as something different, I began to see the beauty of Maths.
The second book I read was ‘Chaos’ by James Gleick, which destroyed my liking of Physics, and I began to see Maths as the one and only true science, and that with Chaos, we are starting to unravel the beauty and complexity of ‘simple’ things in our world. We are starting to move away from approximations and simple models and show how the real world works, not how the world works ideally, that by removing ‘insignificant’ values from equations to make it easy, we lose a large amount of information, as small minute changes can lead to great changes over time.

When I’m talking to people, quite often I get questions like “Why do you study Maths? It’s just a bunch of numbers isn’t it?” My answer is No, Maths is everything, everything is dependent upon Maths at a base level, everything around you is governed by Maths, the tree blowing in the wind, the patterns of seeds in a sunflower, the rainbow in the sky, all these things can be explained by Maths. Whatever subject you do (with the exception of maybe languages or Religious Studies), at some point or another you will encounter Maths, it covers everything.

And finally, if Maths does one thing and only one thing, it makes you realize that we live in a really, beautiful world.