## Friday, October 21, 2011

### Math is

Math is more. Math is new. Math is fun. Math is you.

Math is a language for encoding and decoding information so it can be shared.

Math is a language of counting, measurement, shapes and calculation.

Math is a language with precise definitions and specialized terms.

Today I am speaking in green. Everyone else's words are black. I've been reading up on what math is all about. Since this blog is about "using the math we learned as kids later when we grow up", these quotes are right up my alley:

Math is hard ("Math Class is Tough" says Barbie).

Math is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change.

Math is problem solving - finding a path to a solution via synthesizing information; applying creative, insightful thinking; looking deeply into a problem and understanding it on a different level.

Arithmetic's appeal to infants is self-evident. Adult life often involves accepting illogical compromises, but children prefer to be logical. If 'houses' is the plural of 'house', then 'mouses' should be the plural of 'mouse' - but it is not. Numbers do not play these language tricks on us; they are reliable. Children who delight in logic love arithmetic. W. W. Sawyer

Mathematicians, like musicians, are notoriously precocious and self-propelled.

Math is a brutal, unforgiving, impersonal, and unusually individualistic activity, yet educators are compelled to promote warm, nurturing classroom environments full of group discussions!

Math can be better understood and enjoyed if it is taught like physics - as a laboratory subject. Students who enter math classrooms expecting to see only a whiteboard would find themselves surrounded by gadgets of every kind. W. W. Sawyer

Mathematical reality lies outside us; our function is to discover or observe it, and the theorems which we prove, and the reports of our 'creations', are simply our notes of our observations of this reality. G. H. Hardy

Classical math = the real world: arithmetic = counting and measurement, algebra = truths about calculations, geometry and trigonometry = sizes and shapes of objects, calculus = velocities of moving objects, etc.

Mathematics first arose in purely practical questions; arithmetic in connection with trade, the gathering of taxes, the reckoning of the calendar; geometry in connection with building and land-surveying...

Mathematical innovation after the Dark Ages was not that people got smarter all of a sudden. No, they improved the User Interface by switching to Arabic numerals (which have a much better user experience than Roman Numerals no matter what the Superbowl tries to tell you).

If math was doled out to you in a standardized, unimaginative, incomprehensible manner, you will find it hard to imagine mathematics as a subject of fascination; you will regard it as something done to children, rather than by them.

I hope nobody will draft regulations to forbid any of my pupils from choosing mathematics, more mathematics, still more mathematics, advanced mathematics and very advanced mathematics - if that is what he or she wants to do.

Math is like a foreign language. When you study a language, you know going in that you won’t understand some of the words. In math, you think you know the words. But the words aren't the same. Set, prove, hypothesis, term, and solution don't mean what they do in ordinary English.

Math is about more than abstract equations, slide rulers and calculators: It rules the world.

Higher Math may be dangerous. Warren Buffett

Modern Math is completely useless. Morris Kline

Math is the queen of sciences. Karl Fredreich Gauss

Math is the language with which God has written the universe. Galileo