Reference Copied to Clipboard. History of mathematics The availability of availability of mathematics could be realized since ancient times in the form of counting. It is a very simple form of mathematics where ancient people use their thumb or some figures to count any item or things.

Lewis Professor of Mathematics, Fordham University For more than two thousand years, mathematics has been a part of the human search for understanding. Mathematical discoveries have come both from the attempt to describe the natural world and from the desire to arrive at a form of inescapable truth from careful reasoning.

These remain fruitful and important motivations for mathematical thinking, but in the last century mathematics has been successfully applied to many other aspects of the human world: Today, mathematics as a mode of thought and expression is more valuable than ever before. Learning to think in mathematical terms is an essential part of becoming a liberally educated person.

The majority of educated Americans do not think of Mathematics when they think of a liberal education. Mathematics as essential for science, yes, for business and accounting, sure, but for a liberal education? Why do so many people have such misconceptions about mathematics?

The great misconception about mathematics -- and it stifles and thwarts more students than any other single thing -- is the notion that mathematics is about formulas and cranking out computations. It is the unconsciously held delusion that mathematics is a set of rules and formulas that have been worked out by God knows who for God knows why, and the student's duty is to memorize all this stuff.

Such students seem to feel that sometime in the future their boss will walk into the office and demand "Quick, what's the quadratic formula? What is mathematics really like? Mathematics is not about answers, it's about processes.

Let me give a series of parables to try to get to the root of the misconceptions and to try to illuminate what mathematics IS all about. None of these analogies is perfect, but all provide insight. Scaffolding When a new building is made, a skeleton of steel struts called the scaffolding is put up first.

The workers walk on the scaffolding and use it to hold equipment as they begin the real task of constructing the building.

The scaffolding has no use by itself. It would be absurd to just build the scaffolding and then walk away, thinking that something of value has been accomplished.

Yet this is what seems to occur in all too many mathematics classes in high schools. Students learn formulas and how to plug into them.

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The successors of the Greeks in the history of mathematics were the Hindus of India. |

They learn mechanical techniques for solving certain equations or taking derivatives. But all of these things are just the scaffolding. They are necessary and useful, sure, but by themselves they are useless. Doing only the superficial and then thinking that something important has happened is like building only the scaffolding.

The real "building" in the mathematics sense is the true mathematical understanding, the true ability to think, perceive, and analyze mathematically.

Ready for the Big Play Professional athletes spend hours in gyms working out on equipment of all sorts. Special trainers are hired to advise them on workout schedules. They spend hours running on treadmills. Why do they do that?

Are they learning skills necessary for playing their sport, say basketball? Imagine there are three seconds left in the seventh game of the NBA championship.

The score is tied. The pressure is intense. The coach is huddling with his star players. He says to one, "OK Michael, this is it. You know what to do. Bring in my treadmill! But then what was all that treadmill time for?Essays on Mathematics Links to a few choice essays on mathematics, teaching math, and the philosophy of math can be found below.

If you are interested in these and other writers, check out our Math News and Media page.

Mathematics as essential for science, yes, for business and accounting, sure, but for a liberal education? Why do so many people have such misconceptions about mathematics?

The great misconception about mathematics -- and it stifles and thwarts more students than any other single thing -- is the notion that mathematics is about formulas and.

August 24, by admin Essay Samples, Free Essay Samples Facebook 4 Twitter 0 Google+ 0 Viber WhatsApp Most students have the history of struggling with mathematics assignments which make them wonder if they will ever apply the knowledge in real world life.

Free Essay: Teaching Mathematics My interest in teaching mathematics came from the experience of helping others. I have always enjoyed learning math, and I. Essay on applications of mathematics in real life.

It is a true fact as in our era as we make use of information in every field to be able to get an Published: Mon, 02 Oct Professor of Mathematics, Fordham University. This essay was first developed around and appeared online in By January of it contained all of the "parables" except "Cargo Cult Education", which was added around , and "Step High", which was added around The reference to the essay by David Garcia was added .

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