Wednesday, May 11, 2016

What is Math?

On the first day of my capstone math class at GVSU, our professor asked us "What is Math?" Initially I didn't know how to answer it. There are so many different aspects of math that there is no real way to give a clear cut definition. 

But I will make an attempt. To me "Mathematics is using formulas, equations, and processes to solve and analyze numerical problems".

That is my best attempt to capture all of mathematics. I know that many people have their own definitions, even my classmates had much different definitions. But we all had the same general idea which was to try and capture all of mathematics in one sentence.

With a subject as complex as math, I think we can all agree that there is no one clear cut answer to the question "What is Math?"

Mathematics has a great and wonderful history. Unfortunately I don't know a whole lot about the History of Math. In many of my classes we have learned about mathematicians and the work that they did. Those like Euclid who gave us Euclidean Geometry or Pythagoras who gave us the Pythagorean Theorem. Other names such as Archimedes, Euler, Fibonacci and Newton are some of the names that I can recall at this moment. I look forward to this semester and refreshing my knowledge about these great mathematicians. I also look forward to potentially learning new material that I may not have known about these mathematicians.

1 comment:

  1. Especially as a teacher it helps to have a big picture of math. What do you want your students moving towards? How do you want them to think of math?