What is mathematics to you?

Jan 2018
1,609
China (Hong Kong SAR)
In this thread, I won't criticize anyone's answers, I am curious is all. Of course, maths would be much more popular in science forums, but there would be a bias there, what would be the biases here?

What is mathematics to you? Overrated? Underrated? What is your mathematics education? Had you always hated or loved it? How many people do you know hate or love maths?
 
Apr 2017
750
Lemuria
Mathematics is simply the language of the universe. My most advanced mathematical module was in discrete mathematics, year three. Because I was invited by the mathematics faculty in a personal letter to take it after my excellent result in an obligatory year two Discrete maths module.
 
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stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,635
Las Vegas, NV USA
I have definite views on which the OP has already commented in another thread. I love real math, that is the math based on real numbers. I also like geometry including algebraic geometry. But when you get into subjects like complex numbers and infinite sets, I say fake, fake fake! It's not that I'm unfamiliar with these unreal fantasies . I spent too much time studying both and decided there is no practical use for either. They are mental games that mathematicians invented to keep their academic jobs. Neither has anything to do with real numbers. Mathematicians readily admit this is true. It's true complex numbers have real parts. When you have "imaginary" parts (even one) the whole thing is imaginary. "Imaginary" and and "fake" mean essentially the same thing unless you consider "fake" as having a more negative connotation. Fine! I want to have a negative connotation. Imaginary numbers are fake and infinite sets are not about numbers at all!

You might say quantum physics needs imaginary numbers. I doesn't! It uses imaginary numbers because physicists are not mathematicians and the latter were just itching to get their imaginary numbers into real science. The only way you can really use imaginary numbers in physics is when raised to an even power. Then presto! They turn into real numbers! Elementary school kids learn that 1x1=1 and -1x-1=1. 1x-1=-1. Note here we are multiplying two different numbers here. There is NO real number which when multiplied by itself gives -1 as the product. But academic mathematicians say there is a number: "i".That's right. The best they could do was use the lower case 9th letter of the Latin alphabet as the the "solution" to the problem of finding the square root of -1!

In physics, if you get infinity or a complex number as the final solution to a problem, you still have a problem, not a solution.
 
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Pedro

Forum Staff
Mar 2008
17,151
On a mountain top in Costa Rica. yeah...I win!!
[FONT=&quot]As an exercise of the reasoning faculties, pure mathematics is an admirable exercise, because it consists of reasoning alone, and does not encumber the student with any exercise of judgment. Therein lies its wisdom and beauty. [/FONT]
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,380
Sydney
.
Mathematics is a desperate effort to debug the universe , God is rather slack sometimes
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,397
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Math is part of my daily life [job included], but it has never been a passion for me. Probably this is why I tend to consider it a tool to do something else.

Regarding my cultural interests, it happens I use a math approach in some cases [obviously, about one of my cultural interests, physics, I have to use math], like when I try and use a math formalism about semiotics [and the analysis of a process of signification], but with reference to history, It's rare that I use math [in the proper sense].
 
Aug 2016
977
US&A
I've always struggled with math. I love programming for its logic, but what I've experienced about mathematics so far seems to be entirely about memorizing the correct techniques. There's no puzzle to them, it's just boring.

I am taking college algebra atm.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
6,158
Portugal
In this thread, I won't criticize anyone's answers, I am curious is all. Of course, maths would be much more popular in science forums, but there would be a bias there, what would be the biases here?
Mathematics is also an area of study/science and human knowledge that can be useful in history. Especially but not only in Statistics and Economic history. And we have seen that with the Annales School.

So for me, in a history forum, Mathematics is an auxiliary science of history.
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,767
Dispargum
Math is the tool for measuring my world. From basic money management, to computing areas and volumes, time/speed/distance problems, etc. I am no math genius, but it surprises me how mathmatically illiterate most of the people I know are. I will never understand how they can live in a world they can not measure and have little interest in measuring. They feel their way through the world intuitively when an answer can be reliably predicted mathmatically.