The Importance of Mathematics in Our Lives

I have the theory. I strongly believe that people who understand math at a visceral level tend to be more rational, (and for me) enjoyable people. I know that I can establish better friendships between people who perform well in mathematics than those who do not.

I feel as though logic plays a role in this. Mathematics is a study of logic. You are taught vague ideas and you must apply them to various problems by order of logic. Physical science also relies on logic. Everything builds on itself and the concepts are more important than specific answers. I believe that people who are good at math are more logical as a whole. Their actions are more reasonable and their personalities are reliably consistent.

Of course, I also have friends who are not so great at math and they are wonderful people. However, these friends, I find, are harder to keep because they may act in ways that I do not understand. A. Brent Strong of Brigham Young University wrote an insightful paper on the differences between logical and creative people. In his paper, he makes an interesting point stating, “It [creative thinking] requires a leap from one set of data to another without any particular logical reason or connection between the two data sets”. I feel as though my other friends are like this and that they are leaping around for no comprehensible reason. Because of this, I cannot understand them as well as my mathematically inclined friends and because it is harder to maintain such a dynamic relationship.

(Perhaps the creative thinkers can solve this problem…)

You may hear it over and over again by math teachers: math will never go away. In other words, math is an important part of our lives and I strongly agree with this statement. Everything in this world can be defined mathematically. The people who understand math, to me, are easier to relate with than those who do not.

Update:

I just took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Test (a personality test) which revealed that I have an INTJ personality. This probably explains why I feel this way about other people. It’s curious how well I fit the category of an INTJ personality.

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2 Comments

  1. Oh, please share this with Mr. Crowley, Mr. Ranft, and Mr. Gelada!

    Reply
  2. From Ms. Nihan:
    Quite an insightful essay – but I would hope that he would realize that without the creative thinkers who make the seemingly illogical leap from one set of data to another without any apparent connections, we might not have the exponential leaps in technology that we have seen from industry giants such as Steve Jobs. He is one of many who were not only excellent mathematicians and problem solvers, but creative geniuses! Steve Jobs saw mathematical and technical problems as a universally connected whole, often visualizing artistic and musical relationships in his product designs and implementation – it was never just about numbers or computer science. Steven should know there is often more than one way to solve a problem, and some ways may defy logic. He might be able to learn a thing or two from those illogical creative people! I would hope that our math department members all value the creative process and allow our students to apply it liberally to mathematical problem solving. Deb N.

    Reply

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