Friday 10 September 2021

reinventing math



the subject of numbers, x, y, and calculations? not quite so, but you can say that.

it is one of our 'enemies' in school. but why? why do we think of it as a ghost, rather than a good friend? 

my love for the subject grows since i was in the elementary school. mathematics is what i did best. well, at least that time. mathematics for elementary school comes in the form of arithmetic. you know, adding, substracting, multiplying, and dividing numbers! that's how i was introduced to mathematics, via numbers and their manipulations.

getting into the middle school, my math teachers introduce me to algebra, in which the letters join the numbers gang! things get more complicated. we moved from concrete math consisting of numbers and amount, into abstract ideas of letters. many gets frustrated. well, the concept of algebraic operations is not for everyone apparently. the school just forces you to get it because (studies suggest) middle school is when your abstract thinking comes into growth. so it is the best time to introduce you into an abstract ideas of algebra. for many people, mathematics is just numbers and their operations, letters do not make any sense in math. but of course they are wrong. the very idea of mathematics is not number itself. numbers are just tool. you will explore much more things with abstract thinking, with algebra and their letters.

in the high school, things get even more messier. in addition to the regular latin alphabet, they introduce me to greek alphabets, a bunch of weird symbols, and many more weird mathematical concepts. logarithm, limit, differentiation, integrals, you name it. this is where things seem to move too quickly for me. i was so fed up with formulas, weird symbols, greek letters. aarrrgghhh. math is hard.

in the college? math was even harder and weirder. more greek letters and more strange symbols were introduced. math is hard. i thought.

until one day, i get some revelation. math is not that weird if you don't just gallop the formulas, letters, and the weird symbols but you actually find out (or at least try to find out) the idea of each concept and what they are used for. for example, integration. i was fed up in high school that integral of a function is its power raised one point, and so on and so forth. i was just told how to integrate not what integration really is. well, now i know that integral is a means of finding area under a curve.

now, at this very age, it is very nice (and necessary) to find out math once again. of course not to the very advance concept such as group theory, but the mathematics advance enough to train my logic, abstract ideas, and (most importantly) to keep the brain alive.

tangerang selatan, 10 sept 2021

part of 30 minutes writing per day

No comments:

Post a Comment