by

**Henry Ling**
Mathematics
is beautiful. Many people on seeing maths for the first time, believe it to be
boring, malevolent and pointless. Many people in this world dismiss maths,
complain about its complex nature, and drop it in school as soon as possible.
However we cannot do this, maths is too beautiful to merely dismiss and reject.
Our whole world runs on mathematics, from the cells within your body to the
screen by which you are reading this article. A world without mathematics is no
world at all. Much beauty in the real world has its roots in mathematics, for
example the dimensions for the (supposedly) most aesthetically pleasing person can be represented by the golden ratio

*(see above)*. What I find interesting though is why so many people hate maths, having spoken to many people I have come to the conclusion that it comes down to three key reasons, it’s hard, it’s boring, and it’s pointless.Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa - and the golden ratio |

Is maths
hard? Well this of course varies from person to person but let me just say
getting a true and deep understanding of maths can take a lifetime. Mathematics
is a language through which one uses a vast array of symbols and is bounded by
logical reasoning and like any language it takes much time and practice to
perfect. Even top mathematicians can make trivial mistakes and can become stuck
with certain questions, so do not be disheartened if you find it hard, you will
never be the only one. We must also remember that perseverance is key to
anything one does, if all the great mathematicians, scientist and artists gave
up at the first hurdle, our world would be a very dull and boring one, and our
cognitive thought will barely surpass that of cavemen. However I do understand
that there are people in this world who find it much more difficult to cope in
the number world, and if one doesn’t watch their step they can quite easily
become very lost. I am a man who, you probably guessed by now, enjoys maths to
the nth

^{ }degree, for me I can understand the concepts and ideas placed before me, but trying to truly understand maths may be beyond me, the length and depth of maths stretches to infinity and from where I am standing it isn’t converging anytime soon.
Many claim
maths to be boring. I of course would have to disagree, but then again I would.
The problem I think people find is that the maths that we are taught from an
early age, on the whole, tend to be more boring. Addition, subtraction,
multiplication, division, in a world full of calculators and computers what is
the use of those functions? Well arguable not a lot, but everyone should know
about the basic building blocks of maths, because they are the basic building
blocks of the universe. I do understand that the mathematics up until sixth
form isn’t the most riveting mathematics in the world, but “you can’t make an
omelette without cracking an egg”. The other thing people object to, is that
maths is just a bunch of letters and numbers. People find maths boring because
they think it lacks beauty and elegance, however this is fundamentally not
true. Mathematics is very elegant, the idea of proofs and theorems, finding
symmetry and patterns, and the beauty that takes place whence you’ve spent 50
minutes on one question and it all comes together at the end despite an
absolute mess in the middle, is phenomenal. Moreover some of the most beautiful
paintings and patterns in the world can all be described using mathematics. It
has been proven by Fedorov and SchÃ¶nfilies that there are 17 “wallpaper groups”,
that is to say there are 17 groups to represent the ways all patterns can
propagate through 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional space. Every pattern from
mosaics in ancient Greece to carpets in Turkey can be represented in these such
ways. And as I have mentioned earlier, mathematics crops up all over the
natural world, through number sequences like the Fibonacci sequence which in
turn links to the golden ratio, seen in areas from flower patterns to body
proportions. So maths really is not a boring subject as it defines the world
around us, and although people may not consider mathematics to be beautiful a lot
of art in the world tries to replicate patterns and sequences which mathematics
defines.

And finally
is it pointless? I don’t think this warrants a response. One may think maths
isn’t useful in ones day to day life just because one has a job which doesn’t
require them to know the subject. However everyone, everyday uses mathematics
to some degree. For example when reading the time one’s mind is using modular
arithmetic to understand this concept, and this becomes especially useful when
working out what time it is 2 hrs from now when you have an event or meeting to
attend. Moreover our mind is constantly weighing up proportions, we
automatically know the difference between 1 apple and 4 apples, and we
automatically know we are outnumbered when we see 5 large people approaching
us. So mathematics is useful to everyone, regardless of whether one likes it or
not. Also it is clearly the one subject which dominates our universe, it
becomes especially useful in the field of science and engineering, and nigh on
everything in this world can be described in mathematical terms. Finally what
one must understand is that all the technology, transport, power, buildings as
been perfected by maths. True one can build a house from mud and sticks without
doing a degree in mathematics, however the bodies mathematical reasoning will
make sure the proportions are suitable and it doesn’t just slope of to one
side, so I can assure you maths is in no way pointless.

Whether you
are a fan or hater of maths, the amount of effort and thought which people go
to, to explain our world and to make the amazing technological advances our
world desires is second to none and all of it stems from the realm of Mathematics.
Even if you do dislike maths, never ridicule it as a source of beauty and
magnificence, for it is the most fabulous feat which this world as formulated
to date.

Couldn't agree more - great article!

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