Why should I be serious with my study of mathematics? Why even bother with such a difficult subject?
Why do some of us find mathematics not only difficult but frightening? Is it because mathematics is generally perceived as a ‘difficult subject’? In Nigeria, most students, teachers and even parents consider it a difficult subject. So, those students who have pre-conditioned their minds that mathematics is a difficult subject usually are not serious about learning mathematics and therefore perform poorly in mathematics tests and examinations.
What is Mathematics?
Mathematics is a science about well-defined objects and notions which can be analyzed and transformed in different ways using ‘mathematical reasoning’ to obtain conclusions about which we are certain (OECD, 2018).It is an essential requirement in every field of intellectual endeavor and human development to cope with the challenges of life.
The word ‘mathematics’ comes from the Greek word ‘mathema’, which means learning, study, science and additionally came to have the narrower and more technical meaning ‘mathematical study’ even in classical time.
It cuts across all disciplines in life and in formal education, a principal course of study. Notwithstanding such wide pertinence, it is viewed as a troublesome subject in schools for different reasons. As early as kindergarten, children start exhibiting negative attitudes towards learning mathematics and slowly this develops into mathematics anxiety. Schools have also failed to focus on teaching techniques and the poor behavior of teachers of students with math learning difficulties. Some students blame their failure on laziness, lack of interest and absenteeism. Be that as it may, given the accompanying significance of mathematics, which is just a few, every participant in the delivery approach to teaching and learning must have a rethink.
5 Importance of mathematics
1. There is an element of mathematics in every profession in the world – Once you are able to count in whatever profession you choose, you are engaged in mathematics. From traders in the marketplace who must be familiar with numbers to ensure they make a profit, to mathematicians and scientists who depend on numerical principles to perform their essential work. Accountants are one of the most popular “numbers” experts out there. Accountants prepare and analyze accounting records, budget summaries, or financial reports to assess accuracy and conformity to accounting guidelines. These experts oversee tables of records, register charges and sift through monetary information to guarantee there are no mistakes. All these revolve around mathematics.
Computer programmers use mathematics in problem solving. The job entails lots of evaluating and analysis. A comprehension of arithmetic, algebra, calculus, geometry, statistics and their applications could all become an integral factor at work. A portion of those subjects probably won’t matter as much as others, but this profession has unlimited variety dependent on where you work. Data scientists work with big data. This aspect alone requires math abilities. Their work isn’t only a straightforward estimation like finding the median in a range of numbers – with such massive data, it takes complex algorithms to appropriately examine and draw conclusions. A strong grasp of statistics is needed by data scientists to effectively perform their jobs.
Supply chain managers supervise various locations and metrics in their minds while making decisions and these are often complicated. They might have to decide on appropriate equipment and staffing levels to load, unload, move or store materials that are needed in order to keep a calculated inventory. They are also responsible for buying and routing the ideal transportation. Calculation and good mathematical abilities are required to resolve these concerns.
2. Knowing mathematics helps you become financially literate – Mathematics is helpful with your finances. Personal financial budgeting can be easily achieved with the assistance of mathematics. You can ascertain how much cash you have and how you intend to spend it. Almost every human on the planet uses mathematics to manage their personal finances. Salary earners use math to know how they will likely spend their monthly income.
Then again, the insurance agents use mathematics for ascertaining premiums and for the determination of claims. The entrepreneur is at home with mathematics and calculates their profit and loss. When they approach banks for funding, they use mathematics to verify the rates and repayment terms. Math is a vital part of business accounting.
3. Improves problem-solving abilities–How do you solve problems? Life is a baggage of problems and solving them is one of the most important skill sets needed in our life. With a good grasp of math, your analytical and logical thinking skills increase, which transforms one into a better and more effective problem solver. As we solve problems in math regularly, we improve our capacity to tackle real-life problems more adequately.
4. Time management – Universally, proper management of time is the way to progress for everybody. Therefore, we must know the available time for a task, estimate the non-existent time, plan the remaining time we must work with, as well as the free time. Necessities must be attended to in spite of limited or no time. With the assistance of math, you can determine the time needed to do your schoolwork and even know how you will maximize the available time for answering questions in an examination hall. Proficient time management skills make workers more useful, and some of the time, they imply more cash too. It also assists with working faster without compromising the nature of work.
5. Aids in Money Saving – Given today’s challenges and the enticing promises made by manufacturers via sensational marketing messages, math assists us in calculating the cost of spending on these luxuries, ensuring we avoid being impulsive buyers. Ponzi schemes remain a global challenge because, among other reasons, every human being takes a financial risk to become rich. Life is all about risk. With math, you are able to calculate such risk before subscribing to such bogus financial schemes.