What is Math?

Many people believe that math is just a series of convoluted equations that culminate in a single numerical answer, and the work was designed to confuse them.  On many occasions, I’ve had to defend why I would ever want to be a math major.  The reason is because math is so much more than equations.  The equations allow us to understand the relationships in the natural world around us.  Math is the study of relationships that many people take for granted.

1) Ancient Geometry: Before Euclidean geometry was found, many ancient civilizations had their own version of geometry.  Take the Ancient Egyptians.  Without their rudimentary understanding of shapes, we would not have the Great Pyramids or the Sphinx.  Without math, many of the wonders of the world would not have been built.

2) Calculus: This has allowed us to have cars and planes.  This is because calculus allows us to understand the relationship of speed, velocity, position, and acceleration.

3) Differential Equations:  These have allowed people to study the growth patterns of populations, which in turn allows people to recognize what resources are needed in order to continue.

4) Non-Euclidean Geometry: The finding of hyperbolic and elliptic geometries shows growth and development.  Just as the world evolves, so does math, but it is only because we finally are advance enough to find it.  All math is already there, but finding it shows that humans are developing into a more prestigious group.

Math is more than numbers.  Math is a timeline of human history that shows us how far we have come.