Ishfaq Ahmad Chopan
In elementary terms, we regard mathematics as the study of numbers, quantities, structures, spaces, and variations which involves use of certain patterns and some logic to test the truth or falsity of statements or some hypothesis.
The subject of mathematics has evolved from basic counting, measurements, to the study of dynamics and to various scientific, medical, financial and engineering oriented domains to peaks of influence. The world renowned Italian scientist Galileo Galilee was of the opinion that we cannot interpret our universe until we can’t interpret the language in which it has been written down. Of course, the reference is to is the language of mathematics, the language of counting, the language of lines, triangles, circles, polygons and various mathematical structures.
The history of mathematics has seen the influence of various notable mathematicians whose work made the foundational and remarkable contributions in the subject. Around 3000 BC, the Babylonians and Egyptians started use of arithmetic, algebra, and geometry for calculations, construction and astronomy. In the 6th century BC, the Greeks made a systematic study of mathematics. In the 300 BC, Euclid introduced the axiomatic method even used today.
His writings “Elements” is regarded most successful and influential textbook of all time. The ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes is observed as one of the leading mathematician ever born. The ancient Greeks worked in the field of conics, trigonometry and algebra.
The Hindu Arabic numeral system, a positional number system which is the most common system for the symbolic representation of numbers in world, was invented in India between 1st and 4th century and latter transmitted to the West through Islamic world.
The most notable development was observed in the Golden Age of Islam during 9th and 10 century in the form of development of algebra by a Persian mathematician named Muhammad ibn Musa all Khawarizimi. The Islamic worlds advanced in the study of trigonometry and addition of decimal point to Arabic numeral system by notable work of Omer Khayyam, Sharaf al-din al Tusi.
The independent development of modern calculus by Isaac Newton and Leibniz revolutionized the mathematical world. Meanwhile, Leonhard Euler also became influential by introducing complexes as the largest possible number system and with help of his numerous theorems and discoveries(like solution to the historical Konigsberg bridge problem) . In fact Carl Friedrich Gauss emerged as one of the foremost mathematicians of the 19th century contributing the fields of analysis, geometry, and algebra and number theory.
The extension of boundaries of mathematics, solutions to problems, conjunctures and introduction of new concepts continued in 20th and 21th century maintaining the leading position and importance of mathematics in regard to various disciplines of knowledge.
However, here we produce a number of students who hold mathematics as a boring subject or fear mathematics because they fail in understanding the various formal techniques which are used for evaluating various mathematical problems.
The “credit” of ruining the beauty of mathematics or credit of making mathematics a less interesting subject goes to and from a classroom tutor to various academic systems. A teacher can build confidence and motivate a student in learning mathematics and introduce it as a useful and interesting tool for a. Later, a student can improve his/her basic skills which will lead to some logical and grownup minds aimed for solving various socially oriented problems and designing some mathematical models.
The author is doing his Master’s in Mathematics from Central University of Kashmir . He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org