Different people have different definitions for mathematics as per their respective viewpoints. To me, mathematics is an art. The art of doing things differently, the art of thinking about the universe and modelling it, the art of discovering logical structures beyond the structure of the universe. There’s mathematics behind various forms of art and there’s a special kind of art in many of the mathematical constructs, in their geometrical representations as well in the mental flow of proofs. My experience also reveals that Mathematics is something that the fewest of minds are able to handle.
A very practical form of education that should be pondered on is that of mathematics. Not a lot of people like to study maths but plenty of people also love doing maths. Yes, doing maths is different from studying it. People who do maths have a different level of calibre and understanding.
Mathematics is the result of mysterious powers which no one understands, and in which the unconscious recognition of beauty must play an important part. Out of an infinity of designs, a mathematician chooses one pattern for beauty’s sake and pulls it down to earth.
A language that the universe has been written in is Mathematics. I personally feel that one who falls in love with maths has nothing left to be fallen for. It was said by a famous mathematician, John von Neumann: “If people do not believe that mathematics is simple, it is only because they do not realise how complicated life is.” Once this quote is understood, maths begins to look as easy as it is.
We must understand that mathematics is just a language to describe the movements, working and behaviour of anything from a finger’s length to the trajectory of planets. Beautiful, khoobsurat, andam, all words mean the same but are from different languages. If you observe what language is, you will infer that it is nothing but a tool to communicate the information to someone as thoroughly as possible.
Mathematics is a language that describes, illustrates and also expresses the intricacies of everything in life around you. A language which accurately can describe the workings of things that are above physical limitations.
That’s why maths is called ‘the language of God’. The universe is not mathematical and also it has not been mathematised, it’s just that maths does a better job in describing the complexities of universe in a simple manner.
It was Galileo Galilei who said, “Mathematics is a language God has written the universe in”. Here is what this quote means: no matter who you are (or who WE are!), and no matter whence we come, from Earth, from Mars, from the Andromeda Galaxy, or from 100 million light years far, the area of a circle is pr squared, the circumference of a circle is 2pr (where r= radius & p= 22/7), and volume of a sphere is 4/3 x pr cubed. And all the other dozens of mathematical formulae we all use are just as immutable!
In other words, I feel Galileo meant to say that the universe cannot be read until we have learnt the language of mathematics and become familiar with the characters it is written in. The characters are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures, without which means it is humanly impossible to comprehend a single word; without these, one wanders about in a dark labyrinth.
I’ve seen people take fright at the name of mathematics. The reason why they are afraid is that they look at the complex side of it. They probably underestimate the hidden simplicity within the same.
Imagine life without maths. Wouldn’t this planet be a place with a number of unsolvable threads? We humans have connections which are a form of mathematical relations. We perform actions which are mathematical functions. We have technology and innovation, which is the result of maths calculations. If one knows the concept, everything around is maths.
I personally owe a lot to maths. Even I was afraid of maths until I saw the beauty of it. Once I got used to it, I fell in love with it. Now I have moved on from studying maths to doing maths.
It is a scientific fact that to avoid the aging of the brain, one needs to keep it in constant action. Doing mathematics is a great tool to keep the brain in action. Others include solving puzzles, reading literature, writing articles, books, etc. The worst brain disease called Alzheimer’s and memory loss is only due to less activity of the brain.
The writer is studying for a PhD in Mathematics at Lovely Professional University. [email protected]