Introduction to Maths is fun

Brief history of maths

Mathematics, from the Greek word ‘mathēmatika’, is the study of quantities (numbers) and their operations. The word ‘maths’ can trigger a lot of emotions into the hearts of different people! Anxiety, joy – there is a spectrum of feelings associated with this word! Some are purely terrified by the thought of solving a problem and some take it up as a challenge!!

Why maths is so important in our life?

Well the truth is maths is fun!!!! Yes, whether it’s your favourite subject or a subject that you dread... It can be fun - just the way you perceive it! It all started with our kindergarten teacher teaching us 1 2 buckle my shoe... 3 4 open the door...

This rhyme laid down the foundation for mathematics in our lives and we didn’t even realise it!! We just recited it as a fun rhyme! Well that’s how interesting mathematics can be!

When you give it some thinking, everyone from a beggar to an engineer is a practicing mathematician!

And boy, can we do without mathematics in our lives? The answer is a unanimous ‘no’! Imagine being cheated by a salesman simply because you didn’t know how much to pay! Sounds unreal. But the truth is that often we take our math skills for granted and hence do not value them!

To talk about the how this subject came to exist on the face of this earth...

The most ancient mathematical texts are believed to have existed in Babylon in Egypt. All of these texts concern the so-called Pythagorean Theorem which seems to be the most ancient and widespread mathematical development.

The 17th century saw an unprecedented explosion of mathematical ideas across Europe. John Napier, in Scotland, was the first to investigate natural logarithms whereas René Descartes, a French mathematician and philosopher, plotted planetary orbits on a graph, in Cartesian coordinates.

In reality, math simplifies complex and tedious things.

Why it’s supposed to be fun to learn maths?

What’s easier to count?

IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII or tally marks that are systematically grouped into bunch of 5?

Most importantly, maths is practical.

Want to learn division? Divide a loaf of bread among 3 people and there you learn its practical significance!
It’s a stress buster! Well I’m referring to Sudoku, which people love solving from the entertainment sections of every newspaper!

Without even realising it, math brings out the best in us. It sharpens our skills, makes us quicker and alert. No wonder when you give any aptitude or intelligence test, basic math forms an integral part of it. Maybe you’ve never wondered why 2 and 2 make 4, not 5. That’s what amuses many people and that is so special about ‘mathematika’. If you ever think of being a scientist in your lifetime or even an astronaut, maths is something you got to be great at.

The best part about math is that there are no ‘may be’ and ‘may be not’s’. An answer is either right or wrong. Life can have its black’s, whites and greys but math only has a black or a white!

There is no indecision or vagueness in maths. On the contrary, there is plenty to discover and get amused & entertained! It’s all crystal clear. A lot depends on the teacher and pupil relationship! The more friendly and interactive the learning is, the more interesting it is for the pupil. In mathematical terms the teacher’s innovative ways of teaching and the pupil’s interest for the subject are directly proportional to each other! For example, our 5th grade class teacher made us listen to the song “Pie mathematical pie” a spoof of Madonna’s world anthem American pie! The song was hilarious but at the end of the day every student in our class loved the song. The teacher discovered their love for the subject due to the song! But the value of pie (22/7 or 3.1418) was engrained in our brain for a lifetime!