Often movies include scenes showing math. Often, the math is on a blackboard or whiteboard in a character’s room or office, or in the background of the credits roll at the end of the show. The intended effect is, I guess, to tell the audience “this character is a genius of some sort, he or she is going to provide the hero with some amazing invention or information that will help defeat the villain”.
If you have 1000 Euros you want to invest, what do you do?
When we learn that, say, 2+2=4, is that something really true about the universe, or is it something some caveman made up? Does a cube exist as something more than just a figment of our imagination?
My son wrote an essay on math the other day. I thought I’d reproduce it here. You can think of him, therefore, as my first ‘guest blogger’. I’ve edited it only very slightly.
I met someone after church the other day, and the conversation went like this
- Someone: And what’s your speciality?
- Me: Mathematics
- Someone: So, you teach in the University?
- Me: No, why should I be teaching in the University just because I specialise in mathematics?
There seems to be a general impression (and I’m deliberately overstating this) that the only use for math is to teach it. Even some teachers believe this, apparently. Here’s another conversation I had with someone at a bus stop :