ACADEMIC SESSION 2015-16

WHAT IS MATHEMATICS ?

At some point in your learning process, you might have wondered what mathematics is all about and why the subject is thrust on you whether you like it or not. You keep studying various branches of mathematics such as arithmetic, algebra, geometry and so on. You have a fairly good idea of numbers, algebraic equations, points, lines, plane figures etc. With this knowledge can you answer the question, ’what is mathematics?’

We usually classify subjects as belonging to science or arts. What we mean by this is that a subject can either be built up on the basis of experiments supported by invention and discovery or on an act of pure creativity. We say that Newton who discovered the laws of gravitation contributed to science, whereas Leonardo Da Vinci who painted Mona Lisa contributed to arts.

Does mathematics deal mainly with numbers and operations on them?

Does it deal with shapes and sizes?

Does it deal with the motion of bodies, their speeds, velocities or accelerations?

The subject of mathematics deals with all these and much more.

Is mathematics a science or an art?

It can be said to be the science of generalization, the art of deduction and a language of many other science. Some parts of the subjects have a direct bearing with the things around us, whereas others are applied indirectly to the real-life situation. Further more, it is an undisputed fact that the study of mathematics helps you think analytically, take sound decisions and see the world clearly.

The subject of mathematics is both challenging and rewarding, provided you take the right route.If approached by rote method, the subjects appears difficult and its learning becomes monotonous and uninteresting. But when approached in the right manner through understanding, supported by imagination, it becomes a fascinating subject. The best way, however, is to do it yourself. Learn to do mathematical calculation in your own manner. You might wonder how this is possible. What do you do when you want to learn cycling? Do you not first observe how others ride bicycles, and then try to imitate them? In the beginning, you fall down several times, but once you master the technique you develop your own style of riding and try some tricks too! Learning mathematics is like learning to ride a bicycle. Here, instead of imitating someone, you have to learn from your text book or any other suitable material such as this website www.mathslogic.in. Exercises and problems are meant to help you attain mastery over the subject. Make it a habit to try and solve all the questions in the Practice sheets and work on all the given problems. Success can be achieved by being patient and perseverant.