Mathematics equips pupils with a uniquely powerful set of tools to understand and change the world. These tools include logical reasoning, problem-solving skills, and the ability to think in abstract ways. Mathematics is important in everyday life, many forms of employment, science and technology, medicine, the economy, the environment and development, and in public decision-making. One should also be aware of the wide importance of Mathematics, and the way in which it is advancing at a spectacular rate. Mathematics is about pattern and structure; it is about logical analysis, deduction, calculation within these patterns and structures. When patterns are found, often in widely different areas of science and technology, the mathematics of these patterns can be used to explain and control natural happenings and situations. Mathematics has a pervasive influence on our everyday lives, and contributes to the wealth of the individual. |
The study of mathematics can satisfy a wide range of interests and abilities. It develops the imagination. It trains in clear and logical thought. It is a challenge, with varieties of difficult ideas and unsolved problems, because it deals with the questions arising from complicated structures. Yet it also has a continuing drive to simplification, to finding the right concepts and methods to make difficult things easy, to explaining why a situation must be as it is. In so doing, it develops a range of language and insights, which may then be applied to make a crucial contribution to our understanding and appreciation of the world, and our ability to find and make our way in it.
Increasingly, employers are looking for graduates with strong skills in reasoning and problem solving - just the skills that are developed in a mathematics and statistics degree.
Let us look at a few examples. The computing industry employs mathematics graduates; indeed, many university computing courses are taught by mathematicians. Mathematics is used to create the complex programming at the heart of all computing. Also cryptography, a form of pure mathematics, is deployed to encode the millions of transactions made hourly via the Internet and when we use debit or credit cards. Mathematics and Computer Science is a popular degree choice, and four-year degrees with a placement in industry are also available. The latter give graduates plenty of relevant experience to increase their employability.
Mathematics led to the perfect ratios shown in Renaissance painting. The study of astronomy in the early times of its inception demanded the expansion of our understanding of mathematics and made possible such realizations as the size and weight of the earth, our distance from the sun, the fact that we revolve around it, and other discoveries that allowed us to move forward in our body of knowledge without which we would not have any of our modern marvels of technology. The computer itself is a machine built upon the principles of mathematics, being an invention so important as to bring about an economic revolution of efficiency in data communication and processing.
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