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What is math? If you had asked me that question at the beginning of the semester, then my answer would have been something like: “math is about numbers, letters, and equations.” Now, however, thirteen weeks later, I have come to realize a new definition of what math is. Math includes numbers, letters, and equations, but it is also so much more than that—math is a way of thinking, a method of solving problems and explaining arguments, a foundation upon which modern society is built, a structure that nature is patterned by…and math is everywhere.
By the time I had finished typing the second sentence of this paper, “If you had asked me that question at the beginning of the semester, then my answer would have been something like…” I had already used mathematics. I’ve been using “if, then statements” in my writing for as long as I can remember, but before now, I never would have never considered them to be connected to math. Now that I am conscious of their logical undertones, however, I have found myself making a concerted effort to ensure that I am using them properly.
It is not only in my own writing that my awareness of math has been heightened. While reading articles for classes, on news websites, or blogs, I find myself paying more attention to the flow of the author’s argument. We’ve learned that in proof writing it is important to be clear, concise, and rigorous and the same applies to an argument within a paper. I’ve come to realize that if an author is trying to convince me of their point, then they also need to show me why their point is true or important. In this way, I’ve become more critical of an author’s argument; rather than just believing everything that they write, I more closely evaluate the progression o...
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...re encompassing way, it becomes very clear that everything that we do or encounter in life can be in some way associated with math. Whether it be writing a paper, debating a controversial topic, playing Temple Run, buying Christmas presents, checking final grades on PeopleSoft, packing to go home, or cutting paper snowflakes to decorate the house, many of our daily activities encompass math. What has surprised me the most is that I do not feel that I have been seeking out these relationships between math and other areas of my life, rather the connections just seem more visible to me now that I have a greater appreciation and understanding for the subject. Math is necessary. Math is powerful. Math is important. Math is influential. Math is surprising. Math is found in unexpected places. Math is found in my worldview. Math is everywhere. Math is Beautiful.

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