Mathematics has the status of being extremely difficult and challenging. This has contributed to scaring people away from the beginning. Learning mathematics requires work and dedication. Any rewards are not given out right away unless you have spent the time and required effort to learn its rules and language. If not, those rewards will keep running away from you. I like to think of mathematics as its own language; studying the grammar can be monotonous and repetitive, but it is important to use it in whichever way we may need to. Comprehending and appreciating the different genres of literature requires a good knowledge of the basic rules and foundation of the language in which they are communicated in. When we enjoy a poem or a short story we never think about the grammar behind it—if we did it would spoil our enjoyment; instead we stand astonished at the finished product or the entire meaning. Mathematics can be viewed in a similar way: the long hours spent working calculus problems are the way to make the basic rules become so innate and instinctive that we do not even have to put a second thought in it. As all children can learn their mother tongue, albeit at different speeds and with varying degrees of difficulty, everybody has the ability to learn mathematics.
When I interviewed Ms. Mousley, a graduate teaching assistant pursuing a PhD in mathematics, I learned that there’s more to math than most people would think. After linear algebra and differential equations, you start to tackle more theoretical and abstract mathematics such as topology and discrete math where you begin to derive proofs and base arguments off of that which I find very interesting. I believe that most people have a preconcei...
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...s and engineering. They both think alike and as a result, they tend to approach problems in the same manner which is why I think minoring in math could help me develop the mental skill-set of an engineer.
To conclude, I feel like I have learned a lot of valuable information from this interview project. I’ve learned that there’s a multitude of career options for math majors as well as math minors particularly in the STEM fields. I hope more people begin to understand the importance of mathematics and that the preconceived notion that math is “boring” is replaced with the notion that math is imperative in many fields and is the primary factor as to why technology, medicine, and business are exponentially rising. From algorithms in your smartphones to statistical analysis of public health, mathematics is everywhere and should be thought of with much higher importance.
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