Why is maths important? A conversation with Eddie Woo

This video was originally published 2 August 2017.

Eddie Woo chats to CESE about maths, teaching and what works best. Listen to the full conversation.

Eddie Woo explains why maths is important

So we live in a world that Galileo Galilei, he said that mathematics is the language with which God has written the world, and regardless of what you think about how the world came to be, it’s an irreconcilable fact that everything that you look around at is mathematical if you dig deeply enough. Some things are really obvious - you throw a ball through the air and it traces out a parabola, and it’s quite remarkable that such a complicated physical process should be modelled by such a simple mathematical object.

But you can dig further, I mean, you think about the world economic markets, and the amount of mathematics that goes into understanding how currencies work and how financial risk is managed, and how the GDP of a country affects things like the social wellbeing of all of its people. And then we could go on and on about day-to-day, you know, you’ve got to make financial decisions, making sure you’re not getting ripped off on your mortgage or your electricity bill, getting a good deal at the shops. The list is just endless. I feel like every sphere of life is touched by mathematics.

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