Why this year student loves maths (and you should too!)

Why do some people like maths while others don’t? There are many reasons as to why someone may like maths. For one, it’s reliable and the results are never up for interpretation. It can be used in a whole range of careers, too.

Here are a few of Klara's favourite things about this school subject.

1. Maths has a whole heap of different applications

I love that maths is such a diverse subject and can fall under a broad spectrum of topics. Math is applicable to so many different fields of study and interests. For example, an animator builds frames of images using geometric equations and applies rotations and changes in size through linear algebra.

Many careers marry mathematics with other passions. Although creating animations involves a deep knowledge of mathematics, it involves other passions, such as art and design.

“I think there’s a lot of creativity in mathematics and there’s a lot of problem-solving in arts. There’s more overlap than what people might think,” says Australian mathematician and television presenter, Lily Serna.

2. That feeling of accomplishment

The feeling of accomplishment after solving an equation, mastering a new method or getting good results on a test is incredible! Maths has the capacity to give you confidence in your abilities and uplift you. Do you remember how you felt when you first rode a bike? The same feeling can be felt when you acquire a new skill in maths.

“The feeling of accomplishment after solving an equation, mastering a new method or getting good results on a test is incredible!”

3. Learning new things

One of the reasons that I am partial to maths is the excitement of learning about new topics, formulae, and methods. Broadening my knowledge and understanding is one of the best feelings I know.

When you learn something new, your brain’s dopamine pathways are activated. Dopamine is a chemical often associated with being rewarded, however, it is more closely related to seeking rewards or motivation. Being exposed to new things causes us to want to learn even more in search of an anticipated reward. I find that learning new things in maths is an excellent way to feel intellectually engaged.

4. Maths is reliable

The rules of math are always the same. Math never lies and is never subjective. Most importantly… maths will never eat the last piece of pizza, unlike a friend!

This doesn’t mean that math is unoriginal or repetitive. In most cases, there are multiple ways to achieve a result. The best part about maths is that there is only ever one correct answer.

5. Maths can be sociable

This may sound strange… but I like doing maths with my friends. Working on maths within a social environment creates a balance and provides added motivation. It’s enjoyable to share the company of others and maths is no exception to this. Working with your friends is a great way to gain others’ perspectives on a problem, as well as having the comfort of company at the same time.

Meeting people who share an interest in maths is also extremely interesting given the diverse ways in which people apply maths. British mathematician Tim Gowers ran an experiment in which he created a website where people could collaborate on a larger scale to prove a mathematical theorem. This goal was achieved in under two months with 800 comments from 27 different people, demonstrating the benefits of working collaboratively.

Klara Ehlenz was a recent year 10 student with a passion for both maths and dance.

First published on CareerswithSTEM.com

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