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Mathematics: A way of Life

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Author : Mr. Prathamesh Lahande
Faculty Member, SICSR

In this world, there are three types of people. The first sets of people are those who just love maths. These are the ones that really love numbers, enjoy their lives with mathematics and think that mathematics really makes their lives easier. The Second sets of people are those people who absolutely hate maths and think that their lives become complicated with mathematics. And then there are the rest who are somewhere in between the first type and second type who really could not care about maths.

What exactly do you think when you think about Mathematics? If you are like most of the people then your answer would be something like: Numbers, equations, boredom or pain. People think that we won’t need to use the Pythagoras theorem in life, then why learn it? But the broad thinkers personally believe it is much much more than that. Legends have said that the only way to learn mathematics is to do mathematics and math is all around us and helps us to understand the world better.

A mathematician was once asked by a student “What has maths taught you”. After a long pause, the mathematician replied “Mathematics is all about calculations and these calculations include the basic math operations: Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division. Life teaches us to keep on ‘Adding’ knowledge so that we keep on evolving in our lives. Life teaches us to ‘Subtract’ all the negative thoughts that bring us down. Life teaches us to ‘Multiply’ our energy so we have abundance of it to lead a good life. And lastly life teaches us not to ‘Divide’ ourselves among religion, cast or creed and/or nationality. To learn all these things in life, what better than Mathematics!!”.

Ever since childhood we are firstly taught how to count, or learn the English alphabets. Initially we find it interesting but slowly and gradually there is a downfall of liking for it. Here are some of the amazing things that when read or experienced makes us think that “Is it Magic or is it Maths!!!”. The word hundred is derived from the word “Hundrath” which actually means 120 and not 100. The ancient Roman Empire ruled for so many years but forgot to represent zero in Roman Numerals. “Eleven plus two” is an anagram of “twelve plus one” which is pretty fitting as the answer to both equations is 13. Also, there are 13 letters in both “eleven plus two” and “twelve plus one”. How’s that for a coincidence.

Here is another one: (6 × 9) + (6 + 9) = 69. In the country Thailand, the number 555 is used as a slang for “HaHaHa” because the word for “Five” is pronounced as “Ha”! The most likable number is 7. Also 7 show a lot in our nature also. We have seven deadly sins, and Seven Wonders of the World. Not to mention colours of the rainbow, pillars of wisdom, seas, dwarves, days in the week. This might be because when these things came about there were celestial bodies visible in the sky (the Sun, the Moon, Venus, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn). Also, 7 is an Odd number, but contain the ‘Even’ in its spelling! 'FOUR' is the only number in the English language that is spelt with the same number of letters as the number itself. But the number 4 is considered unlucky in Asia. Many a times the building skips the fourth floor and from 3 they jump directly to 5. This is some superstition!

One concluding magic of maths. The number 0.999999… is exactly equal to 1

Proof: Let x=0.9999…Then 10x = 9.9999. 10x-x = (9.9999…) - (0.9999…).

Hence, 9x=9.

Therefore x=1.

Well, haven’t we learnt something new here. Hence to sum up, we are surrounded by numbers and mathematics all around us. And the only way to experience it is to observe our environment, love and embrace it. Hopefully this article will help you see mathematics and numbers in a different way. And lastly one great mathematician quoted “Don’t treat mathematics as a punishment, but a way to exercise our brain”.

CURSOR 5.0 | VOLUME 1 ISSUE 1, JULY 2019

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