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Investigating Numbers is Illogical


Date: 10/15/2001 at 07:47:42
From: Bilge
Subject: Be logical!

I think that investigating all the numbers into all of their smallest 
details is unlogical. Why do we have to be interested in maths and 
numbers so much? I don't find maths exciting.


Date: 10/15/2001 at 10:39:50
From: Doctor Ian
Subject: Re: Be logical!

Hi Bilge,

Since math is ultimately nothing more than the study of patterns, it's 
a good bet that if you find some subject interesting, learning about 
math will help you learn more about that subject as well. 

It's possible that the reason you don't find math interesting is that 
it hasn't been presented to you in the right way. For example, someone 
should have pointed out to you that the many of the most interesting 
areas of math have very little to do with 'investigating numbers'.  

It turns out that numbers are very useful for describing patterns; so 
if you want to talk about patterns, you need to be able to talk about 
numbers; but that's just a stepping stone, sort of like learning to 
crawl is a stepping stone toward learning to walk, which is a stepping 
stone toward learning to run, which is a stepping stone toward 
learning to play soccer or basketball.

You don't learn to walk because it's interesting. You learn to walk 
because it's necessary to other activities that _are_ interesting.  
The same is true for learning about numbers. 

What _do_ you find exciting?  If you can tell me a little about that, 
perhaps I can help you find a way to connect math to it.  That would 
make math interesting by connection. 

- Doctor Ian, The Math Forum
  http://mathforum.org/dr.math/   
    
Associated Topics:
Middle School About Math

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