Related topics: children · students

Making math relevant to the climate strikes

One of the key demands of the UK's school climate-strike movement is that more attention is paid to climate change in the curriculum. To help address this, researchers at Oxford's Environmental Change Institute and Department ...

Preschoolers can do more math than you think

Preschoolers are capable of learning more complicated math concepts than most parents realize, according to a new Vanderbilt study. What's more, these concepts can be easily introduced through simple games and tasks at home.

Is your supercomputer stumped? There may be a quantum solution

Some math problems are so complicated that they can bog down even the world's most powerful supercomputers. But a wild new frontier in computing that applies the rules of the quantum realm offers a different approach.

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Mathematics

Mathematics is the science and study of quantity, structure, space, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns, formulate new conjectures, and establish truth by rigorous deduction from appropriately chosen axioms and definitions.

There is debate over whether mathematical objects such as numbers and points really exist or whether they are manmade. The mathematician Benjamin Peirce called mathematics "the science that draws necessary conclusions". Albert Einstein, on the other hand, stated that "as far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."

Through the use of abstraction and logical reasoning, mathematics evolved from counting, calculation, measurement, and the systematic study of the shapes and motions of physical objects. Practical mathematics has been a human activity for as far back as written records go (see: History of Mathematics). Rigorous arguments first appeared in Greek mathematics, most notably in Euclid's Elements. Mathematics continued to develop, in fitful bursts, until the Renaissance, when mathematical innovations interacted with new scientific discoveries, leading to an acceleration in research that continues to the present day.

Today, mathematics is used throughout the world as an essential tool in many fields, including natural science, engineering, medicine, and the social sciences. Applied mathematics, the branch of mathematics concerned with application of mathematical knowledge to other fields, inspires and makes use of new mathematical discoveries and sometimes leads to the development of entirely new disciplines. Mathematicians also engage in pure mathematics, or mathematics for its own sake, without having any application in mind, although practical applications for what began as pure mathematics are often discovered later.

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