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In Defense of Math [Good Article]

The Honors Program encourages a well-balanced liberal arts education, but more and more undergraduates leave college just as scared of math as they were when they arrived. As any petulant high schooler can tell you, it’s hard to imagine when you’ll ever use things like calculus in real life. But this article in the New York Times argues that math is more than just the functions on a calculator. Math is artful, beautiful and worth appreciating in and of itself.

As the author argues, “many profound mathematical ideas don’t require advanced skills to appreciate. One can develop a fairly good understanding of the power and elegance of calculus, say, without actually being able to use it to solve scientific or engineering problems.”

Whether you are a future mathematician or you are struggling through Math and Politics, the article is worth a read. A compelling and well-written defense of math is hard to find, but UMD professor Manil Suri manages to connect numbers, equations and variables with something resembling art, literature and even, as the title promises, love.