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Why be a Mathematician?

Why be a Mathematician?

This is not an easy question. I don't have a clever answer.

If you're a student there are a million things grasping for your attention.. art, music, science, sports. Math is probably way down on your list, or perhaps not even on your list at all. Most people hate math.

But if you like art then mathematics is similar. In both you create objects that are beautiful in their own right. This is the area of "pure mathematics". It's equivalent to abstract art. You may want to read "A Mathematicians Apology" by G.H. Hardy. He apologizes for being a pure mathematician - well not really, but in the process he gives you some interesting insights.

But what if you want to apply your skills in real world situations? This is the area of "applied mathematics". No product, from toaster to aircraft can be designed without math. Also, mathematics is used in medical fields such as imaging and computational biology. And of course, applied mathematics is the cornerstone of physics.

So why be a mathematician? Because it may be your way to create. If it's not, then be an artist, writer, poet, product developer or musician. It's basically all the same thing.

Content written and posted by Ken Abbott