Broken Silence: Mathematics in Our Lives

Manila Bulletin, March 15, 2004 | Go to article overview
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Broken Silence: Mathematics in Our Lives


Byline: MARCO J. DAGASUHAN

My teacher in high school had shared to our class what a student once asked him, "Sir, who invented mathematics? If I know who discovered this thing, I will kill him."

This person is just one of the many people whom I know who dislike mathematics so much. For them, this subject only brought miseries to their studies. It is undeniable that many students have failed in math and they considered it as the most difficult subject. As a result, mathematics became the most-hated subject which also made math teachers as the least favorite to a large number of students.

Yes, it's true that mathematics is some kind of a challenge which is very hard to surpass. But wait a minute, hasn't this subject brought any good things to us? Haven't we realized what are the vital roles that mathematics can only perform?

Let us try to ponder why mathematics came into existence. Is this thing devoid of meaning to our daily activities? Definitely, no! In fact, math is not what we considered as a burden to our studies but a great help to our journey, called life.

Honestly, even if you call me boastful, I will admit that mathematics is one of my favorite subjects in school. I may not say I'm too intelligent but I like math because of the lessons and values I've learned from it which are applicable to real life. The real score is that I've come to realize how significant math is to everyone of us.

The first lesson is about how to deal problems in life. In school, during mathematics' time, we always encounter problems that involve numbers and operations. Our math teachers unceasingly challenge us to solve these problems out of what we have learned from their instructions. This reminded me of our state in this world. We are born with problems as our twins.

There seem to be no end with our daily struggles in life. But, as what mathematics taught us, every problem has its own solution. Let's begin with fractions. 1/2 + 2/3 is equal to....oh no, we can't solve this problem yet. We add these fractions because both have different denominators. Now, what did mathematics instilled to us when we encounter this problem? Of course, when we add or subtract fractions with disssimilar denominators, we have to determine first the LCD or least common denominators. Thus, 1/2 + 2/3 can be converted into 3/6 +4/6 so that we can arrive to the exact answer which is 7/6 or 1 1/6.

What does this mean to us? When we think that the world is turned upside down because we are facing problems which seem to have no solutions at all, we are not hopeless.

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