Monday, August 22, 2005

Pragmatic Mathematic

Why is Mathematics a most unpopular subject amongst students ? Maths as taught in schools and colleges is best confined to sterile, fusty, obtuse textbooks – it is rigid, unwieldy and outdated. There is an over-abundance of rules, infinite theorems and each with a chain of at least 3 lemna ! Maths that could be relevant in one’s daily life, that too in Kalyug, needs to be far more flexible and adaptable.

Maybe Maths in junior classes could continue to be taught the current way – with a fixed set of rules, minimum number of variables and fixed outcomes. After all, young minds cannot grasp too much complexity and uncertainty would only confuse them.

But in later years, once a strong foundation had been laid, the teaching model to follow should be different, it would be more like macroeconomics classes – where all kinds of microvariables impinge upon the outcome and anything at all could happen depending upon the relative proportions and strengths of the various variables.

The most simple instance of this could be the basic equation ‘2+2=4’, which one has been taught to accept as the gospel truth. But could ‘2+2’ not be equal to 5 for infinitely large values of 2 ? Alternately the value could perhaps be less than four for infinitesimally low values of 2 ? It is perhaps na├»ve on our part to assume that 2 has a fixed value. There could even be a set of social, environmental and moral conditions which make the two 2’s antagonistic and the value of ‘2+2’ equal to zero. The possibilities are endless and could have weighty implications for mankind.

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