A Mathematician’s Lament(About) I don’t see how it’s doing society any
good to have its members walking around with vague memories of
algebraic formulas and geometric diagrams, and clear memories of
hating them. It might do some good, though, to show them
something beautiful and give them an opportunity to enjoy being
creative, flexible, open-minded
You don’t need to make math interesting— it’s already more
interesting than we can handle! And the glory of it is its complete irrelevance to our lives.
Mathematics is the music of reason.
We learn things because
they interest us now, not because they might be useful later.
How many students taking literature classes will one day be writers?
That is not why we teach literature, nor why students take it. We
teach to enlighten everyone, not to train only the future professionals.
In any case, the most valuable skill for a scientist or engineer is being
able to think creatively and independently. The last thing anyone
needs is to be trained.