LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION

Find the Beauty In Math

Math is perceived to be difficult to understand, and in turn, disliked. But there is a beauty and perfection

in math that many can’t see.

By: Emma Rose Martin

March 25, 2022


 

Image by Dan-Cristian Pădureț

School is something that most people dread, and that most definitely includes myself. Despite this dread, there is one subject that I always look forward to. There is one class that I get excited about and I never want it to end. It’s the one class I actually enjoy doing homework for, the one class  I could never get tired of. This subject is beautiful and perfect. There are so many patterns and shapes that develop from a simple formula. Not many people enjoy or appreciate it, but I have always loved it and seen how amazing it truly is.

 

That subject would be math. Math has always been something that has come naturally to me, the fact that both my parents majored in math might have something to do with it. It has been a love of mine for as long as I can remember. In elementary school I would write “I LOVE MATH” on all of my assignments, and I would look forward to seeing how fast I could complete the multiplication quiz. The thing I love most is that there’s always an answer. There are certain steps to take, but there are also multiple ways to get there. No matter which path you take, you’ll always end up at the right answer, unless of course you get off track. One simple mistake can lead you astray, but fixing it and getting back on track will lead you right to the answer. Math is black and white but the feeling I get when I get the right answer fills me with a color of emotions.

 

Math is the science of structure, order, and relation (Berggren). It consists of counting, measuring, formulas, and describing shapes and changes. No one knows when it was truly “invented” but Mesopotamian and Egyptian societies are credited with most of its development, which would make the date out to be around 2000 B.C. Over the years, mathematicians have developed and evolved the subject a long way since it first appeared. Math is “a subject in its own right.” It is used in science, engineering, philosophy, art, and many real-life situations. Something cool about math is the fact that it doesn’t rely on anything but itself. It makes claims and those said claims are proven to be true without the use of outside sources or ideas, but many things rely on the use of math.

 

The fascination of math is that everything is built upon the basics. Multiplication comes from addition just as division comes from subtraction. Math works in a very interesting way and it is all built from a foundation of numbers and formulas that are all connected. Mathematical discoveries “often appear as isolated flashes of brilliance although in fact they are the culmination of work by many, often less able, mathematicians over a long period” (O’Connor). Mathematicians develop formulas and ideas based off previous knowledge from other mathematicians and societies. Math is something that spreads throughout the world and history, and it is something that everyone uses in their everyday lives. 

 

Over the years, mathematics has been becoming more and more simple. The use of calculators plays a large role in the decline of mathematics. In cases like the logarithmic equation, we are able to use calculators to solve these problems, and so we never learn how to actually calculate an equation like this. Other examples would be sine, cosine, and tangent. There is such beauty in solving problems that involve these functions, but we don’t get to see the patterns and perfectness of these functions because of advancements like the calculator. It is a useful tool to have, but it dims our perception of mathematics. 

 

My recommendation is to look for and find the beauty in math. It may seem like just another annoying class that’s confusing and complicated, but there are patterns, formulas, and pathways that are really interesting once you know how they actually work. Describing it as black and white may give off the perception that it’s boring and useless, but it really is beautiful and perfect. Math is my favorite subject and it comes naturally to me, and you can learn to love it too if you search for the beauty by learning how math really works, not just using a calculator.