While English, math, and science are the three core subjects that pupils acquire throughout their education, only one is typically considered “unnecessary,” “unusable” or redundant in adult life. Surprisingly, that topic appears to be shaping future firms, corporate executives, economies, and perhaps our society.
People still look back on mathematics with disdain or apathy. Many people openly question why they ever needed to master algebra, trigonometry, formulae, or even mental arithmetic, especially now that our phones have calculators built in.
When placed alongside English and science, many youngsters can fall into the trap of believing that arithmetic has little relevance to their daily lives. Unless you work in a math-centric business, you should avoid using math unless you are dealing with finances.
This is the crux of the matter.
Engineering, technology, information technology, and innovation are increasingly found in a growing number of businesses. Algorithms, artificial intelligence (AI), automation, robots, and digital innovation are all becoming increasingly important in today’s society. Few organizations, transactions, communications, or life events are entirely devoid of mathematical processes.
As the world proceeds down that route, we must now ensure that youngsters value the arithmetic lessons they get.
It’s Not Just A Class
Everywhere we look, there are clear examples of how arithmetic is used to build the world – ever-improving technology, previously unimaginable engineering feats, and, most poignantly, scientific advances.
Without the minds committed to science, engineering, economic sustainability, and medical creativity, where would our Covid-19 pandemic solution have come from? Mathematics is the foundation for all engineering sciences, as well as, by extension, the development of all industry sectors today.
The idea that math is merely a school subject rather than a vital contribution to the world around us has to be debunked. Separating science and math after pupils have graduated from high school is also a trend that must be reversed.
We need to get to a point where children have a relationship with arithmetic at school and accept that it is, in fact, contributing to their future lives, just as few people would argue they do not need English or a language later in life.
Leadership necessitates a thorough understanding of the subject matter.
People are typically encouraged to pursue entrepreneurship, management, or company development rather than research and development in several countries.
This appears to relieve people of the need to learn more about data science, statistical significance, or automation. There’s a part of you that thinks, “Once I’m boss, I’ll be hiring others to tackle those specific challenges.”
But where else in company management would such be expected or acceptable? You’d be expected to communicate effectively with more than just a fundamental understanding of the English language if you were a member of the C-suite, a decision maker, or a business director. When your business is practically certain to rely on math-based procedures, it’s only natural to have a deeper understanding of these ideas.
You may not be a coder, but if your desire is to be a captain of industry or to take on a larger decision-making role, it’s probable that the hiring, deployment, and evaluation of coders will be among the decisions you make.
Simply put, prioritizing leadership or management abilities above math skills will severely harmed those same management credentials, especially in an industry that continues to rely heavily on math and science.
Children, businesses, economies, and society all benefit from it.
What role does AI play here? These executives of the C-suite are in charge of deciding when to use machine learning in our most important industries, such as retail and supply chain.
Despite the fact that rivals’ inventory and supply and demand operations are becoming more accurate, precise, and automated, far too many decision-makers continue to distrust AI’s benefits and refuse to invest as a result.
Some people’s skepticism stems from a stubbornness in their own talents and experiences: “How could a machine possibly know more than an experienced professional?” For some, AI’s limits are a source of annoyance: “If it can’t predict with 100 percent accuracy, then I’ll simply wait until it can.”
Basic mathematics is misinterpreted in both of these cases. Because AI isn’t a silver bullet, it’s never been marketed as such. Forecasts grow more precise as more data is collected. Regardless of employment expertise, those forecasts are more precise and clever than any human brain.
We hope that people will not only trust AI, but also have a working understanding of what is being presented to them, allowing them to appreciate the business benefits AI will offer more clearly.
Of course, in this case, these advantages are applied on a company-by-company basis. To step back and look more broadly, however, this understanding must begin with a transformation in the narrative surrounding mathematics as a subject. This should start in school, and it should start now.
The implications would be beneficial to children who are being prepared for the world they will soon enter, future business founders and leaders who will be able to shape strategy around well-understood scientific and technological principles, and even nations whose economies will be dependent on the enterprise and breakthroughs that result from this knowledge.
With Pi Day (March 14) marking the International Day of Mathematics, it’s critical that we all recognize that we live in a technologically advanced world, and that making math the cool kid in school would benefit our entire society.