Compare the first-screen search results of the keywords ‘popular math’ and ‘popular science’ to know the ‘unpopular status’ of popular math, as evident from the –
Not surprisingly, math enjoys a unique distinct of being the most ‘unpopular subject’, the majority among well-educated people take pride in asserting ‘I never understood math, and I am happy I got away from it in Grade XI’ (and I’m not overly banking on the share of the fairer sex for this reality). To the contrary, you may not have ever heard people taking pride in poor skills and knowledge of art, music, language, sports etc.
For a very long part of the civilized history of men, math was almost exclusively talked about, written for, and lived by mathematicians, and physical scientists. Interestingly, it was only with the development of the modern school education system in the later 1800s that math came out its shell and math was written for ‘non-math people’.
In this version of math, logic was left out and process/methods were written on, in the rather genuine believe that a logic-centered math will be very difficult to be learnt to teach, or learnt for self; math was thus further abstracted, mechanized, and remains so to this day! For the record, the most powerful thing about math is its abstractness and thus, seamless applications across the domains of life and work.
Fortunately, it didn’t matter that math education of masses was bereft of its logical and concrete foundations; 20th century living and work, for the most part, didn’t demand everyday mathematical applications beyond the abstracted four operations – it was the age of ‘boxed hard-ware’.
However, increasing ‘software-isation’ is a fundamental shift for each one of us – making it imperative on us to make explicit the logical aspects of numerous situations around us. Understanding and expressing logic in every situation and context calls for sound mathematical foundations.