Saturday, December 11, 2010

Why is Math Important? Because the language of mathematics plays a vital role in our evolution (article and videos #137 and #138)

I want to address one of the most frequent questions that has come my way over the years, it being: “Why is math important?

Upon going through countless iterations, the shortest and simplest answer that I can provide to this question, is that math is important because it is a vital step in our evolution. The creation and utilization of this language is the reason why we have been able to evolve to the state that we are in: personally, socially, and culturally.

It is widely accepted that numeracy, “the ability to reason with numbers and other mathematical concepts”, is an innate human ability - we’re hardwired for it. Thus, the development of the language of mathematics based on certain definitions and axioms, self-evident truths, may they be complete and consistent or not, was the only logical step in our evolution.

The prominent theory as to the reasons why written languages came to be is that they were developed for the purposes of accurate bookkeeping, economic necessity, and as a means for us to record important events. In essence, once we had acquired enough knowledge that could not accurately be conveyed verbally, we developed symbols, and later on structured languages, syntax, to record and pass on that information. Mathematics was not only an integral part of this, but also an end product.

As with other languages, mathematics was developed to share information and as a means for us to describe and solve real world problems. Slowly, the language maturedthrough the use of abstraction and logical reasoning” and in the last few hundred years has evolved to what it is today, thanks, in large part, to Franciscus Vieta and Leonhard Euler.

At present, mathematics is by far the most efficient language that we have been able to develop to seek and analyze patterns, to optimize our ability to create, and to discuss the laws governing our universe, in the process, helping us answer some of our most fundamental questions. Math is, ultimately, the most concise form of communication we have to understand who we are, where we are, and what we are capable of.

Building Gods (Rough Cut)

Without mathematics we would behave and interact with the world in a completely different manner than we do today. The creation of notations and the formalization of algebra paved the way for us to better understand and interact with the world we inhabit.

Once the syntax for this language was developed, through rigorous analysis we were able to explore the intricacies of what was being revealed. From the significance of prime numbers in our every day lives, to the discovery of the quantization of information, to the revelations that large parts of the universe are invisible to our principal senses. It is mainly due to the innovations brought about through the use of mathematics, may it be in the development of conjectures or the fabrication of instruments, that we are aware of so much, from the very large to the very small.

Marcus du Sautoy: Symmetry, reality's riddle

Math forms the fabric of our current civilization, from economics and politics to what we consume and possess. You don’t believe it? Take a look around you. Aside from the natural ecosystem, almost everything that you see has one thing in common, it was made, raised, grown, or delivered with the use of mathematics as a primary tool. The monitor or piece of paper that you are reading this on, the food you may be consuming, the pictures on your desk, the light in your room, your computer, your clothes, your shoes, your phone, your job, your home, your car and the roads you drive it on, your beverage and the cup you’re drinking it from, all of it, is because of mathematics. Without it, we would not have these luxuries, comforts, freedoms, or the prospect of equality or sustainability.

The Most IMPORTANT Video You'll Ever See (part 1 of 8)

Full Lecture

One crucial point to note, literacy in the language of mathematics was not as important in the past as it is today, or as vital as it will be for the future. Technology and the inevitabilities and necessities of life are forcing every aspect of our lives to be optimized, and the best way that we know of to achieve this task is through mathematics.

So why is math important? Because it encompasses every aspect of our lives and without it, we would not be who we are, we will not progress, and we will not realize our full potential, and thus, have no future: personally, socially, or culturally.

Related video:

Why is Math Important? Part 1: Five Reasons Why Math is Important (137)

  • Reason #1: Life can be brutal. Knowing math may help you out through those moments.
  • Reason #2: Math can help you be the best at what you want to be the best at.
  • Reason #3: Willingly being illiterate in the most important language in the world is really stupid.
  • Reason #4: Knowing math can help you be financially secure.
  • Reason #5: Being intelligent, in general, makes you attractive.

Why is Math Important? Part 2: Because it's part of evolution, part of what makes us human (Math IIIb #138)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Excerpts from Carl Sagan’s Cosmos: Doing a little prep for an Examples Section for Series IIIb of The Language of Mathematics

Note: Table of Contents for the math videos available through the About Page.

At the beginning of 2010, I asked for assistance for this little project that I have started. The following two posts provide some of the details as to the nature of this request, as well as discussing some of the specifics of the project:

  • chycho is looking for music and animation to help teach mathematics: Did you say you want to help end prohibition?

  • Update for and The Language of Mathematics: Introducing “420math” and “Math in Real life”

  • Since that time, numerous people have contacted me offering their support and assistance. Some, you have already been introduced to in the math videos produced this year. Many more have been patiently awaiting my reply, one of whom has been Andrew David (myspace).

    After a few email exchanges, Andrew and I came to an agreement; to use his music, and quotes from Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, to create a soundtrack for videos for an Examples Section which will be used to finalize Series IIIb.

    Why Carl Sagan? Aside from him being an inspiration to both of us, as well as being one of the greatest teachers that the world has been privy to, Sagan was also a cannabis policy reform advocate. “Under the pseudonym ‘Mr. X’, he contributed an essay about smoking cannabis to the 1971 book Marihuana Reconsidered.” The full essay is available at Mr. X by Carl Sagan. Brief excerpts follow:

    “I am convinced that there are genuine and valid levels of perception available with cannabis (and probably with other drugs) which are, through the defects of our society and our educational system, unavailable to us without such drugs. Such a remark applies not only to self-awareness and to intellectual pursuits, but also to perceptions of real people, a vastly enhanced sensitivity to facial expression, intonations, and choice of words which sometimes yields a rapport so close it’s as if two people are reading each other’s minds.

    “… the illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world.”

    Segment from the documentary: “The Union: The Business Behind Getting High.

    Carl Sagan’s Cosmos was produced during a period in which many unrelenting voices were engaged in pounding their war drums, much like today. Countering this insanity, there were also many benevolent voices trying to educate us by showing us the beauty of life and our part in it. One of those working relentlessly towards the betterment of our society was Carl Sagan, and his masterpiece was the Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, “a thirteen-part television series written by Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan, and Steven Soter, with Sagan as presenter.”

    “The series was first broadcast by the Public Broadcasting Service in 1980, and was the most widely watched series in the history of American public television until 1990's… It covered a wide range of scientific subjects including the origin of life and a perspective of our place in the universe.”

    I first came across this series when it was finally released on DVD in 2000. I was hooked after watching Part 1 and for the next few days I became a Cosmos addict and a serious Carl Sagan fan.

    As my About Page states, this blog is dedicated to teaching mathematics and raising money for organizations that are working towards ending prohibition. Considering Carl Sagan’s objectives, his philosophy on life, and his dedication to education, it’s a safe bet to assume that he would have approved of and given his blessing to this project, hence the decision to use excerpts from his work to teach mathematics and help end prohibition.

    Below you will find two videos containing some of Sagan’s teachings that he shared through Cosmos. These videos are my way of communicating with Andrew as to my choices of possible segments that he could use with his music, and since I believe in transparency and sharing, I thought others would appreciate some of Sagan's insights. If you have not, as yet, had the pleasure of watching the complete series, I highly recommend doing so.

    Saturday, October 9, 2010

    Friday, October 8, 2010

    Wednesday, September 29, 2010

    Friday, September 24, 2010

    Thursday, September 16, 2010

    Sunday, September 12, 2010

    Factoring: Part 14 - Quadratic Formula (Part 2): Example #1: The Language of Mathematics IIIb (111)

    Note: Table of Contents for the math videos available through the About Page.

    Saturday, September 11, 2010

    Wednesday, September 8, 2010

    Tuesday, September 7, 2010

    Monday, September 6, 2010

    Saturday, September 4, 2010

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010

    Why Do We Factor? Introduction to Factoring Polynomials: The Language of Mathematics IIIb (105) - [Update]

    Table of Contents: Language of Mathematics, Math in Real Life

    Update: I contacted Horeja and asked them if they could send me the lyrics, both in English and Spanish, to "El Guillatún", the track sampled in this video. They kindly obliged, and I have now included the lyrics below.

    Lyrics to "El Guillatún" by Horeja


      Millelche is sad with the tempest
      The wheat lies down on the mud
      The indians resolve after crying
      Talk with Isidro, with God and Saint John
      With God and St. John
      With God and St. John

      The machi walks for the guillatún
      Chamal and revoso, trailonco and cultrúm
      And even the sick ones of her machitún
      Enlarge the rows of that guillatún
      Of that guillatún, of that guillatún

      The rain that falls and falls again
      The indians look at it without knowing what to do
      They tear out their hair, they break their feet
      Because the harvest is going going to get ruined
      It's going to get ruined

      The indians gather at a large yard
      With the instruments a song broke out
      The machi repeats the word sun
      And the echo of the field increases her voice
      Increases her voice

      The king of heavens heard well
      Scares away the winds to another region
      Undid the clouds and then lied down
      The indians cover it with a prayer
      With a prayer

      The smell of meat and muday can be felt
      Cinnamon, orange, bark of quillay
      The festival ends with dawn
      They saved the chant, the dance and the bread
      The dance and the bread, the dance and the bread.


      Millelche está triste con el temporal
      los trigos se acuestan en este barrial
      los indios resuelven después de llorar
      hablar con Isidro, con Dios y San Juan.

      Camina la machi para el guillatún
      chamal y revoso, trailonco y cultrúm,
      y hasta los enfermos de su machitún
      aumentan las filas de aquel guillatún,
      de aquel guillatún, de aquel guillatún.

      La lluvia que cae y vuelve a caer
      los indios la miran sin hallar qué hacer
      se arrancan el pelo, se rompen los pies,
      porque las cosechas se van a perder,
      se van perder.

      Se juntan los indios en una corralón
      con los instrumentos rompió una canción,
      la machi repite la palabra sol
      y el eco del campo le sube la voz, le sube la voz.

      El rey de los cielos muy bien escuchó
      remonta los vientos para otra región,
      deshizo las nubes, después se acostó,
      Los indios la cubren con una oración,
      con una oración.

      Se siente el perfume de carne y muday
      canelo, naranjo, corteza e' quillay,
      termina la fiesta con el aclarar,
      guardaron el canto, el baile y el pan,
      el baile y el pan, el baile y el pan.

    Saturday, August 28, 2010

    Difference of Squares: Solving Equations, a Graphical Representation: The Language of Mathematics IIIb (102-104)

    Note: Table of Contents for the math videos available through the About Page.

    I thought it would be prudent to use two different methods to delve deeper into the meaning of what it means to solve an equation, both algebraically and graphically. The following three videos explore this topic.

    Wednesday, August 25, 2010

    Monday, August 23, 2010

    Factoring: Part 6 - Difference of Squares: The Language of Mathematics IIIb (99)

    Note: Table of Contents for the math videos available through the About Page.

    Wednesday, August 11, 2010

    The Language of Mathematics IIIb (97): Recap of Series I, II, and IIIa

    Note: Table of Contents for the math videos available through the About Page.

    Wednesday, July 28, 2010

    About Page

    Further information regarding my work at: Support Chycho on Patreon.

    I've also started a video series providing further information and some reviews for some of the items listed below. Those videos can be found at: My Best of List: Some of My Influences (Q&A).

    1. Introduction
    2. Teachers Worth Learning From
    3. Books Worth Reading
    4. Comics and Graphic Novels
    5. Courses and Playlists worth Investing In
    6. Programs Worth Having
    7. Documentaries Worth Watching
    8. Lectures and Interviews of Interest
    9. Articles and Documents Worth Noting
    10. Music Worth Listening To
    11. Live Electronic Music to Attend
    12. Animation to Blow Your Mind
    13. Art and Design Worth Viewing
    14. News and Blogs Worth Scanning
    15. Movies Worth The Time
    16. Resources and Tools
    17. Sound Bites
    Who I Am: An Introduction to chycho and My Work Online for the Last 16 Years, Blogging Since 2005


    With the advent of the Internet we have seen unfiltered information travel at light-speed across the globe. This global community, functioning as the only true free society, is reshaping our world. Where this interaction and connectivity will lead is yet to be determined, however, the changes are and continue to be unprecedented.

    As long as we have open and unbiased access to the Internet will remain active, presenting a unique personal perspective and sharing our communal experiences and knowledge, the essence of the Internet.

    As for who I am? I believe that our personal perspective is a reflection of our influences; hence, below I have provided some of my influences, both major and minor, from books that I have read, to teachers that I have encountered, to movies and documentaries that I have watched, to music that I have looped, and much more. This list in addition to the animated individual you see before you in the math videos should provide additional insight into my nature.

    I hope you enjoy this labor of love.


    chycho.chycho [at] gmail [dot] com

    Full contact information available on our Contact Page

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    Teachers Worth Learning From
    For some additional info see: "Some Primary Lessons from Some Amazing Teachers"

    Books Worth Reading

    Comics and Graphic Novels

    Courses and Playlists worth Investing In

    Programs Worth Having

    Documentaries and Investigations Worth Watching

    Lectures, debates, and Interviews of Interest

    Articles, Documents, and Reports Worth Noting

    Music Worth Listening To

    Live Electronic Music to Attend

    Animation to Blow Your Mind

    Art, Design, and Dance Worth Viewing

    News and Blogs Worth Scanning

    Movies Worth The Time

    Resources and Tools

    Sound Bites