When I first read the prompt, “What is Math?” I honestly had to think about what exactly that meant. I struggled to start writing. I knew math involved numbers, symbols, one-step equations, pi, Fibonacci sequences, calculus, matrices, etc. but I felt that I needed to provide a deeper response than just the surface of mathematics. When I hear math, I see my future of being a math teacher in the education field teaching students deeper conceptual understanding versus a pure procedural approach. I see math as a creator. Math has been used to create many incredible things in modern day, especially in the field of technology. Math can be/is considered a necessity for life. With out being able to do basic math as in knowing how many loaves of bread you can purchase with a ten dollar bill or the adding of fractions to double a recipe, life becomes very difficult. Not everyone has room for a calculator in their pocket (unless they have one on their phone, which was created by use of mathematics).
These are just a few of the ideas that come to mind when I hear the question, “What is Math?” But, what about where math came from? The history? This is an idea that I don’t know much about, and I look forward to learning through out the MTH 495 Capstone course. I did read a graphic novel during the semester of Fall 2013 named, “Logicomix” which was about a mathematician/logician by the name of Bertrand Russell who struggled to make sense of logic. Throughout the story it discussed names such as Euclid.
Some of the top 5 discoveries/moments in the world of mathematics in my eyes include the following:
1. The Fundamental Theorem of Calculus
2. The Pythagorean Theorem
3. Fibonacci Sequence
4. Math Specific Technology (online applets, calculators, computer programs, educational tools)
The five discoveries above are not in a specific order, these are just the 5 that I feel are important to mathematics and how we teach the subject. I don’t know exactly where these were first discovered or by who, but hopefully these are some of the topics we discuss throughout the course.