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House of Maths School Workshops Primary & Secondary in Dorset & South - 5 REASONS MATHS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT SUBJECT

Don’t get me wrong: History, Spanish, Music and Drama are all great – even Latin (well, maybe Latin…). All learning is good: studying helps to keep your brain fit in the same way that exercise keeps your body fit, and a good range of both general and specialist knowledge enriches our lives hugely. But trigonometry and quadratic equations transcend Oxbow Lakes, Adverbial Clauses and Post-modernist art because only mathematics has these five extra qualities that make it the indisputable top of the pile!

Pentaprism podium

1) MATHS IS THE ONLY SUBJECT THAT’S THE SAME IN ALL LANGUAGES, EVEN IF YOU’RE AN ALIEN: because maths is Universal! French is great in France, and Bengali is King in Bangladesh, and there are 297 living languages in China, but A=πr2 and V= πr3 everywhere. The SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) project searches the skies for signals from extra-terrestrials, as well as beaming messages out into the cosmos hoping for a reply. And what language will we use to communicate? Mathematics, of course!

2) MATHS IS THE LANGUAGE OF SCIENCE: Yes, that’s right: Maths tells science how to work! So without Maths there would be no computers, cars, tablets or iphones, no toothpaste, chemical fertilisers or life saving pharmaceutical drugs, and definitely no cars, trains or planes. In summary: NO MATHS = NO MINECRAFT!

3) MATHS IS ETERNAL AND OBJECTIVE: Istanbul was once Constantinople; Languages continually change as old words fall out of favour and new words join the lexicon; even in Science, nothing can ever be proven, it can merely be said to “agree with observation”: even Newton’s Law of Gravitation was discovered to be imperfect once Einstein came up with his Theory of Relativity (which in turn may yet be replaced with a better law still in the future). In contrast, the laws of Maths – once proven logically from a stated set of starting points (“axioms”) – are eternal and incontrovertible in a way that no other subject can claim.

4) ALL THE OTHER SUBJECTS ARE JUST APPLICATIONS OF MATHS: let’s take Sociology: it’s an applied branch of: Psychology, an applied branch of: Biology, an applied branch of: Chemistry, an applied branch of: Physics, which is an applied branch of Maths! OK, maybe this is a slight exaggeration, but other subjects rely on Maths for its logic (physics), equations (all the sciences) and statistics (all the social sciences) in a way that just doesn’t happen with other subjects.

5) MATHS OPENS THE DOOR TO A HUGE RANGE OF JOBS: from engineering (a posh term for anyone who builds something) to computer animation, from animal medicine to investigating climate change, a good maths qualification is an essential skill for a huge array of amazing disciplines. Even if you end up in a job which looks like it doesn’t use Maths, your problem solving skills, logic and ability to quantify (i.e. measure with numbers) are hugely valuable skills, and this is probably why MATHEMATICIANS GET PAID MORE: (approximately 11% more on average for those with a Maths A-level according to a recent study Adkins et al 2016 and the only A-level subject which had this effect).

So there you have it, 5 reasons why Maths is King of all the subjects, whether you study it for its usefulness or just to enjoy its own beauty. HOWEVER: the world would be a truly boring place if Maths was the only subject we studied. At House Of Maths we dig Archaeology, we adore le francais and we think Geography is groovy, but if there was a gold star for being the best subject, Mathematics would win every time.

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