“Think of it this way: you can appreciate art without acquiring the ability to paint, or enjoy a symphony without being able to read music. Math also deserves to be enjoyed for its own sake, without being constantly subjected to the question, “When will I use this?””
So writes Manil Suri, a mathematics professor at the University of Maryland, in today’s New York Times, in an op-ed that amounts to a full-throated defense of math as a field that is “about ideas above anything else.”
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And yet, even though we are wired for math, and we crave to learn more about it, many people seem to have trouble accessing math today and learning more about it.