Mathematics and its importance
Mathematics is a fundamental part of human thought and logic, and integral to attempts at understanding the world and ourselves. Mathematics provides an effective way of building mental discipline and encourages logical reasoning and mental rigor. In addition, mathematical knowledge plays a crucial role in understanding the contents of other school subjects such as science, social studies, and even music and art.
Firstly, we ask the question: why does mathematics hold such an important and unique place among other subjects? That is, what is the significance of mathematics in the overall school curriculum? As a point of departure we offer a few thoughts on why mathematics should be treated as an important subject in overall curriculum.
- Mathematics has a transversal nature. If we reflect on the history of curriculum in general, then mathematics (geometry and algebra) were two of the seven liberal arts in Greek as well as in medieval times. This historical role supports the notion that mathematics has provided the mental discipline required for other disciplines.
- Mathematical literacy is a crucial attribute of individuals living more effective lives as constructive, concerned and reflective citizens. Mathematical literacy is taken to include basic computational skills, quantitative reasoning, spatial ability etc.
- Mathematics is applied in various fields and disciplines, i.e., mathematical concepts and procedures are used to solve problems in science, engineering, economics. (For example, the understanding of complex numbers is a prerequisite to learn many concepts in electronics.) The complexity of those problems often requires relatively sophisticated mathematical concepts and procedures when compared to the mathematical literacy aforementioned.
Mathematics and architecture
Mathematics and architecture have always been close, not only because architecture depends on developments in mathematics, but also their shared search for order and beauty, the former in nature and the latter in construction. Mathematics is indispensable to the understanding of structural concepts and calculations. It is also employed as visual ordering element or as a means to achieve harmony with the universe. Here geometry becomes the guiding principle. Golden rectangle
In Greek architecture, the Golden mean, (also known as the Golden rectangle, Golden Section, and Golden Ratio) served as a canon for planning. Knowledge of the golden mean goes back at least as far as 300BC, when Euclid described the method of geometric construction in Book 6, Proposition 30 of his book the Elements. It corresponds to a proportion of 1: 1.618, considered in Westernarchitectural theory to be very pleasing. This number is also known as Phi. Jay Hambidge believed that the golden mean was the ratio used by Attic Greek architects in the design of the Parthenon and many other ancient Greek buildings, as well as sculptures, paintings, and vases. In Islamic architecture, a proportion of 1: √2 was often used—the plan would be a square and the elevation would be obtained by projecting from the diagonal of the plan. The dimensions of the various horizontal components of the elevation such as mouldings and cornices too were obtained from the diagonals of the various projections and recesses in plan. Ancient architecture such as that of the Egyptians and Indians employed planning principles and proportions that rooted the buildings to the cosmos, considering the movements of sun, stars, and other heavenly bodies. Vaastu Shastra, the ancient Indian canons of architecture and town planning employs mathematical drawings called mandalas. Extremely complex calculations are used to arrive at the dimensions of a building and its components. Some of these calculations form part of astrology and astronomy whereas others are based on considerations of aesthetics such as...