Ideas, Creativity, Innovation

Math Inside

From “Letters to a Young Mathematician” by Ian Stewart.

I sometimes think that the best way to change the public attitude to math would be to stick a red label on everything that uses mathematics. “Math inside.” There would a label on every computer, of course, and I suppose if we were to take the idea literally, we ought to slap one on every math teacher. But we should also place a red math sticker on every airline ticket, every telephone, every car, every airplane, every traffic light, every vegetable…

Vegetable?

Yes. The days when farmers simply planted what their fathers had planted, and their fathers before them, are long gone. Virtually any plant you can buy is the outcome of a long and complicated commercial breeding program. The whole topic of “experimental design” in the mathematical sense, was invented in the early 1900s to provide a systematic way to assess new breeds of plants, not to mention the new methods of genetic modification.

Wait, Isn’t this biology?

Biology, sure. But math, too. Genetics was the first parts of biology to go mathematical.

This was in the very first chapter “Why do Math?”, in the book. One of the most inspiring books I have laid my hands on. I don’t even recall, how I came to know about this book. Probably a blog. A big “Thank You” to the person who mentioned this. I am having the time of my life reading this book.