We’re (all a little) Odd – Early Mathematicians & Cool Math

Archimedes was a Greek mathematician and is hailed as the 
Father of Mathematics.

Archimedes was a Greek mathematician and is hailed as the Father of Mathematics.

       Every now and then you might be wondering why math was invented. In fact, you might be even thinking why would someone want it to be invented. The truth is, mathematics came about because of a universal need for it. Mathematics pervades every part of our lives, whether we know it or not (well, at least now you know). Early mathematicians, dating back thousands and thousands of years ago, used mathematics in architecture, engineering (they needed to build those houses and useful tools we use today somehow), calendars, keeping records, and even arts and crafts! 

       A particularly notable mathematician (and all-around genius) is Archimedes. One of the contributions Archimedes is remembered for is the first calculation of pi. More commonly referred to as 3.14, pi was approximated using the perimeter of polygons and the circumference of circles. You can check out The Pi Song for a musical way to remember the first 100 digits of pi! Pi, in all its infinite glory, allows us to understand the universe more clearly (one might even argue it’s the most important number in the universe). You might think pi is irrational but it allows us to capture infinity within the finite. 

       Math is more than solving problems over and over again and it’s not just proving a triangle exists and writing long formulas. In a more philosophical sense, people use math to find stability in the chaos of the world. Math problems (at least most of them) have a solution and people find that calming knowing that at the end of the day if they can’t figure out the answer to something happening in their life, they can take a step back to rely on the consistency of mathematics. 

       Now how can you use math to help you? I’m sure you remember playing Cool Math games while growing up, actually (surprise, surprise) you were playing games that involved mathematical concepts. There are several more websites out there that allow you to improve your mathematical fluency and have fun. An example of these websites include math jeopardy games found on jeopardylabs.com (with the category math, of course) where you can test your algebra, geometry, and calculus skills in a competitive and lively manner. You can get together with a group of friends and make a game night out of it, boosting your ability to interact with others and approach math in a different light. Math doesn’t have to be as bad as you think it is, you might even find your own place in this chaotic world in mathematics.