- What is the International Day of Mathematics?
- Is maths a popular subject in the UK?
- What is the point of maths anyway?
- Five ways you are using maths in your everyday life
Now in its third year, the International Day of Mathematics invites the world to join hands and celebrate the wonder of maths – its beauty, significance, and brilliant ability to bring us all together. 🤝
But, we get it, maths doesn't always feel like such an approachable or inspiring subject. Full of fractions, formulas and codes, it can seem unnecessary, complicated and irrelevant – we’ve got computers now so we don’t need maths anymore, right? Wrong. Just give us five minutes to change your mind and get you pumped for the International Day of Mathematics. 👇
What is the International Day of Mathematics?
The International Day of Mathematics (IDM) is a worldwide celebration. Each year on March 14 all countries are invited to participate through activities for both students and the general public in schools, museums, libraries and other spaces.
💡 March 14 is already celebrated in many countries as Pi Day because that date is written as 3/14 in some countries and the mathematical constant Pi is approximately 3.14. Trust mathematicians to hide a code in the date of their event!
Who founded the IDM?
The proclamation of March 14 as the International Day of Mathematics was adopted by the 40th session of the General Conference of UNESCO in November 2019. The project is led by the International Mathematical Union with the support of numerous international and regional organisations.
What is the theme for IDM 2022?
Every year the IDM announces a new theme to flavour the celebration, spark creativity and illuminate connections between mathematics and all sorts of fields, concepts and ideas. 🤔
The theme for the 2022 International Day of Mathematics is ‘Mathematics Unites’.
The IDM is an opportunity to show that mathematics can provide tools to model social phenomena and to highlight how cooperation has often proved the best way to resolve conflicts for the benefit of all. More than ever, access to truth and science-based decision-making are needed for a peaceful world. 🕊️
How can I get involved with IDM 2022?
The best way to get involved with International Mathematics Day is to visit their website to check what events might be going on in your local area via their interactive map and to engage with their amazing online content.
From a series of short online talks for a general audience – free to access and no registration required – to photo challenges, film screenings with Q&As and activities with a focus on empowering women and girls in mathematics, there is plenty to keep you inspired and entertained. 📸
Is maths a popular subject in the UK?
Maths continues to be one of the most popular subjects to be taken at A-Level in the UK, following an upward trend that saw 88,205 students taking it and 15,450 taking further maths in 2017, according to data from Ofqual, the Government’s exam regulation board. 💯
That being said, the attainment gap between the lowest and highest achievers is much wider than in other subjects. Furthermore, the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests ranked the UK at 27th in 2016, the lowest since it began participating in the PISA tests in 2000.
So, it seems students either love it or hate it. Although maths may be a popular choice for students at A-Level compared to other subjects, those students not taking maths at A-Level are really struggling with the subject with disadvantaged pupils in England much less likely to even achieve a grade 4 at GCSE. 😓
What is the point of maths anyway?
At its heart, maths is the world's most successful system of problem-solving. The point is to take real things we want to work out and apply or invent maths to get the answer.
However, we know maths at school can leave students – and most adults – feeling bemused and frustrated. Without real-world applications for the concepts they cover, algebra, trigonometry and Pythagoras' theorem bear little relevance to our everyday experiences. So, why bother at all? 🤷
We bother because maths is so much more than that – it gives us a way to understand patterns, quantify relationships, and predict the future! Maths helps us understand the world.
Without maths, we would never have begun to count our chickens or pennies, to build the pyramids, to tell the time or know our own age, to draw maps, to crack wartime enigmas, to integrate economic systems or build our beloved apps – that's right, no maths = no Snapchat. 😱
Five ways you are using maths in your everyday life
Maths is super important in our lives – we use mathematical concepts, as well as the skills we learn from solving maths problems, every day. Yes, we are pretty confident that you are already a mathematical mastermind. 🧠
Let’s take a look at how you are probably already using maths without really knowing it.
Listening to music
Music is a maths-based art form. Major and minor chords rely on evenly-spaced wavelengths to have a consonance and sound good and the very act of listening to music relies on your body understanding time signature and rhythm. 🎧
Decorating your room
Setting up your room at home or university will require a certain level of spatial awareness and mathematical theory. How many pots of paint do you need to cover your wall space? What length extension cable might you require? 🔌
Whether you have a part-time job or rely on weekly pocket money – you’ll be used to the idea of saving up for something special over time. How many weeks will it take before you can afford that new gadget? 🤑
You’ve found the perfect cake recipe online but all the measurements are in ounces instead of grams, or it serves 2 instead of 6. How are you going to convert or upscale the measurements? With maths of course! 🧑🍳
Reading the news
No matter where you get your news, journalists and editors will rely on statistics and data to support their line of argument. It's up to you as a reader to interrogate that data taking context, framing, anomalies and pattern into account. 📰
Maths shouldn't be mindnumbing! Our GoStudent tutors are experts when it comes to bringing all subjects to life – young, enthusiastic and inspired, they are ready and waiting to boost your learning experience. Book a free trial lesson with us today to see how one-to-one online tutoring could work for you. 🎒