“Give him threepence, since he must make gain out of what he learns.”

If you are of a mind with Euclid of Alexandria and think that studying maths for the later reward of some high paying career is infra dig then you may be inspired to consider that maths is also:

  • enjoyable — some people like thinking
  • a training for the mind — maybe this is why Abraham Lincoln studied Euclid
  • a problem solving and critical thinking activity like no other — a numerate nation is likely to be more productive and democratic (at least in my view)
  • nourishing to intellectual curiosity — what exactly are irrational numbers? “I mean that diagonal has got a length, don’t try to tell me it hasn’t!”
  • promotes rationality and defends against superstition
  • a pre-eminent example showing that all races and cultures have contributed to the development of science

Mathematics knows no races or geographic boundaries; for mathematics, the cultural world is one country.

David Hilbert


Mathematical Knowledge adds a [manly] Vigour to the Mind, frees it from PrejudiceCredulity, and Superstition.

John Arbuthnot