The eternal question asked by students around the world: what is this math good for?

In his funny TED talk, Spanish mathematician Eduardo Saenz de Cabezon says most mathematicians either defend math by arguing it exists all around us or attack the questioner by pointing out that math is beautiful and doesn’t need a reason to exist, like poetry. But Saenz de Cabezon says the real reason math is worth studying is that it’s forever. A proved theorem is more permanent than any diamond.

Why Study Math? Because It’s Forever 14 August,2015MindShift
  • John Ward

    No hablo Espanol mucho. Hay una copia en Ingles?

    • Katrina Schwartz

      Hi John — There should be subtitles in English. If you aren’t seeing them, hover over the bottom of the video player. At the bottom right you should be able to choose English subtitles. Good luck!

      • John Ward

        Hmm, doesn’t work on iPad; but it does on my desktop. Thanks

  • Michael Michael

    I and my wife ought to know about the role of math since we each earned a doctor of philosophy degree in math. Her prior masters degree was in statistics which had enjoyed a stronger job market. That is the aspect to ponder, that there aren’t particularly ever going to be job slots for “mathematicians”. Much of the advanced math realms are about esoteric constructions which are very unlikely to have any practical applications. Yes, I would be the first to say that quantitative understanding is an important part of dealing with much that is all around us.

  • allovus

    quod erat demonstrandum..

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