Math News Pilot
Today I sat in on a family Zoom call. Weird that not so long ago, that would be a thing I would have to explain what it was, but now I kind of assume that everyone in the world knows instantly what it is. Anyway. This one was my extended family on my mom’s side: aunts, cousins, cousins a few times removed.
It was like all of those calls, nice to hear what was going on in the family, faintly unsatisfying seeing such a great gathering reduced to a flicker on a computer screen, a video game. Anyway, enough observations of others — what about my participation in the call? Well, my cousin asked me how it was going studying, and I talked a little bit about the Zoom classes I am taking and teaching. So one of my cousin says, “Well, you’re in the right field — numbers are the future!”
To which I kind of responded doubtfully, like “Really? Do you think so?”
And he said, “Well, as opposed to the performing arts.” So here we learn that my cousin wasn’t really interested in numbers or in commenting on numbers. Rather, he was being self-deprecatory about his own area of expertise — the theater! Is he right? Does he think he is? He was joking, it was a throwaway comment. Who knows how he’d really analyze all this.
However, it is the kind of thing I want to write about. Where do numbers intersect our reality? I’m finishing a Master’s in Math right now, and I like the work, but it does feel distant from our everyday world — particularly the entertainment world, and the “performing arts.” I’ve always loved reading and movies. Do I do so at the expense of math?
I’m interested not only in how math actually shows up in our non-academic lives, but also in math education — how it is artificially inserted into our lives. I’m of the opinion that math is hella cool, but I want to write in a way that is entertaining to those who might not quite feel the same way, at least at first.
If it seems, as a result, like I’m not actually talking about math at all, well, (shrug). That’s fine. I’m not doing this for a math class. I’m not getting credit from my math teacher for this.
I have a suspicion that math i important in this non-math-y world. Take, for instance, politics. Have you heard that your news sources might be biased? Had any arguments about this? Welp, in my “Math for the Arts & Humanities” class, we had an exercise that directly addressed this — indicating that there might be a way to judge whether bias is present without having to do more research as your political nemeses always insist you need to do.
Maybe I’ll write about that next time. I’d like to keep these short! Thanks for reading.