Why we all need to speak mathematics

The anti-maths brigade may argue quadratic equations have no practical application, but the subject offers us something far more artistic and elemental, writes Kester Brewin

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Why do students study maths? More to the point, why is its study mandatory right up to the point when they are old enough to jump on a moped and rev away from it as fast as they can?

These are the kind of rich existential questions that a teacher of mathematics like myself spends his Christmas holidays pondering, in the quiet fortnight when students are not heckling me, demanding answers to the very same.

It’s a conundrum that vexes others too. Celebrated journalist and columnist Simon Jenkins – once of this parish – has made a second career out of it, railing against mathematics in columns ...

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