What’s next for Mathematics?
By Col. Rajendra Prasad Nadella, Co-Founder, Managing Director iScholar
Maths is one of the most basic concepts on which the entire theory of life and survival is based. Maths is applicable everywhere and in every decision we make in our daily lives. Behind the scenes, maths’ implications in our lives have become so mundane that we have become practically oblivious to its presence and importance.
That being said, Maths phobia has been rampant across the world for ages. Many consider maths an extremely tough subject that cannot be mastered by all.
While a majority finds maths and sciences interesting in the primary classes, it is the stage where functions and relations are introduced in the syllabus when these subjects seem no less than a monster to many.
It is this fear that makes people feel that mathematics is something which doesn’t need to be learnt, but endured. Many just learn by rote through each lesson, dutifully following the template for solving each problem, without ever understanding what a “function” or “relation” actually was.
However, what people need to understand is that if they keep the fear of maths aside, they will open their mind to understanding the great benefits of mathematics in today’s world.
With technology unveiling new possibilities every day and the nation taking giant strides towards its vision of Digital India, it is time to cure the phobia and embrace the wonder called maths because what it offers is intriguing.
BIG DATA AND THE NEED FOR MATHS
Money may make the world go around, but today it’s data that greases the wheels of modern economy. Each day, people and organisations create around 2.5 Exabyte (1 exabyte = 1 followed by 18 zeroes) of information, in the form of structured and unstructured data.
We live in the information age. Most of what we do is hugely influenced by our access to massive amounts of data — whether this is through the Internet, on our computers, or on our mobile phones.
With this data and Artificial Intelligence boom, the way we use math in the context of our daily lives is changing.
With the rise of Big Data, maths becomes a useful tool when extracting information and analysing large datasets. Maths supports a considerable lot of the instruments that are utilized to oversee and dissect huge information.
When humans make decisions, the process is often muddy, biased, or limited by our inability to process information overload. Data and analytics can change all that by bringing in more data points from new sources, breaking down information asymmetries, and adding automated algorithms to make the process instantaneous.
DATA SCIENTIST – THE NEW CLASS
The proliferation of ways to measure things – point of service terminals, web analytics, geographic and temporal records, even semantic information – means businesses are drowning in data. This has led to a new class of engineer, the “data scientist”, whose job it is to perform the sophisticated mathematical gymnastics required to extract actionable information from this mass of numbers.
The data scientist’s role is becoming increasingly important as businesses rely more heavily on data analytics to drive decision-making and lean on automation and machine learning as core components of their IT strategies.
ARE THERE ENOUGH ‘DATA SCIENTISTS’
There is a widespread misconception about the ‘modern’ data scientist, including what they do and how they do it. Most of the people believe that taking up a job on mathematics is not their cup of tea.
The big data and artificial intelligence boom is expected to create thousands of jobs every year until at least. However, the number of fully-skilled professionals in this area doesn’t appear to be growing proportionately to the number of positions available – in other words, there’s significant mismatch.
OTHER VITAL TRENDS IN MATHS
While Big Data might be the talk of the town at this moment. But, there are other interesting career options in maths with some lucrative offers.
What are the chances of being killed in a car accident? What is the cost of treating cancer patients on a yearly basis?
Companies need numbers crunched to determine the probability of events like death, sickness, accidents, natural disasters, and retirement in order to predict risk. This is when they need Actuaries.
Economics is increasingly becoming a quantitative science. The work of economists can be seen in several areas, from education to healthcare to the environment. As experts in the production and distribution of goods and services, economists study the problems in the economy and craft proposals on how to solve them.
This doesn’t need any introduction. There is a continuing demand for qualified mathematics teachers in the nation’s secondary schools. The role of a teacher includes creating curriculum, as well as assignments and tests, which are designed to educate students on the class topic and challenge them to get the most out of them. They also conduct research in their field and publish the findings in industry journals.
“When will I use maths?” is a question often posed by many wondering how topics like factorization and algebra will play a role in their everyday lives.
However, new technologies are changing the way we work and live. With the world drowning in data, math is becoming an increasingly important factor in a variety of industries.
Maths is indeed opening doors to limitless opportunities, however, the first step towards experiencing all these opportunities that mathematics provides, is to embrace and love maths.
About the author- Col. Rajendra Prasad Nadella drives overall business direction and leads the management team of iScholar. He has bachelors in science from Jawaharlal Nehru University and PG in Retail Management from Indian Retail School. Later, he has also served as the director of Indian Retail School.
A dedicated educationist and die-hard proponent of “quality education for all” he has been, over the past decade, involved with a number of education initiatives. He founded GREAT, a leading B-School geared at offering global training in retail management from its branches in Hyderabad and Lavasa and also manages franchises of the Indian Retail School in Bangalore and Hyderabad. A decorated army officer, he served with distinction with the National Security Guard. Currently, with a social motive to provide education for all at a nominal price, he has co-founded iSchoar to impart IIT-JEE coaching at an affordable price.
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