This article provides an alternative viewpoint on whether mathematics is useful to society. A good read if you are writing a GP (General Paper) essay on the usefulness of mathematics, to provide both sides of the argument.
Most people never become mathematicians, but everyone has a stake in mathematics. Almost since the dawn of human civilization, societies have vested special authority in mathematical experts. The question of how and why the public should support elite mathematics remains as pertinent as ever, and in the last five centuries (especially the last two) it has been joined by the related question of what mathematics most members of the public should know.
Why does mathematics matter to society at large? Listen to mathematicians, policymakers, and educators and the answer seems unanimous: mathematics is everywhere, therefore everyone should care about it. Books and articles abound with examples of the math that their…
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