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B. The words in green are all in the wrong sentences. Put the words into the correct sentences.

Discuss these questions with your partner.

-» Why do people study Maths?

-» When do you use it?

A Vocabulary

A. Match these words with their definitions.

1 division A a system of figures or symbols

representing numbers

2 knot B a written sign in maths or music, for example, which represents an operation,

an element, relation, etc

3 set up C a record of money spent or received

4 numeral D a separation

5 symbol E make ready for operation

6 tally F a symbol representing a number

1 notation G tie, bond

b. The words in green are all in the wrong sentences. Put the words into the correct sentences.

1 If you keep a division,you have a system to note how much has been spent......................

2 The Roman knotsare still used as numbers nowadays......................

3 There is a set upbetween science and art subjects......................

4 In maths we use numeralsto show what kind of problem we are solving......................

5.....................Symbolsin maths are things

like numbers.

6 Some people tie notationto remember something......................

7 She tally an experiment......................

Mathematics

An introduction

The English word mathematics tells us something about the influence the Ancient Greeks had on our knowledge. The word comes from the Greek for science, learning and knowledge. It is usually shortened to maths in British English and to math in the USA.

Mathematics developed from a series of ideas, each new idea building on earlier ones. Each new idea became more complex as mathematicians tried to explain how things in the world relate to one another. The first idea to have developed was certainly that of number. People needed to count their belongings. As society developed, numbers became more and more important for business dealings and taxation and it became especially important to be able to record numbers. A wide variety of systems for recording numbers developed in different parts of the world. One example is the tallies that were used by the Incas in South America. They used pieces of string of different lengths and by tying knots in different places along the string, they were able to keep tax records and business accounts throughout their land.

With writing, different ways of recording numbers developed in different countries, too. Roman numerals are a well-known example. In this system I is one and X is ten, so IX is one before ten, that is nine, and XI is eleven. It was not until the 16th century that the system of mathematical notation that we use today finally developed. It is a system that uses Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3 and so on) with a set of symbols + (plus), - (minus), = (equals) for example, along with letters, many of which are taken from the Greek alphabet. It is a system which is used by all mathematicians all over the world. In fact, it has been said that mathematics is one of only two genuinely international languages; the other one is music.

Whether or not mathematics is a science is still a matter of opinion in the mathematical community. Some say no, it is not because it does not pass the test of being a pure science. We know that one plus one is two because that is how we count. No one can set up an experiment to prove that one plus one is two without counting. Therefore, because it cannot be proved by experiment, mathematics is not a science. Others say yes, it is, because science is the search for knowledge and that is what mathematics does. Therefore, mathematics is a science.

Whatever your point of view, there is no doubt that mathematics is applied to all sciences. Many of the most important developments in fields such as physics or engineering have led to further developments in mathematics. The argument over whether mathematics is a science or not appears to be unimportant when you realise that it is impossible to separate mathematics from science or science from mathematics. Many universities recognise this. In many places of learning there are divisions of study, often called Mathematics and Science. The unbreakable connection between mathematics and all other sciences is recognised by the very way in which we study them.

Date: 2016-01-14; view: 1069

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