Mathematics: Origin and Application to Human Life

Mathematics: Origin and Application to Human Life

The beginnings of mathematics can be traced back to an ancient Babylonian city called Mesopotamia.

From it stemmed a clay-based recording system called tokens--a number system called the Mesopotamian metrological-based number system; and the development of some form of basic algebra. Today, such is not the case. The development of mathematics has surpassed the understanding of the ancients.
 
About three decades back, the possibility of realizing the dream of a computer would have been wishful thinking. The technological advancements and breakthroughs in computer science owe their successes to mathematics because without it, the elegant solutions that exist for solving complex problems quickly – in a relative sense – such as climate predictions are near impossible. Computers themselves have changed the structure of society. Common areas include communication, finance, governance, and healthcare. Thus, the emergence of the term information age or digital era as referred to by some
people.
 
Taking a few more steps back and this time before the emergence of computers, history has an interesting account highlighting the application of mathematics. WWII was a defining event that shaped the world. Nazi Germany was defeated, Japan was defeated, and the United States and Russia emerged as the world's superpowers. However, Nazi Germany could not have been defeated were it not for Alan Turing, who devised a technique of hastening the process of breaking the German Enigma code. His technique was heavily based on mathematics as his work during the war was cryptography.
 
The origin of mathematics was humble and greatly influenced by the need to solve problems arising from tasks in execution. Over time, it has developed exponentially and currently is exhibiting such an attribute. From computers to code breaking in WWII, mathematics has been applied and is being applied in numerous instances across disciplines. Thus, much can be hoped for in the future with mathematics paving the way and providing the foundation for inventions.


Reported by Edward Rajah