Numbers: personal experience and use
Numbers are written signs or symbols for a particular quantity.
The Arabic symbols for numbers are the ones we use for our mathematical work and they have become part and parcel of the world of numbers. The Roman symbols for numbers use the letters of the alphabet. The Chinese use strokes and the number of strokes depict the number system.
Do you know that some students have an illogical fear of numbers? Mention Arithmetic or Mathematics and they go berserk !. I was the bane of my Mathematics teacher. I could never understand why two minuses make a plus. It is most illogical but asks a mathematical buff, and the genius would raise his eyebrow, look at me as if I am from outer space, an alien and from then on, would deem it beneath his dignity to speak to me.
Despite my fear of Mathematics, I had a fascination with numbers. It must be due to all the card games I played with grandpa. Some educationists did say that exposing a young child to number card games would make him a gifted child. There has to be a short circuit somewhere for me not to lay claim to such a prediction. For all I know, it is some old wives’ tale. However, I did get a distinction in Mathematics at Form Three. It was either the paper was such an easy one or it was sheer good luck. Seriously, I think it was the gem of a Mathematics teacher. he erased my irrational fears of numbers and patiently and laboriously taught me the basics of Mathematics. I made it.
From my personal experience, I believe that if a child is given the right grounding in the basics, the child would be able to do singularly well in the subject. Everyone is teachable and given the right opportunity, everyone can learn to add, minus, multiply, and understand all the funny equations and formulae.
As in teaching the 3Rs of reading, writing, and arithmetic, so too the same principles are applicable in the finer rudiments of mathematical understanding.
Basic knowledge of mathematics is necessary in this world where everything has to do with numbers.
There are queue numbers at banks, offices, and seat numbers for buses, trains, and planes. Even hotel rooms are numbered, so to are the floors except that in certain high-rise buildings the 13th floor does not exist.
Our identification papers are numbered and not remembering them can be rather embarrassing. From MyKad to passports, birth certificates to registration numbers for cars, land titles, admission numbers — all documents are printed with numbers. To the government, we are figures, just numbers. To the police, we are statistics in accident cases. If numbers do not exist, the world would be terribly chaotic. Therefore, to make our life a pleasure, try to remember all the important numbers. It has been known that if your number is stolen and used by an impersonator, you might lose your identity.
It is no wonder that science fiction has turned to use palm prints, eye iris, and access entry code to prevent impersonation and false entry into maximum security buildings. However, everything can be cloned so nothing is tamper-proof or security proof.
The series “Numbers” illustrates how the various variables can be used to predict answers and solutions to crimes. A mathematical genius utilizes all the variables and promulgates a theory and proves the hypothesis right.
As long as man is a thinking individual whereby he does not allow the robot to manipulate and control his life, numbers will continue to dominate the fabric of daily life.
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