In the local paper I read a letter from a young woman, named Marisa, expressing her “feeling stupid in school” and her propensity to not do well in mathematics. I am an architect, now retired having had a successful practice of many years in the design and building of hospitals throughout California. As you may well know, this required a lot of technical skill and engineering knowledge.
In high school some 70 years ago, I was tested and did not score well in mathematics. In order to gain entrance to college, I had to take a makeup course in calculus. With the help of friends, I managed to get through the course, but to this day I cannot recall a single useful principle of my calculus class. To be sure, I have been able to apply some basic principles of algebra in my work. Like all of us I use basic math in daily routines of shopping and so on.
We all know mathematics plays a major role in technology, space exploration, our economy, and modern daily living. But there is a part of mathematics called Euclidian Geometry that I liked and have pursued since my grade school days to the present. This is an ancient part of mathematics which is still important today; a subject I have written about extensively in my book “Geometric Wholeness of the Self”, now available from Amazon and Kindle. I believe this book explores and advances geometry from that of ancient Greek culture.
But I wish to tell Marisa that there are many among us who do not understand modern mathematics as it is now taught at virtually all levels of education. This does not mean that we are less intelligent than those who excel in mathematics. While we can admire those who excel in math, believing this is the only way to determine math aptitude can discourage or even prevent many from having a college or university degree that would give them opportunities denied by this ubiquitous math testing.