Maths & Society or “How did Maths start?”

Have you ever heard of “The Mayans”? They were a group of people from long ago that made our number system by representing numbers as pictures. This is one of the many, (MANY) facts that you will learn if one of your modules is Maths & Society.


The Mayan Number Representation


I’m going to be truthful, many students will find this module boring and unnecessary. I mean, what’s the point of learning about the history of Maths? That’s what many of you will be thinking. But if you squeeze past that mind-set and instead, think a bit more like a historian, you might just find this module interesting.


Maths & Society is not as difficult as other modules. I only had one lecture a week. As for the lecture itself, it may be dull at times but you don’t have to write notes since all the facts you are taught can be find online. That’s right, you are not taught any complicated mathematical formulas, just a bunch of history. And last but definitely not least, you may use the internet in your exam! Don’t underestimate the exam, it can be difficult to find the answers on Google so best to go in prepared with some notes. (yes you can bring notes in too)


Let me give you an idea of what kind of mathematical history you will be learning about:

  • How the Mayans wrote very large numbers and dates
  • Who derived the quadratic formula
  • Newton’s discovery about Gravity (by watching an apple fall from a tree)
  • The start of differentiation
  • How Maths nearly destroyed the world (apparently)

If this doesn’t appeal to you, just remember that this module demands the least effort and time. I started revision three days before the exam and still passed. (not that I encourage this)

Signing off


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About Leon

Hi everyone, my name's Leon and I am currently a first year undergraduate studying Mathematics. My first year of studying has been intriguing and I want to give you guys some insight into the different aspects of Mathematics. Additionally, the life of a student can prove to be challenging but it's certainly one you can prepare for, so I will be sharing some useful tips to help you thrive on your self-living journey.

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