Maths in popular culture

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It seems as if maths is becoming a major part of popular culture, perhaps we have an innate desire to find the answers to problems, or maybe we just like the feeling of self-satisfaction when we find the right answer.

I often see mathematical problems posted on Facebook, and you are prompted to either ‘like’ or ‘comment’ on the post, this is dependent on which answer you get. Similarly, a popular radio show in the UK gives its listeners a question to solve every week, you are then encouraged to text your answer to the host. The host then appeals to our desire for self-satisfaction as he then proceeds to read out the names of people who have given the right answer, as well as a list of people who were not correct.

Some people even see mathematical problems as a good way to relax and take them away with them on their travels. If you walk along beaches and pool sides whether at home or abroad, it is probable that you will see at least one person testing themselves with a Sudoku puzzle, or some other maths based puzzle.

There is a wealth of opportunities for anyone who is good at maths, it’s simply a skill which will never be superseded.  Only a few weeks ago I met a mathematician who worked for the BBC and spent some of his time designing the graphics I watch when I sit down to watch Match of the Day on BBC iPlayer.

Even when the confines of a cramped maths classroom seem like a distant memory, we still like to test ourselves now and again. Maths, then, can be seen as a pleasurable activity, and not one that we should shy away from. It can be a great way to keep your brain active and stay sharp, provided that the questions aren’t too hard!

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