- By: Asiya Dayo
Discovering the wonders of black holes turned out to be the unexpected catalyst that ignited my interest in mathematics. Until then, I had regarded math as a perplexing and abstract subject, failing to see its practical applications in daily life. Little did I know that the mysteries of the universe, particularly black holes, were intricately tied to the realm of mathematics.
Mathematics, often referred to as the mother of all sciences, is a fundamental subject woven into the fabric of our education system. From primary school to higher secondary education, mathematics forms the bedrock of our academic journey. However, the crucial question arises: How many of us truly understand the profound utility of mathematics in our lives?
At the basic level, we grasp the concept of numbers, perform elementary calculations, and comprehend their relevance in our day-to-day activities. Yet, beyond this rudimentary understanding, many remain oblivious to the pervasive influence of mathematics in various fields. While business students may navigate revenue, profit functions, annuities, and cash flows, the broader applications of mathematics often elude our awareness.
Behind every phenomenon, there exists a mathematical foundation, permeating every facet of our existence. Despite its omnipresence, a significant number of us are unaware of the extent to which mathematics shapes our world. The question then arises: Why is this awareness lacking, and what role do educators play in fostering it?
My journey into the intriguing realm of mathematics began with an unexpected revelation about black holes. The news of capturing the first image of a black hole in 2017 left me astonished and eager to understand the underlying mathematics. The Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration, a global network of telescopes, achieved this groundbreaking feat by observing the heart of the massive galaxy Messier 87, located 55 million light-years from Earth.
Albert Einstein’s prediction of black holes in 1916, through his general theory of relativity, set the stage for this remarkable discovery. The term “black hole” was coined by American astronomer John Wheeler in 1967. Reflecting on this historical progression, I was awestruck by the fact that mathematics and calculations had foretold the existence of black holes long before their physical confirmation. This realization, a revelation from my childhood science books, left me deeply moved.
In that moment, I couldn’t help but express gratitude to the Almighty for the vastness of knowledge and the power of mathematics. It became evident that mathematics serves as the cornerstone of all sciences. The intrinsic connection between mathematical principles and the profound mysteries of the universe fueled my newfound appreciation for this subject.
This transformative experience led me to believe in the urgent need for educators to present mathematics in an engaging and fascinating manner. By incorporating intriguing facts and practical applications, teachers can inspire students to take an active interest in mathematics. Creating awareness about the practical implications of mathematics is essential for students to not just learn but also truly comprehend its significance.
In essence, education becomes a powerful tool when we appreciate the intricate interplay of mathematics with the world around us. My journey from indifference to admiration for mathematics underscores the need for a dynamic and captivating approach to teaching this foundational subject.