Mathematics in Liberal Arts and Sciences Education

It can be argued that when speaking about mathematics, the general conception of the public is that it is a discipline of numbers. With such belief being true, to an extent, it can be stated that the significance of such field in the digital age, being related to digits as in digital information, can be specifically important. The applicability of mathematics cannot be argued, where despite the fact that “[m]athematics is one of the oldest and most basic sciences, yet it is a dynamic discipline” (CALU). Considering the latter, the present paper examines the mathematics fields, as an academic discipline, specifically in the context of developing a career in information systems.

The field of mathematics is an autonomous discipline, which essence lies in numbers and relations. Nevertheless, mathematics serves as the basis of modern science, in which it explains the work of nature and lays the theoretical framework for many invented technological aspects. Studying mathematics, there are many areas to study, which includes applied mathematics, geometry, numerical analysis, number theory and other. Although, as a standalone discipline mathematics might be purely theoretical, there are many areas of mathematics that has acknowledged practical importance, e.g. theoretical computer science, financial mathematics or statistics (Gowers).

In that regard, the areas with practical implementations can be determinant in career development, where mathematical science can vary in their emphasis from computer sciences, electrical engineering to management and statistics. Among the latter, the area of applied mathematics can be distinguished, where it the term applied in the title implies the applicability of field to different sciences, and in that regard, it should be stated that even mathematics in its pure form is in demand, where “statistics made available by the UK Government indicate that the demand for mathematicians increases by about 4% every year” (“University Degrees – Mathematics”).

One of the interesting aspects of mathematics can be seen in its hidden potential. Although there are known and accepted methods for mathematical applications, which form the theoretical framework of the field, it can be stated that there are no limits on how it can be implemented. There are different areas of mathematics that can be used differently, occasionally producing breakthroughs, directly or indirectly, and often turn to be useful in areas of unexpected importance in the long term (Gowers).

The relationship of mathematics with information systems can seen two fold. On the one hand, the development of computers was initiated by mathematicians and logicians, where contributions were and still made by the field in general (Brown and Porter). On the other hand, information systems also contributed to the field of mathematics, facilitating its real life application in areas such social research and statistics, data analysis, and others. The mutually benefitting relationship between mathematics and information systems is specifically evident in courses such as Mathematics for Information Systems, where mathematical courses build the mathematical background for students, used in a variety of computer and business related courses including “computer programming, operating systems, data base applications, and business” (DSU). Other information system courses might contain mathematics as an essential prerequisite for its modules.

Being an essential component, the benefit of mathematics to an information systems student can be seen indirect. In that regard, studying mathematics will help students use logical thoughts, better formulate a problem, making deductions, and using advanced concepts (Brown and Porter). Algorithms and procedures are in the core of mathematical and computer science, and thus, understanding them can provide values skills to the students, specifically in terms of identifying and implementing practical solutions to a problem.

It can be concluded that the importance of the field of mathematics cannot be overestimated. Accordingly, its importance in the era of computers and information can be specifically outlined. In that regard, mathematics has numerous applications in computer sciences, one of the areas of which is information systems.

Works Cited

“University Degrees – Mathematics”. 2010. Top Universities. Web.

Brown, Ronnie, and Tim Porter. “Why Study Mathematics?”. 2004. Centre for the Popularization of Mathematics. University of Wales. Web.

CALU. “Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics”. 2010. The California University of Pennsylvania. Web.

DSU. “Bachelor of Science in Mathematics for Information Systems”. 2010. Dakota State University. 2010. Web.

Gowers, W. T. “The Importance of Mathematics”. 2010. Centre for Mathematical Sciences. University of Cambridge. Web.

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