Prof Dr. Viyatprajna Acharya
Biochemistry, KIMS, Bhubaneswar
Mathematics is intertwined in our lives but sadly, a fear has been developed for the same for ages. It’s a way of life I must say. Where we do not use mathematics? Be it finances, assessing traffic distance, buying vegetables and groceries, getting offers of discount in our day-to-day life to certain complex things like computing, aeronautics, astronomy, astrology etc.
As per researches, certain areas of brain (intra-parietal sulcus and pre-frontal cortex) get activated by solving mathematical problems, which has been confirmed with MRI images. It helps in neural interconnections. It helps in solving problems in your lives and have a clear vision of any kind of problem. Sudoku has been suggested for aged population to keep Alzheimer’s disease at bay. Same with different card games. It keeps our cognitive functions alive.
Very sadly, in recent trend of choosing Engineering or Medical curriculum, students choosing medical are being asked to drop Mathematics in 10+2 science and students choosing engineering have to let go of biology.
But a doctor need much of mathematics in the form of measurements, mental mathematical calculations, algorithms, statistical calculations. If not complicated calculations, at least there should be a sub-section for arithmetic, logical reasoning and analytical problems in NEET entrances. Since many students are shying away from mathematics, they can’t make out visually how much solution needs to be taken, searching for their mobile devices to calculate simple things, if they are asked the measurements of certain organs, they give such confusing and hilarious answers!
With today’s advent of IT and AI use in Medical Science, doctors will need little more mathematics though in a different form. Similarly, engineering students shouldn’t shun Biology altogether or else, they may miss out in many fields of work in future. As far as I can see, there will be many overlapping areas in engineering and medical science and both have to learn a bit from each other for which the background should be sound or at least the inclination to learn things should be there.
And for me, “Yes, I am a Mathematics lover”. I pay obeisance to many good mathematics teachers including my parents, my Odia school freestyle teaching where thrust was put on Mathematics and language equally, revered Nayak Sir (Mr. Santosh Nayak of Burla), Ajay Sir (Prof Ajay Mohapatra). For teachers of Mathematics, they should find ways as to how the kids will love the subject and not develop a phobia for it. And at all levels of entrance exams mandatorily, arithmetic calculations, logical reasoning and aptitude tests should be included.
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