Thomaskutty_Math_Civil_Society - Mathematics and Civil...

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Mathematics and Civil Society [ Dr. P. G. Thomaskutty , Reader in Economics, Mar Ivanios College, Trivandrum, India-695 015. Dr. Mary George , Selection Grade Lecturer in Mathematics, Mar Ivanios College, Trivandrum, India-695 015 .] 1. Introduction Civil society is a concept located strategically at the cross-section of important strands of intellectual developments in the social sciences ( ). How is Mathematics related to Civil Society? People believe, Mathematics is a divine discipline. Some love Mathematics, while some fear it; some study Mathematics, while some worship it. Ancient Indian Mathematicians like Aryabatta or Bhaskara worshipped Mathematics and lived for it. It was not for any material benefit, but was out of their devotion. Again, the legend Srinivasa Ramanujan of India was a man who adored Mathematics. All over the world, there were and there are people who loved Mathematics as a divine subject. Hence it may be a very interesting topic of research, that how Mathematics affects the Civil Society.
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We know that Mathematics plays a very important role in the Modern World. We are living in a scientific era of rapid development. Things that were new or unheard of a few years ago seen commonplace today. Some of the new technical advancements may have little effect upon our personal life, but others may play a most important part in our existence. If we are to play a position on the team of our society, or even to watch intelligently from the sideline, we must have an understanding and appreciation of Mathematics. The advancement in the areas of Science and Technology are rapid and rather amazing. All these astounding advancements are indebted to Mathematics to a great extent. Everyone who is a beneficiary of these scientific and technological facilities may have to know a little of Mathematics for its fruitful and smooth utilization. Hence, Mathematics cannot be considered as a classroom discipline only. Every man may need it at any time (Anice James-2005). Not only an Academician; not only a Scientist; not only an Engineer; but, a shopkeeper needs it; a grocer needs it; a housewife needs it; a sportsman needs it; an employee needs it; and who does not? Just like a language, we need Mathematics to communicate! So the Mathematics that we teach in the classroom should cater the need of every individual. There is no need of teaching Higher Algebra or Topology to a grocer. A housewife does not need the statements or proofs of real Analysis. In this paper, the authors wish to discuss these matters in detail. The need of formulating a curriculum, which suits the need of different types of people, is studied. 2
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The paper is based on a survey made in a locality of Trivandrum, which is one of the State-Capitals of India. Opinions from experts are also used to develop the paper.
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