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English is Not the Universal Language

We are in the era where astonishing advances occur – engineers’ management to land a Rovar on planet Mars,
wireless communication embodied through WiFi technology, cellular phones and telephone communications, radio and
television, etc., and physicists’ exploration of essence of all matter. Unleashing all these scientific discoveries meets at one end
where a unitary knowledge is dominant: the knowledge of mathematics.

Some people like to express that everything is present already in the nature and human being’s only task is to invent
a system that would explain the phenomena that occur in nature. For example, there is a mystery hidden behind why patterns
are everywhere in our universe as it is visibly exhibited through time, seasons, constellations, symmetry of human body, art,
and even in animal identity (stripes present in tigers and zebra). Also, there is an unidentified reason why most of the botanical
specie demonstrates the Fibonacci sequence. Are these all just coincidence that mathematics turns out to be visible in almost
everything around us? Is mathematics a discovered part of the universe or a product of human intellect?

There is nothing new whenever we hear students commenting that mathematics is such a difficult subject,
mathematics should just be thought to those students who are trying to master engineering, architecture, and mathematics
courses, and for worst, especially among Filipinos, “hindi ko naman magagamit sa totoong buhay ‘yang mga x at y na iyan eh.”
As someone who considered mathematics as an enemy when it comes to academic subjects, I must admit that mathematics is
indeed a difficult but a beneficial subject, that is why it takes guts in order to fall in love with this branch of knowledge.

In the video that I watched, I agreed to the statement that was delivered saying that the fundamental sensory to
numbers is a tool for survival. This is just evident in our daily life basis especially when dealing with financial management. We
utilize mathematics in order to eliminate the fate in money – we exhibit our basic mathematical operations skills in order to
deliberately manage our finances and having a good financial management is an important skill to obtain especially in the 21st
century. I believe that the practical actualization of financial management serves as the foundation on why mathematics is a
subject that is experiential.

Mathematics being the language of science, technology, and engineering, we found the application of mathematics
that allows us to even explore and discover what is beyond the naked eye. An example would be the case of Uranus. Uranus
showed some activity of pulling away from its original orbit, and with the usage of mathematics, scientists were able to resolve
the case through calculations that revealed that another entity was pulling the planet away from its original position, and
there, they discovered the planet Neptune being the cause of Uranus’ sudden movement. In this scenario, I was persuaded that
mathematics has the ability to unlock knowledge about a previously unknown. In addition, the contribution of Katherine Goble
– Johnson in mastering complex manual calculations helped in the trajectories of Apollo 11 and Shuttle Missions are
embodiment on how mathematics help in exploring what is beyond. Her calculations of orbital mechanics as a NASA employee
were critical to the success of the first and subsequent U.S. crewed spaceflights.

Through the video that I watched, I was also moved by the idea that mathematical claims may be proven a
miscalculation due to different factors (inadequacy of technologies present, missed equation factors). A concrete example was
the idea of Aristotle that object’s rate of falling is directly proportional to its weight which was then debunked by Galileo Galilei
during the 15th century. Galileo Galilei argued that if we remove air from the equation, everything falls at the same rate,
meaning, air resistance play a big role in Aristotle’s initial idea. The video also provided examples set on Earth and on Earth’s
moon in support of Galilei’s claim – and there I was even moved on my sudden reflections that mathematical claims are
dynamic.

Despite of mathematics’ aim of explaining the occurrence in the universe, there are also some experts — such
as computer scientist/physicist Stephen Wolfram and physicist/engineer Derek Abbott—who point out the limitations of
mathematics in explaining complex areas for which the models and prediction methods are “reasonably ineffective” —
including meteorology and weather forecasting beyond a few days, human psychology, parts of biology, such as the interaction
of neurons on the brain, and financial systems like the stock market.
Even Adam Steltzner admits that while engineers see math as a powerful tool, they are also keenly aware of its
shortcomings. When the elegance of math meets the messiness of reality, engineers shift into the domain of approximation
rather than absolutes. Precision may be sacrificed for practicality if it garners results, making mathematics appear a very human
invention.

After hearing the side of the reasonably ineffective critique towards mathematics, I realized how the mathematical
mind of human beings and so as mathematics itself, are both dynamic. Humans are humble in their own feet to claim that not
everything is this universe are already explored, that is why we are continuously utilizing the different advances, with the help
of mathematics, in order to extend to the public the information that are worthy to be known. Mathematics is naturally there,
waiting for humans to unleash its greatest mysteries, that is why critiques towards the power of mathematics are always open,
otherwise, humans will always have an option if the first technique will not be effective. Human’s mathematical intellect will
find a way to patch every concerns that critiques may throw upon.

To conclude, let us go back to the initial question raised, is mathematics a discovered part of the universe or a
product of human intellect? The answer may be that there are elements of both discovery and invention – humans invented the
concepts and discovered the relationship among concepts. After all, mathematics is naturally in a human’s head.