Can Coding be considered as the New Mathematics?
- Jan 02, 2017
The subject of Mathematics is integrated into our formative and student years. This subject teaches us logic, reasoning and hones our-problem-solving skills. The question of how much of what we learn in the course of your studying mathematics is applicable in our future endeavors is the question that needs to be answered. For example, calculating the rate of a monkey’s fall if he is capable of climbing ‘x’ height in ‘y’ time in case the pole is slippery with oil is hardly a practical scenario. On the other hand, computers have become an integral part of human life.
A person is influenced directly or indirectly by computer science in almost every facet of his life. So, learning the ‘binary’ language of computers, which is basically various combinations of 0 and 1, will be of immense practical value. While the application of computer science as a subject in primary education is necessary, the problem of how to inculcate this logic into young minds needs to be addressed.
Computer Science vs. Mathematics as Subjects
While teaching mathematics, students learn theory at the beginning; apply them in seemingly fictional stories which require problem-solving using the theory learned. While there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the process, repeating this process every day makes it a burden on the student’s mind, a task that needs to be completed. There is no application of his own logical mind, little thinking is required and after solving the mathematical problem chances are he will not remember the solution unless he repeats it periodically.
Now, consider the basic coding problem; input your first name and output the number of characters. This one problem will teach him the basic logic behind programming. Also, the act of doing a task and seeing the output visually gives the young minds a sense of accomplishment, makes him interested and remember the process, all in one go.
During such exercises, teachers are also able to judge the amount of logical acumen of a student and mold the exercises according to the individual needs. This is difficult in case of mathematics, wherein you have to grasp the previous theorem to move on to the next one, with little chance of deviation. In this case, the worst case scenario is the student learning by rote, which will allow him to solve the immediate exercise but retain nothing.
Computer Science is the Practical Requirement of Today
It cannot be denied that naturally gifted students who have excellent reasoning skills, concentration and deductive power are good in mathematics. They may move on to become scientists or engineers who are important to humankind.
Now, consider the current industrial scenario; there is lesser and lesser use of manpower as machines are taking over most aspects of manufacturing, production and assembly. Computers have become an integral part of finance industry wherein mathematical skills were sorely needed. Complex programming takes care of many mathematical theories that are part of various financial models. All this point to the fact that in this is the age of Google and Internet where information is available at your fingertips, people are needed for creation of better machines and maintain the ones in use. This begets the point that people who are exposed to computer languages and coding principles from a young age are much better equipped to handle and improve the industry. Also, current industry has high demands for computer engineers and people with computer science degrees, which will increase exponentially with time.
All in all, educational institutes should introduce computer coding or programming at an early stage in the curriculum. This will equip students with the current demands of the industry and also make them ready for the future.
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