Click through to read John Mason response to the age-old question.
I have used this response, or ones like it, for many years with teachers when studying mathematics courses at the Open University, and I have noticed that it is only when I feel I am lost, when I lose confidence, when I feel as though I have reached my limits, that I find myself asking “why am I doing this?”
They don’t actually want to know. They’re tired of feeling stupid and small.
Why do we need to know this? 2 words: Robot Apocalypse!
Who will reprogram the machines? Whose calculations would you trust your life with? I was sent her from the future… to be your math teacher!
I still love Sam Otten’s exploration of this family of questions:
Easier said than done:
@ddmeyer "because we care about butterflies and dolphins, that is why". Ask them what else they care about, and connect that to math.
— MatScience21 (@Matscience21) February 8, 2016
I asked my Twitter team to come up with an application of imaginary numbers to dolphins. My Twitter team did not disappoint:
— josh g. (@joshgiesbrecht) February 9, 2016