Why is math important in liberal arts education?
Mathematical thinking builds the brain, just like weight-training builds the muscles. Mental discipline and clear thinking are required to master mathematical concepts. Both will create a mind that makes connections and sees patterns. The concrete and abstract thinking required by math builds the brain’s muscles, which in turn prepares you for other academic pursuits. The study of math is actually a catalyst to increasing overall intelligence!
How does math do this? Math trains the brain to see connections and builds the neural pathways that make the brain stronger for all other things. These pathways serve as building blocks for many interests and subjects by:
- Creating the basis for systemic thinking.
- Developing the ability to analyze and solve problems.
- Stretching the mind to work on unfamiliar tasks with confidence.
- Developing the sequencing skills critical to arriving at accurate results or logical conclusions.
- Promoting caution and care in thinking by deciphering complex math problems to arrive at an accurate answer.
- Learning through the trial and error to integrate different principles to arrive at a logical conclusion.
These are cognitive resources that a student can draw on right away, regardless of his future career plans. Our APP mathematical courses provide students with the basic fundamentals of algebra. They are designed to help freshman students acquire a solid foundation in mathematics by learning the important skills in problem solving. These courses concentrate on the basic arithmetic topics, including real numbers and their properties, integers, fractions, percentages, and decimals. Additionally, students will cover topics related to basic algebra, including algebraic and rational expressions; equations and inequalities; exponents; polynomials; factoring; quadratic equations, the Cartesian coordinate system and graphing; and word problems. Students will explore applications for each of these topics during the term.