I WOULD lay odds that not many people know this is Mathematics Awareness Month.
Maths was one of those subjects at school that simply failed to appeal. I blame the teachers and they probably blamed me for not being enthused by “the abstract study of topics encompassing quantity.” That’s not me being clever, by the way, that’s me looking it up in Wikipedia.
There are those, believe it or not, who find maths exciting. Indeed, French mathematician Cedric Villani, pictured right, claims it’s better than sex.
He says the discovery of new maths problems is like having multiple love affairs – from the thrill of the challenge to the satisfaction of solution, swiftly followed by familiarity and boredom and a sharp eye out for the next conquest. Well, he is French.
The sexiest maths teacher I know is my chum Brian. To put this into perspective, he’s the only maths teacher I know.
Villani, who is 39, works primarily on partial differential equations and mathematical physics. Brian, who is retired, was head of maths at Honley High.
No contest, there then. Brian’s a Yorkshireman, played cricket and drinks pints. Cedric is French.
To be fair, my mathematical education was sufficient for me as a teenager to work out whether I could afford to take my girlfriend to the pictures and buy both an ice cream at the interval and fish and chips on the way home. Mind, on occasions it was a close run thing.
I can still add up, subtract, multiply and do long division and, I have to confess, there are aspects of maths that are sexy. My bank account, for instance. On pay day.