Mathematics is an knowledge that includes the topics of numbers, formulas and related structures, shapes and the spaces in which they are contained, and quantities and their changes. These topics are represented in modern mathematics with the major subdisciplines of number theory, algebra,
geometry, and analysis, respectively. There is no general consensus among mathematicians about a common definition for their academic discipline.Most mathematical activity involves the discovery of properties of abstract objects and the use of pure reason to prove them. These objects consist of either abstractions from nature orin modern mathematicsentities that are stipulated to have certain properties, called . A proof consists of a succession of applications of inference rule to already established results. These results include previously proved , axioms, andin case of abstraction from naturesome basic properties that are considered true starting points of the theory under consideration. ( at ResearchGate )
Mathematics is essential in the , engineering, medicine, finance, computer science and the social sciences. Although mathematics is extensively used for modeling phenomena, the fundamental truths of mathematics are independent from any scientific experimentation. Some areas of mathematics, such as statistics and game theory, are developed in close correlation with their applications and are often grouped under applied mathematics. Other areas are developed independently from any application (and are therefore called pure mathematics), but often later find practical applications. The problem of integer factorization, for example, which goes back to Euclid in 300 BC, had no practical application before its use in the RSA cryptosystem, now widely used for the security of .
Historically, the concept of a proof and its associated mathematical rigour first appeared in Greek mathematics, most notably in Euclid's Elements. Since its beginning, mathematics was essentially divided into geometry and arithmetic (the manipulation of and fractions), until the 16th and 17th centuries, when algebra and infinitesimal calculus were introduced as new areas. Since then, the interaction between mathematical innovations and scientific discoveries has led to a rapid lockstep increase in the development of both. At the end of the 19th century, the foundational crisis of mathematics led to the systematization of the axiomatic method, which heralded a dramatic increase in the number of mathematical areas and their fields of application. The contemporary Mathematics Subject Classification lists more than 60 firstlevel areas of mathematics.
Similarly, one of the two main schools of thought in Pythagoreanism was known as the mathēmatikoi (μαθηματικοί)which at the time meant "learners" rather than "mathematicians" in the modern sense. The Pythagoreans were likely the first to constrain the use of the word to just the study of arithmetic and geometry. By the time of Aristotle (384–322 BC) this meaning was fully established.
In Latin, and in English until around 1700, the term mathematics more commonly meant "astrology" (or sometimes "astronomy") rather than "mathematics"; the meaning gradually changed to its present one from about 1500 to 1800. This change has resulted in several mistranslations: For example, Saint Augustine's warning that Christians should beware of mathematici, meaning "astrologers", is sometimes mistranslated as a condemnation of mathematicians.
The apparent plural form in English goes back to the Latin neuter plural mathematica (Cicero), based on the Greek plural ta mathēmatiká (τὰ μαθηματικά) and means roughly "all things mathematical", although it is plausible that English borrowed only the adjective mathematic(al) and formed the noun mathematics anew, after the pattern of physics and metaphysics, inherited from Greek. The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology, Oxford English Dictionary, sub "mathematics", "mathematic", "mathematics". In English, the noun mathematics takes a singular verb. It is often shortened to maths or, in North America, math. "maths, n." and "math, n.3" . Oxford English Dictionary, online version (2012).
During the Renaissance, two more areas appeared. Mathematical notation led to algebra which, roughly speaking, consists of the study and the manipulation of . Calculus, consisting of the two subfields differential calculus and integral calculus, is the study of continuous functions, which model the typically Nonlinear system between varying quantities, as represented by variables. This division into four main areasarithmetic, geometry, algebra, calculus
endured until the end of the 19th century. Areas such as celestial mechanics and solid mechanics were then studied by mathematicians, but now are considered as belonging to physics. The subject of combinatorics has been studied for much of recorded history, yet did not become a separate branch of mathematics until the seventeenth century.At the end of the 19th century, the foundational crisis in mathematics and the resulting systematization of the axiomatic method led to an explosion of new areas of mathematics. The 2020 Mathematics Subject Classification contains no less than firstlevel areas. Some of these areas correspond to the older division, as is true regarding number theory (the modern name for higher arithmetic) and geometry. Several other firstlevel areas have "geometry" in their names or are otherwise commonly considered part of geometry. Algebra and calculus do not appear as firstlevel areas but are respectively split into several firstlevel areas. Other firstlevel areas emerged during the 20th century or had not previously been considered as mathematics, such as mathematical logic and foundations.
Many easily stated number problems have solutions that require sophisticated methods, often from across mathematics. A prominent example is Fermat's Last Theorem. This conjecture was stated in 1637 by Pierre de Fermat, but it was proved only in 1994 by Andrew Wiles, who used tools including scheme theory from algebraic geometry, category theory, and homological algebra. Another example is Goldbach's conjecture, which asserts that every even integer greater than 2 is the sum of two . Stated in 1742 by Christian Goldbach, it remains unproven despite considerable effort.
Number theory includes several subareas, including analytic number theory, algebraic number theory, geometry of numbers (method oriented), diophantine equations, and transcendence theory (problem oriented).
A fundamental innovation was the ancient Greeks' introduction of the concept of proofs, which require that every assertion must be proved. For example, it is not sufficient to verify by measurement that, say, two lengths are equal; their equality must be proven via reasoning from previously accepted results () and a few basic statements. The basic statements are not subject to proof because they are selfevident (), or are part of the definition of the subject of study (). This principle, foundational for all mathematics, was first elaborated for geometry, and was systematized by Euclid around 300 BC in his book Elements.
The resulting Euclidean geometry is the study of shapes and their arrangements constructed from lines, planes and circles in the Euclidean plane (plane geometry) and the threedimensional Euclidean space.
Euclidean geometry was developed without change of methods or scope until the 17th century, when René Descartes introduced what is now called Cartesian coordinates. This constituted a major Paradigm shift: Instead of defining as lengths of line segments (see number line), it allowed the representation of points using their coordinates, which are numbers. Algebra (and later, calculus) can thus be used to solve geometrical problems. Geometry was split into two new subfields: synthetic geometry, which uses purely geometrical methods, and analytic geometry, which uses coordinates systemically.
Analytic geometry allows the study of unrelated to circles and lines. Such curves can be defined as the graph of functions, the study of which led to differential geometry. They can also be defined as implicit equations, often polynomial equations (which spawned algebraic geometry). Analytic geometry also makes it possible to consider Euclidean spaces of higher than three dimensions.
In the 19th century, mathematicians discovered nonEuclidean geometries, which do not follow the parallel postulate. By questioning that postulate's truth, this discovery has been viewed as joining Russell's paradox in revealing the foundational crisis of mathematics. This aspect of the crisis was solved by systematizing the axiomatic method, and adopting that the truth of the chosen axioms is not a mathematical problem. In turn, the axiomatic method allows for the study of various geometries obtained either by changing the axioms or by considering properties that do not change under specific transformations of the space.
Today's subareas of geometry include:
Algebra became an area in its own right only with François Viète (1540–1603), who introduced the use of variables for representing unknown or unspecified numbers. Variables allow mathematicians to describe the operations that have to be done on the numbers represented using mathematical formulas.
Until the 19th century, algebra consisted mainly of the study of (presently linear algebra), and polynomial equations in a single unknown, which were called algebraic equations (a term still in use, although it may be ambiguous). During the 19th century, mathematicians began to use variables to represent things other than numbers (such as matrices, modular integers, and geometric transformations), on which generalizations of arithmetic operations are often valid. The concept of algebraic structure addresses this, consisting of a set whose elements are unspecified, of operations acting on the elements of the set, and rules that these operations must follow. The scope of algebra thus grew to include the study of algebraic structures. This object of algebra was called modern algebra or abstract algebra, as established by the influence and works of Emmy Noether.
(The latter term appears mainly in an educational context, in opposition to elementary algebra, which is concerned with the older way of manipulating formulas.)Some types of algebraic structures have useful and often fundamental properties, in many areas of mathematics. Their study became autonomous parts of algebra, and include:
The study of types of algebraic structures as mathematical objects is the purpose of universal algebra and category theory.
The latter applies to every mathematical structure (not only algebraic ones). At its origin, it was introduced, together with homological algebra for allowing the algebraic study of nonalgebraic objects such as topological spaces; this particular area of application is called algebraic topology.
Analysis is further subdivided into real analysis, where variables represent , and complex analysis, where variables represent . Analysis includes many subareas shared by other areas of mathematics which include:
The four color theorem and optimal sphere packing were two major problems of discrete mathematics solved in the second half of the 20th century.
The P versus NP problem, which remains open to this day, is also important for discrete mathematics, since its solution would potentially impact a large number of computationally difficult problems.Discrete mathematics includes:
Before Georg Cantor's study of , mathematicians were reluctant to consider actual infinite collections, and considered infinity to be the result of endless enumeration. Cantor's work offended many mathematicians not only by considering actually infinite sets but by showing that this implies different sizes of infinity, per Cantor's diagonal argument. This led to the controversy over Cantor's set theory.
In the same period, various areas of mathematics concluded the former intuitive definitions of the basic mathematical objects were insufficient for ensuring mathematical rigour. Examples of such intuitive definitions are "a set is a collection of objects", "natural number is what is used for counting", "a point is a shape with a zero length in every direction", "a curve is a trace left by a moving point", etc.
This became the foundational crisis of mathematics. It was eventually solved in mainstream mathematics by systematizing the axiomatic method inside a formalized set theory. Roughly speaking, each mathematical object is defined by the set of all similar objects and the properties that these objects must have. For example, in Peano arithmetic, the natural numbers are defined by "zero is a number", "each number has a unique successor", "each number but zero has a unique predecessor", and some rules of reasoning.
This mathematical abstraction from reality is embodied in the modern philosophy of formalism, as founded by David Hilbert around 1910.The "nature" of the objects defined this way is a philosophical problem that mathematicians leave to philosophers, even if many mathematicians have opinions on this nature, and use their opinionsometimes called "intuition"to guide their study and proofs. The approach allows considering "logics" (that is, sets of allowed deducing rules), theorems, proofs, etc. as mathematical objects, and to prove theorems about them. For example, Gödel's incompleteness theorems assert, roughly speaking that, in every Consistency formal system that contains the natural numbers, there are theorems that are true (that is provable in a stronger system), but not provable inside the system. This approach to the foundations of mathematics was challenged during the first half of the 20th century by mathematicians led by Brouwer, who promoted intuitionistic logic, which explicitly lacks the law of excluded middle.
These problems and debates led to a wide expansion of mathematical logic, with subareas such as model theory (modeling some logical theories inside other theories), proof theory, type theory, computability theory and computational complexity theory. Although these aspects of mathematical logic were introduced before the rise of , their use in compiler design, computer program, and other aspects of computer science, contributed in turn to the expansion of these logical theories.
Statistical theory studies decision problems such as minimizing the risk (expected loss) of a statistical action, such as using a procedure in, for example, parameter estimation, hypothesis testing, and selecting the best. In these traditional areas of mathematical statistics, a statisticaldecision problem is formulated by minimizing an objective function, like expected loss or cost, under specific constraints. For example, designing a survey often involves minimizing the cost of estimating a population mean with a given level of confidence.
Because of its use of optimization, the mathematical theory of statistics overlaps with other , such as operations research, control theory, and mathematical economics.
In the 6th century BC, Greek mathematics began to emerge as a distinct discipline and some Ancient Greece such as the Pythagoreans appeared to have considered it a subject in its own right.
Around 300 BC, Euclid organized mathematical knowledge by way of postulates and first principles, which evolved into the axiomatic method that is used in mathematics today, consisting of definition, axiom, theorem, and proof. His book, Elements, is widely considered the most successful and influential textbook of all time. The greatest mathematician of antiquity is often held to be Archimedes (c. 287–212 BC) of Syracuse. He developed formulas for calculating the surface area and volume of solids of revolution and used the method of exhaustion to calculate the area under the arc of a parabola with the summation of an infinite series, in a manner not too dissimilar from modern calculus. Other notable achievements of Greek mathematics are conic sections (Apollonius of Perga, 3rd century BC), trigonometry (Hipparchus of Nicaea, 2nd century BC), and the beginnings of algebra (Diophantus, 3rd century AD). The Hindu–Arabic numeral system and the rules for the use of its operations, in use throughout the world today, evolved over the course of the first millennium AD in India and were transmitted to the Western world via Islamic mathematics. Other notable developments of Indian mathematics include the modern definition and approximation of sine and cosine, and an early form of infinite series.
During the early modern period, mathematics began to develop at an accelerating pace in Western Europe, with innovations that revolutionized mathematics, such as the introduction of variables and symbolic notation by François Viète (1540–1603), the introduction of coordinates by René Descartes (1596–1650) for reducing geometry to algebra, and the development of calculus by Isaac Newton (1642–1726/27) and Gottfried Leibniz (1646–1716) in the 17th century. Leonhard Euler (1707–1783), the most notable mathematician of the 18th century, unified these innovations into a single corpus with a standardized terminology, and completed them with the discovery and the proof of numerous theorems. Perhaps the foremost mathematician of the 19th century was the German mathematician Carl Gauss, who made numerous contributions to fields such as algebra, analysis, differential geometry, matrix theory, number theory, and statistics. In the early 20th century, Kurt Gödel transformed mathematics by publishing his incompleteness theorems, which show in part that any consistent axiomatic systemif powerful enough to describe arithmeticwill contain true propositions that cannot be proved.
Mathematics has since been greatly extended, and there has been a fruitful interaction between mathematics and science, to the benefit of both. Mathematical discoveries continue to be made to this very day. According to Mikhail B. Sevryuk, in the January 2006 issue of the Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society, "The number of papers and books included in the Mathematical Reviews database since 1940 (the first year of operation of MR) is now more than 1.9 million, and more than 75 thousand items are added to the database each year. The overwhelming majority of works in this ocean contain new mathematical theorems and their proofs."
Mathematics has developed a rich terminology covering a broad range of fields that study the properties of various abstract, idealized objects and how they interact. It is based on rigorous definitions that provide a standard foundation for communication. An axiom or postulate is a mathematical statement that is taken to be true without need of proof. If a mathematical statement has yet to be proven (or disproven), it is termed a conjecture. Through a series of rigorous arguments employing deductive reasoning, a statement that is formal proof to be true becomes a theorem. A specialized theorem that is mainly used to prove another theorem is called a lemma. A proven instance that forms part of a more general finding is termed a corollary.
Numerous technical terms used in mathematics are , such as polynomial and homeomorphism. Other technical terms are words of the common language that are used in an accurate meaning that may differs slightly from their common meaning. For example, in mathematics, "or" means "one, the other or both", while, in common language, it is either ambiguous or means "one or the other but not both" (in mathematics, the latter is called "exclusive or"). Finally, many mathematical terms are common words that are used with a completely different meaning. This may lead to sentences that are correct and true mathematical assertions, but appear to be nonsense to people who do not have the required background. For example, "every free module is flat module" and "a field is always a ring".
There is still a philosophical debate whether mathematics is a science. However, in practice, mathematicians are typically grouped with scientists, and mathematics shares much in common with the physical sciences. Like them, it is falsifiable, which means in mathematics that, if a result or a theory is wrong, this can be proved by providing a counterexample. Similarly as in science, theories and results (theorems) are often obtained from experimentation. In mathematics, the experimentation may consist of computation on selected examples or of the study of figures or other representations of mathematical objects (often mind representations without physical support). For example, when asked how he came about his theorems, Gauss once replied "durch planmässiges Tattonieren" (through systematic experimentation).
However, some authors emphasize that mathematics differs from the modern notion of science by not on empirical evidence.
In the 19th century, mathematicians such as Karl Weierstrass and Richard Dedekind increasingly focused their research on internal problems, that is, pure mathematics. This led to split mathematics into pure mathematics and applied mathematics, the latter being often considered as having a lower value among mathematical purists. However, the lines between the two are frequently blurred.
The aftermath of World War II led to a surge in the development of applied mathematics in the US and elsewhere. Many of the theories developed for applications were found interesting from the point of view of pure mathematics, and many results of pure mathematics were shown to have applications outside mathematics; in turn, the study of these applications may give new insights on the "pure theory".
An example of the first case is the theory of distributions, introduced by Laurent Schwartz for validating computations done in quantum mechanics, which became immediately an important tool of (pure) mathematical analysis. An example of the second case is the decidability of the firstorder theory of the real numbers, a problem of pure mathematics that was proved true by Alfred Tarski, with an algorithm that is impossible to implement because of a computational complexity that is much too high. For getting an algorithm that can be implemented and can solve systems of polynomial equations and inequalities, George Collins introduced the cylindrical algebraic decomposition that became a fundamental tool in real algebraic geometry.
In the present day, the distinction between pure and applied mathematics is more a question of personal research aim of mathematicians than a division of mathematics into broad areas.
The Mathematics Subject Classification has a section for "general applied mathematics" but does not mention "pure mathematics". However, these terms are still used in names of some university departments, such as at the Faculty of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge.
A notable example is the prime factorization of natural numbers that was discovered more than 2,000 years before its common use for secure internet communications through the RSA cryptosystem. A second historical example is the theory of . They were studied by the ancient Greek mathematicians as (that is, intersections of with planes). It is almost 2,000 years later that Johannes Kepler discovered that the trajectories of the planets are ellipses.
In the 19th century, the internal development of geometry (pure mathematics) lead to define and study nonEuclidean geometries, spaces of dimension higher than three and . At this time, these concepts seemed totally disconnected from the physical reality, but at the beginning of the 20th century, Albert Einstein developed the theory of relativity that uses fundamentally these concepts. In particular, spacetime of the special relativity is a nonEuclidean space of dimension four, and spacetime of the general relativity is a (curved) manifold of dimension four.
A striking aspect of the interaction between mathematics and physics is when mathematics drives research in physics. This is illustrated by the discoveries of the positron and the omega baryon $\backslash Omega^\{\}.$ In both cases, the equations of the theories had unexplained solutions, which led to conjecture the existence of an unknown particle, and to search these particles. In both cases, these particles were discovered a few years later by specific experiments.
In return, computing has also become essential for obtaining new results. This is a group of techniques known as experimental mathematics, which is the use of experimentation to discover mathematical insights. The most wellknown example is the fourcolor theorem, which was proven in 1976 with the help of a computer. This revolutionized traditional mathematics, where the rule was that the mathematician should verify each part of the proof. In 1998, the Kepler conjecture seemed to also be partially proven by computer. An international team had since worked on writing a formal proof; it was finished (and verified) in 2015.
Once written formally, a proof can be verified using a program called a proof assistant. These programs are useful in situations where one is uncertain about a proof's correctness.
A major open problem in theoretical computer science is P versus NP. It is one of the seven Millennium Prize Problems.
Ecology heavily uses modeling to simulate population dynamics,See for example Anne Laurent, Roland Gamet, Jérôme Pantel, Tendances nouvelles en modélisation pour l'environnement, actes du congrès «Programme environnement, vie et sociétés» 1517 janvier 1996, CNRS study ecosystems such as the predatorprey model, measure pollution diffusion, or to assess climate change. The dynamics of a population can be modeled by coupled differential equations, such as the Lotka–Volterra equations. However, there is the problem of model validation. This is particularly acute when the results of modeling influence political decisions; the existence of contradictory models could allow nations to choose the most favorable model.
Genotype evolution can be modeled with the HardyWeinberg principle.
Phylogeography uses probabilistic models.
Medicine uses statistical hypothesis testing, run on data from , to determine whether a new treatment works.
Since the start of the 20th century, chemistry has used computing to model molecules in three dimensions. It turns out that the form of macromolecules in biology is variable and determines the action. Such modeling uses Euclidean geometry; neighboring atoms form a polyhedron whose distances and angles are fixed by the laws of interaction.
However, many people have rejected or criticized the concept of Homo economicus. Economists note that real people usually have limited information and often make poor choices. Also, as shown in laboratory experiments, people care about fairness and sometimes altruism, not just personal gain. According to critics, mathematization is a veneer that allows for the material's scientific valorization.
At the start of the 20th century, there was a movement to express historical movements in formulas. In 1922, Nikolai Kondratiev discerned the ~50yearlong Kondratiev cycle, which explains phases of economic growth or crisis. Towards the end of the 19th century, and had extended their analysis into geopolitics. They wanted to establish the historical existence of vast movements that took peoples to their apogee, then to their decline.Dictionnaire en économie et science sociale, Ed.Nathan Paris, dictionnaire Larousse en 3. vol, Paris. Les définitions des cycles sont nombreuses, entre autres, en sciences: évolution de systèmes qui les ramènent à leur état initial ou, en sociologie, mouvement(s) récurrent(s) d'activité(s) politique(s) et économique(s). More recently, Peter Turchin has been working on developing cliodynamics since the 1990s. (In particular, he discovered the Turchin cycle, which predicts that violence spikes in a short cycle of ~50year intervals, superimposed over a longer cycle of ~200–300 years.)
Even so, mathematization of the social sciences is not without danger. In the controversial book Fashionable Nonsense (1997), Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont denounced the unfounded or abusive use of scientific terminology, particularly from mathematics or physics, in the social sciences. The study of complex systems (evolution of unemployment, business capital, demographic evolution of a population, etc.) uses elementary mathematical knowledge. However, the choice of counting criteria, particularly for unemployment, or of models can be subject to controversy.
Mathematics is also a component of esotericism. Very frequently, mathematicians themselves have been tempted to find, in figures or numbers, a hidden meaning that serves as the key to discover the world. In the Pythagorean school, each number had a symbolic meaning and the initiates’ oath was recited by a tetractys. Similarly, Plato was not content to enumerate the solids that bear his name; he also attributed to each a nature (water, air, fire, earth, universe).Platon, Le Timée, 53 c  56c Arithmosophy, numerology, and gematria tended, using calculations with numbers, to find hidden meanings in texts or to extract predictive powers from them. This fascination for numbers and figures continues to this day, as some attribute hidden virtues to the pentagram or the golden ratio.
As of the 21st century, these disciplines are no longer considered sciences.
Armand Borel summarized this view of mathematics reality as follows, and provided quotations of G. H. Hardy, Charles Hermite, Henri Poincaré and Albert Einstein that support his views.
Nevertheless, Platonism and the concurrent views on abstraction do not explain the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics.
Aristotle defined mathematics as "the science of quantity" and this definition prevailed until the 18th century. However, Aristotle also noted a focus on quantity alone may not distinguish mathematics from sciences like physics; in his view, abstraction and studying quantity as a property "separable in thought" from real instances set mathematics apart.
In the 19th century, when mathematicians began to address topicssuch as infinite setswhich have no clearcut relation to physical reality, a variety of new definitions were given.Another approach for defining mathematics is to use its methods. So, an area of study can be qualified as mathematics as soon as one can prove theoremassertions whose validity relies on a proof, that is, a purelylogical deduction. Others take the perspective that mathematics is an investigation of axiomatic set theory, as this study is now a foundational discipline for much of modern mathematics.
The concept of rigor in mathematics dates back to ancient Greece, where their society encouraged logical, deductive reasoning. However, this rigorous approach would tend to discourage exploration of new approaches, such as irrational numbers and concepts of infinity. The method of demonstrating rigorous proof was enhanced in the sixteenth century through the use of symbolic notation. In the 18th century, social transition led to mathematicians earning their keep through teaching, which led to more careful thinking about the underlying concepts of mathematics. This produced more rigorous approaches, while transitioning from geometric methods to algebraic and then arithmetic proofs.
At the end of the 19th century, it appeared that the definitions of the basic concepts of mathematics were not accurate enough for avoiding paradoxes (nonEuclidean geometries and Weierstrass function) and contradictions (Russell's paradox). This was solved by the inclusion of axioms with the Apodicticity inference rules of mathematical theories; the reintroduction of axiomatic method pioneered by the ancient Greeks. It results that "rigor" is no more a relevant concept in mathematics, as a proof is either correct or erroneous, and a "rigorous proof" is simply a pleonasm. Where a special concept of rigor comes into play is in the socialized aspects of a proof, wherein it may be demonstrably refuted by other mathematicians. After a proof has been accepted for many years or even decades, it can then be considered as reliable.
Nevertheless, the concept of "rigor" may remain useful for teaching to beginners what is a mathematical proof.
Archaeological evidence shows that instruction in mathematics occurred as early as the second millennium BCE in ancient Babylonia.
Comparable evidence has been unearthed for scribal mathematics training in the ancient Near East and then for the GrecoRoman world starting around 300 BCE.Following the , mathematics education in Europe was provided by religious schools as part of the Quadrivium. Formal instruction in pedagogy began with Jesuit schools in the 16th and 17th century. Most mathematical curriculum remained at a basic and practical level until the nineteenth century, when it began to flourish in France and Germany. The oldest journal addressing instruction in mathematics was L'Enseignement Mathématique, which began publication in 1899. The Western advancements in science and technology led to the establishment of centralized education systems in many nationstates, with mathematics as a core componentinitially for its military applications. While the content of courses varies, in the present day nearly all countries teach mathematics to students for significant amounts of time.
During school, mathematical capabilities and positive expectations have a strong association with career interest in the field. Extrinsic factors such as feedback motivation by teachers, parents, and peer groups can influence the level of interest in mathematics. Some students studying math may develop an apprehension or fear about their performance in the subject. This is known as math anxiety or math phobia, and is considered the most prominent of the disorders impacting academic performance. Math anxiety can develop due to various factors such as parental and teacher attitudes, social stereotypes, and personal traits. Help to counteract the anxiety can come from changes in instructional approaches, by interactions with parents and teachers, and by tailored treatments for the individual.
Creativity and rigor are not the only psychological aspects of the activity of mathematicians. Some mathematicians can see their activity as a game, more specifically as solving .
This aspect of mathematical activity is emphasized in recreational mathematics.Mathematicians can find an aesthetic value to mathematics. Like beauty, it is hard to define, it is commonly related to elegance, which involves qualities like simplicity, symmetry, completeness, and generality. G. H. Hardy in A Mathematician's Apology expressed the belief that the aesthetic considerations are, in themselves, sufficient to justify the study of pure mathematics. He also identified other criteria such as significance, unexpectedness, and inevitability, which contribute to mathematical aesthetic.
See also A Mathematician's Apology. Paul Erdős expressed this sentiment more ironically by speaking of "The Book", a supposed divine collection of the most beautiful proofs. The 1998 book Proofs from THE BOOK, inspired by Erdős, is a collection of particularly succinct and revelatory mathematical arguments. Some examples of particularly elegant results included are Euclid's proof that there are infinitely many prime numbers and the fast Fourier transform for harmonic analysis.Some feel that to consider mathematics a science is to downplay its artistry and history in the seven traditional liberal arts.See, for example Bertrand Russell's statement "Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty ..." in his One way this difference of viewpoint plays out is in the philosophical debate as to whether mathematical results are created (as in art) or discovered (as in science). The popularity of recreational mathematics is another sign of the pleasure many find in solving mathematical questions.
In the 20th century, the mathematician L. E. J. Brouwer even initiated a philosophical perspective known as intuitionism, which primarily identifies mathematics with certain creative processes in the mind. Intuitionism is in turn one flavor of a stance known as constructivism, which only considers a mathematical object valid if it can be directly constructed, not merely guaranteed by logic indirectly. This leads committed constructivists to reject certain results, particularly arguments like existential proofs based on the law of excluded middle.
In the end, neither constructivism nor intuitionism displaced classical mathematics or achieved mainstream acceptance. However, these programs have motivated specific developments, such as intuitionistic logic and other foundational insights, which are appreciated in their own right.
This link between frequencies and harmony was discussed in Traité de l'harmonie réduite à ses principes naturels by JeanPhilippe Rameau, a French baroque composer and music theoretician. It rests on the analysis of harmonics (noted 2 to 15 in the following figure) of a fundamental Do (noted 1); the first harmonics and their octaves sound well together. The curve in red has a shape, which reflects the following two phenomena:
Humans, as well as some other animals, find symmetric patterns to be more beautiful. Mathematically, the symmetries of an object form a group known as the symmetry group.
For example, the group underlying mirror symmetry is the cyclic group of two elements, $\backslash mathbb\{Z\}/2\backslash mathbb\{Z\}$. A Rorschach test is a figure invariant by this symmetry, as well as a butterfly, and animal bodies more generally (at least on the surface). Waves on the sea surface possess translation symmetry: moving one's viewpoint by the distance between wave crests does not change one's view of the sea. Furthermore, fractals possess (usually approximate) selfsimilarity.
Other prestigious mathematics awards include:
A famous list of 23 , called "Hilbert's problems", was compiled in 1900 by German mathematician David Hilbert. This list has achieved great celebrity among mathematicians,
and, , at least thirteen of the problems (depending how some are interpreted) have been solved.A new list of seven important problems, titled the "Millennium Prize Problems", was published in 2000. Only one of them, the Riemann hypothesis, duplicates one of Hilbert's problems. A solution to any of these problems carries a 1 million dollar reward. To date, only one of these problems, the Poincaré conjecture, has been solved.

