Have you ever thought, in a math class, “Why on Earth do I need to know this? I have a calculator in my pocket!” Or maybe, “There is no way I will ever need to know the derivative of the natural logarithm of x-squared. Math is useless.” (The derivative is two over x, by the way.)
G. H. Hardy, one of the most prominent mathematicians of the twentieth century, would agree with you: math is useless. You’ll never need it. In A Mathematician’s Apology, Hardy says it himself: “Is mathematics ‘useful,’ directly useful, as other sciences such as chemistry and physiology are? This is not an altogether easy or uncontroversial question, and I shall ultimately say No.”
And yet: Hardy still thinks math is worth your while. Why? Listen in to our newest episode of Book-ish to find out.
This podcast was written and recorded by Gabe Robare, and was produced under the 145th Managing Board of The Daily Princetonian. It was edited by Cammie Lee and produced by Francesca Block with copy-editing and production help from Isabel Rodrigues.
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