Math question

Mathematics

  • Science

  • Art


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crankmeister

Most Honored Senior Member
Jul 9, 2020
5,705
Republic of Gilead
Just curious after perusing the latest theory/knowledge thread.

The last few decades have seen some university Mathematics departments debate whether a math major should graduate with a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Art. Students can usually choose which one in such cases.

So what say you? Is mathematics a science or art? Which would you have on your diploma?
 

CalicoSkies

Most Honored Senior Member
Gold Supporting Member
Jun 10, 2013
7,112
Beaverton, OR, USA
It seems it could be argued either way. The definition of "art" includes "application of human creative skill and imagination", and there is some element of creativity and imagination in thinking of how to solve some problems in math. It feels like more of a science thing though. When people think of art, I think most people tend to think of things that are mainly creative expressions, such as painting, music, dance, etc.. If they assign it a bachelor of science, the student would probably also need to take certain other classes in the sciences, but that may be more appropriate anyway.
 

Stephen James

Strat-Talker
Vendor Member
May 30, 2016
428
Iowa City
Science, definitely..

Geometry, trigonometry, calculus, those are all objective, not open to interpretation, just scrutiny (i.e. proofs). It may be stunning, confusing, and, in many instances, beautiful, but it is not "one of the arts"..

The only argument I could see for a 'subjective construct' in mathematics is the use of base10 for our number system over something like base12 or base2..
 

Eric_G

Senior Stratmaster
Jan 10, 2021
2,472
Quebec
Math is a science... no way it can be art !

Art isn't regulated, doesn't have rules, is completely open for creativity.

You can't be creative in math, you can be creative on using math to solve problems, but math are regulated, have rules and leave no room for creativity.

Creative math is like creative accounting, in other words it's fraud...
 

knh555

Most Honored Senior Member
Dec 6, 2016
6,346
Massachusetts
Just curious after perusing the latest theory/knowledge thread.

The last few decades have seen some university Mathematics departments debate whether a math major should graduate with a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Art. Students can usually choose which one in such cases.

So what say you? Is mathematics a science or art? Which would you have on your diploma?

Does it depend if you think math is plural? :whistling:
 

simoncroft

Still playing. Still learning!
Silver Member
May 30, 2013
19,310
SE England
science is an art. teaching science as if its not a humanity leads to culturally illiterate scientists who fail to contextualize scientific work inside of the culture that produces it.

Interesting perspective. I was just about to say that math(s) underpins music, in as much as an octave is twice the frequency. Therefore the octave above A440 is A880 etc etc.

While I grasp your point – I hope – science deals in facts, not the significance or desirability of facts. For instance, the science that lead to the development of nuclear bombs is exact, while the consequences of that science are beyond the scope of this forum.
 

knh555

Most Honored Senior Member
Dec 6, 2016
6,346
Massachusetts
I fail to see how this is relevant, are you saying that tuning is a rule ? Cuz it is not really. Many players have the ability to play in tune with an out of tune guitar...

I disagree. Defining frequency intervals that sound pleasant is very much a “rule”. We constrain the frequencies we use in our art. These are based on “rules” combining physics with what people find pleasant. Random frequencies don’t make for very appealing art. IMHO.
 


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