For over 5,000 years, civilization has practiced arithmetic, the working with numbers, with all of life's calculations steadfastly relying on the wonders of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
"Wherever there is number," said ancient Athens mathematician Proclus, "there is beauty."
The beauty of mathematics has lived as long as man has. In ancient Egypt, math symbols found in the Rhind Papyrus (1650 B.C.) were described as "directions for knowing all dark things." The traditional system of 10 symbols with place values of hundreds, tens, and units was developed in India around 600 A.D.
"The object of mathematics is the honor of the human spirit," observed German mathematician Carl Jacobi.
Called the "gate and key to the sciences" by medieval scientist Roger Bacon, math provides the spirit with the endless joy of solving problems, experimenting, and discovery. From budgets to statistics to pie recipes, mathematics is an ongoing celebration of life!
"It is impossible to be a mathematician without being a poet in soul," said the eloquent Russian mathematician Sophia Kovalevskaya.
"Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics," said Albert Einstein. "I can assure you that mine are still greater."
Yeah: Let's hear it for Math!