Once man possessed the tools and knowledge necessary to spread information, they soon began to create uniform principles, such as math. There were many rules that were developed in the ancient times that we still use today. In geometry, for example, ancient man created the circle. A symbol that is now used to describe various life cycles, such as that of water, convection current, phase changes, and time. What is interesting about a circle is the fact that it has no definitive origin, or beginning. Mr. Meyers gave us some interesting insight on the origins of math, bringing up the interesting point that those who discover certain theories and essentially create their own origin often don’t receive the credit.

Cartesian coordinate system with origin
Polar coordinate system with origin

No Origin?

What do a circle and god have in common? The better question would be: what sets a circle and god apart from every other person and object? Both a circle and god have no origin, no beginning.

Bell Curve

The mathematics bell curve, or normal distribution, can also be described as the black swan theory, which deals with the probability of certain events happening, those that are common over those that are rare. Each tail end represents rare disasters, and the middle peak represents the mean, or more common and less severe occurrences. We live our daily lives as if the mean is the only thing that exists. We need to be prepared for those tail end events and how they may seem unlikely, but they can definitely happen. The origin of this theory has its own funny story. Prior to the discovery of Australia, it was assumed that all swans were white—no one had ever seen a black swan. However it was later discovered that they do exist. This randomness and improbability of seeing a black swan makes it the perfect animal to associate with this theory.

Mr. Meyers, mathematics teacher at the Wheatley school, describes the origins of math and how important discoveries are made.

-Math origin picture: Cartesian-
-Math picture: Polar-