- How far has modern technology made it unnecessary for individuals to possess mathematical skills?
Argument 1: Modern technology has provided us with tools that automate mathematical operations for us, making possessing mathematical skills redundant.
Elaboration: All we have to do are to insert the data we want to be processed into our modern technological tools, and their software automates the required operations and calculations for us, allowing us to attain the necessary processed data effortlessly.
Example: Calculators has made skills such as the ability simple mental calculations mostly redundant in everyday life. Online free tools such as desmos and Wolframalpha. Paid tools such as MatLab, Maple and R.
Link: Modern technology has provided us with tools that make certain mathematical skills such as doing simple mental calculations seemingly redundant.
(Counter) Argument 2: We still ultimately require mathematical knowledge and skills to utilize these technological tools
Elaboration: To say that possessing mathematical skills is unnecessary altogether would be too much of a far-fetched statement
Example: We still require intermediate knowledge on math to effectively operate a Graphic Calculator for more complex math problems. Basic knowledge for syntax used in programs in Graphic Calculator, or algorithm is needed.
Link: Mathematical skills are still required to allow modern technology to operate in our favor.
(Counter) Argument 3: Recognizing patterns, reasoning and logical thinking are important life skills which are largely mathematical.
Elaboration: These life skills are largely inculcated into our children via an education in mathematics.
Example: Number or shape pattern recognition is a skill inculcated into primary school children via math education. Over the years, this analytical skill is honed and eventually applied to solve industry-relevant problems such as market trends. Famous Hedge-fund owner James Simmons, only hires Mathematicians and Physicists, who do not need any business or banking background, to work as bankers in his company, Renaissance Technologies. The top Quantitative Analyst in the world has a doctorate in Physics and to quote him, in research he deals with 23 variables, but now in life and finance, he just has 3 to handle.
Link: Mathematical skills are a prerequisite to develop higher level cognitive and analytical skills in order for us to excel in society.
(Counter) Argument 4: Being equipped with the most basic Mathematical skills provides us with much greater convenience as compared to having sole reliance on technological tools.
Elaboration: Simple day-to-day activities largely involve the use of mathematical skills and would ironically take a longer time and effort if we were to fully rely on technological tools. Moreover, it would be a hassle if we were to require such tools to physically be with us all the time as compared to solving problems on the spot with our mathematical knowledge.
Example: Mental calculations would greatly aid us in buying and selling as opposed to solely relying on a calculator even for simple operations. The absolute necessity of having a calculator around with you would often times become a hassle in that case. The basic skill of doing rough mental calculations and pattern recognition would enable us to have greater control over our finances in estimating and analyzing our spending habits and saving progress.