Mathematics helps to keep your brain young, says former Chief Secretary


V. Irai Anbu addressing the gathering at the VIT Mathematical Meet 2024 on VIT campus, Vellore on Saturday.

V. Irai Anbu addressing the gathering at the VIT Mathematical Meet 2024 on VIT campus, Vellore on Saturday.

Learning mathematics will always help in critical thinking and keeps one’s brain much younger, said V. Irai Anbu, former Chief Secretary, on Saturday.

Speaking on the theme “Mathematics in Climate Change” at the VIT Mathematical Meet – 2024, a national mathematical contest for school students that was organized by VIT at its campus here, Mr. Anbu said that mathematics helps with problem solving, logical reasoning and will help to sharpen one’s brain. It also helps to create active neurons in the brain, thereby keeping our brain much younger. “Mathematics helps to achieve academic excellence, scientific advancement, technological improvement and engineering development depend on learning mathematics,” he said.

Tracing the history of mathematics, the former Chief Secretary said that as per fossil findings, tally markings were found on the bones for 18,000 years ago. The findings reflect the importance given by humans during their early stages of evolution to mathematics. Ancient literature like Sangam and Tirukural were based on mathematics. In fact, numbers were predated to alphabets in the evolution of mankind, he said.

He also highlighted the significance of mathematics to other streams of science like physics, chemistry, biology and biochemistry as all these streams have to depend on mathematics to grow. The usage of mathematics can also be found in various fields. For example, in agriculture, the threshold of inflation is measured by mathematics; pentameter in poetry and rhythm in music, he said. 

In his presidential address, G. Viswanathan, founder chancellor, VIT, said that mathematics was not confined to the walls of the classroom. Instead, it is present in all walks of life including finance and investment. “Without a strong foundation in mathematics, we will be ill-equipped to face our challenges. Mathematics is the foundation for all kinds of learning,” he said.

At the meet, 2,600 students from 49 schools participated. Prizes were given to 99 winners on the occasion. VIT’s vice-presidents, Sankar Viswanathan and G.V. Selvam, A. Lakshmi, deputy project director of Chandrayaan-3, ISRO, Bangalore, were present.

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