**The Greatest Challenge of Mathematics**

__This guest post by__

**Lê Nguyên Hoang**

__first appeared here on White Group Mathematics, 30 December 2012.__**IN BRIEF:**

**"More than facing mathematical or real world problems, today's greatest challenge of mathematics is to attract more and more minds to understand, use and improve modern mathematics. I'm not only talking about getting the greatest mind to prove theorems rather than winning money in stock markets. I'm also and mainly talking about getting the general public to support and apply the greatest ideas modern mathematics is providing. This post explains my solution to this great challenge."**

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Shortly after Barack Obama’s reelection,

**Henry Reich uploaded a MinutePhysics video on high school physics.**

*What did the video say?*

^{th}century was not taught. No world war. No cold war. Today’s world would make absolutely no sense. And, surely, without modern physics, today’s world makes absolutely no sense. I bet that if James Clerk Maxwell, one of the greatest scientists in 1865, saw today’s technologies, he would think of us as Gods. Meanwhile, today, most people have no idea how these technologies work. Yet, they don’t show much respect to those responsible for the present and future advancements of technologies.

*And it seems even worse in mathematics…*

**calculus,**which is close to 350 years old. Did you hear? 350 years old!!!

*Now, it’s even worse for computer science. But let’s stick to mathematics here.*

*But mathematics is more abstract, and thus more intemporal, right?*

*But, surely, modern mathematics is harder and more abstract…*

**Graph theory**is the perfect example of simple, cool, visual and modern mathematics with an overwhelming number of applications to modern technologies. But this is not all!

**Game theory**is also cool and modern. And it should be an inspiration for the way we live our lives.

*But wouldn’t teaching modern mathematics sacrifice something?*

*What do you care most about?*

*Why?*

*This sounds utopic…*

*But Hollywood’s blockbusters are more appreciated because they can be enjoyed effortlessly…*

**image**of science and mathematics.

*So you’re fighting the image of a geeky mathematician confined in a dark room and reading old dusty books?*

*So what solutions do you propose?*

**popularization**. And I’m not talking about fun facts about numbers known for 2,000 years only. I’m also talking about popularization of modern mathematics!

*Really?*

*But why don’t mathematicians popularize more?*

*So, popularization to make mathematics attractive?*

Yes! Now, there are other very good reasons for popularizing, but I won’t go into them here to keep this message clear. You can find them on **this page**.

*How can mathematics catch up with physics in terms of popularization?*

**www.Science4All.org**, to promote and popularize all science and mathematics in particular. And, on Science4All, you too can contribute by sharing, commenting and writing articles. Popularizing mathematics is a Herculean task, but joining forces will definitely get us far. On Science4All, there’s one rule you’ll have to follow though:

*Make it simple. Make it cool.*

**About The Author:****www.Science4All.org**, a website where users can read and write quality popular science articles. I blog a lot on this website.