Language of Mathematics and Science of Language
The famous linguists Noam Chomsky in his book Syntactic Structures defines language as a set of (finite or infinite) sentences each finite in length and constructed out of finite set of elements. He underlined that human are born with innate linguistic abilities…
Language is a means of establishing human communication. There are different forms of communication from spoken to written to the use of sign language. The body of language consists of a gamut of features for the language to be functional. The functioning of language comprises of words to form sentences, there are meanings to each such word and together as a structured sentence makes meaningful communication.
There are connotations.
There are denotations.
The combined meaning of words in a sentence conveys an intended message conceptualized by the messenger. There are rules governing the formation of sentences. It is no exception, without the rules in place, the function of language would be much like the display of chaotic traffic without the traffic controller.
Syntax is the study of the structure, it works out the systematic ways for the structural construction of language for a meaningful communication. There is a solid science in work behind the language. Just that the working of language appears liquefied to our naked eyes. There is a blur in our eye due to the fog and mist of the pollution inflicting our language. We have been unmindful of the language and mechanically going with the flow of communication. The native and the verbal form of language are there with us. It is that we have to put effort to acquire the written form and non native language. The communication skill improves and the proficiency in the language grow with practice and more practice. Some people acquire more proficiency in spoken form compared to the written form and vice versa. It is in our innate ability and also depends on our preference. Some languages have much bigger world audience than the other, and there are multiple reasons behind such popularity.
Language evolve with time and with exchange between people of different culture and region it strives to establishes its linguistic empire. It so much depends on the intrinsic strength of a language and the ability of the people speaking those languages to support its formation and strengthen its foundation. English to Spanish to Portuguese to French are used in many countries outside the country of origin primarily because of the spread of Colonialism. Spanish remains the second most popular language of USA after English. There is a strong historical perspective. These kinds of disruptive forces are not in operation in the field of mathematics as this is the language of nature and not only that of human beings.
The language of mathematics remains in equilibrium with the equity of people spread across the world.
Interestingly, mathematics is the language of science. Scientists use the language of science to describe the universe.
Physical Science is defined as a systematic study of God’s creation of the physical world. It was Galileo Galilie had said that“mathematics is the language in which God had created the universe.” We cannot read the universe scripted in the language of God unless we learn the language of mathematics.
Mathematics is not just the study of nature but it is a study of ideas that shape our lives.
The language of mathematics much like conventional languages has a set of vocabulary to rules of grammars to syntax that govern the formation of mathematical language. There are geometrical symbols like the square to rectangle to triangle to circle. There are numbers. There are variables and fractions. There are integers. There are constant. There are formulas. There are theorems. There are equations and functions. There are expressions.
Language is nothing but a structured form of expression.
There are simple actions that take place with these numbers and variables using action verbs like addition to subtraction to multiplication to division. There are complex operations that gets executed using compounded action verbs like algebra and trigonometry. There is Latin to Greek alphabets used in the mathematical formulas. The language of mathematics is truly universal and everywhere it is the same symbol to the same syntax used in the construction of the body of language.
There are no dialects.
There are no variations.
There is no morphology difference. Morphology is study of meaning and formation of words. The number or equation means the same everywhere. There is no phonology difference. Phonology is the study of sound pattern of language. Mathematics is written language and there is no need of sound.
Linguistics is the science of language.
Linguists much like the scientists use the scientific methods to question and obtain answers to the functioning of language.
There are over 6500 plus languages spread across the world. There is a history to the origin and growth to each such language. There is a community that starts speaking that language. There is a geography where the language is initially spoken. Some languages are predominantly spoken form of language and others are predominantly written forms of language, and some others have equal dominance of both written and spoken form. Chinese Mandarin continues to the most spoken language in the world though primarily dominated by the Chinese people. It is the language of English that is most widely spoken across countries. The linguists study the intriguing relationship between the written form and the spoken form of language.
Linguistics is a multi-disciplinary field where the questions span from the social science to life science to neuroscience to physical science. Social science deals with psychology to sociology. Life science deals with biology to ecology. Physical science deals with chemistry and physics. Linguistics study also widely includes the subject of philosophy to anthropology…the origin and love for the language.
English language by sheer predominance in its presence world wide has become the de facto universal language of science. A large number of scientific literature are published in English language. The common language of communication between scientists or the language of translation from a non-native scientific publication is the language of English. This makes the publication universal. The content of the scientific subject deals with the language of mathematics to physics to chemistry to biology to widely communicate the scientific discoveries to inventions.
Each subject has its shades of maths.
Mathematics is the common language objectively shared by the entire humanity.
There is no discrimination. Though there are differentials. There is no interference. Though there are integrals. The geometrical shapes and arithmetical numbers all mean the same to people of different communities or culture or religion or region. There is no differentiation. It purely plays the perfect role of integration.
According to German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss, “mathematics is the queen of the sciences”, like literacy numeracy is the striking aspect determining the functioning of modern world.
The literacy of maths is called as numeracy…
It is the shared language of numbers and common symbols that connects community to countries to continents. “c”, is the letter depicts the speed of light. “%”, is the symbol depicts the percentage of number. “i,j,k…are what represents the integers. “a,b,c…” are what represents the real numbers.
Mathematics is the language that connects the astronomers to astrologers to artists to scientists to the sociologists. The cellular biology with the number of cells and the way biochemical reaction takes place within the single cell to the billions of cells making us a human being. The cosmology is the study of space science and governed by Johannes Kepler’s planetary motion with the number of galaxies and planets that are in billions forming the universe. There are numbers in everything. The study of life science to space science there is the language of mathematics.
The language of maths that connects and communicates to us the logic behind the mystery of human evolution and systematically narrating the history of the civilization.
There is no life science without the earth and space science. The life exists because the earth and space exists. There are scientific laws derived using mathematical languages governing the way we live our life. John Maynard Smith used mathematical analysis in biology. As an engineer turned biologist he applied Game Theory to animal behavior. He discovered that variation exists in species but Natural Selection tends to maintain a balance between different characteristics within species. The life of human species is essentially about the process of receiving, storing, retrieving and processing of information.
We are driven by the information power. The information is powered by computer systems. The software of the computer is a compilation of code crafted out of mathematical algorithm. This is based on the ideas of Claude Shannon considered as the father of Information Theory.
There are laws and theories governing our nature. There is this Law of Gravity to the Theory of Relativity to the Speed of Light to the Speed of Sound. The force of gravity that holds us back on the earth surface and the amount of light that comes from the sun providing us the much needed energy. The lifeline on planet Earth. The way matter and energy are connected is wonderfully depicted in the Einstein’s famous equation of e=mc^2. There is the Law of Conservation of Energy, which states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only be transformed or transferred from one form to another.
We are all made of matters. It is this science of matter and energy that makes the language of universe so fascinating to learn and share. After all universe is in the ultimate analysis is all about matter and energy. It boils down to atoms and sub-atomic particles. In order to read and understand the language of universe we have to learn the nuanced language of mathematics. It is a vast subject and it has multiple dimensions at play. Never easy to master the subject unless we are a mathematician, not all mathematicians are master in all dimensions of the subject. Even if we are not mathematicians we should learn the language of mathematics to have a better understanding of world around us and also makes us to live our life much more meaningfully
The role of probabilities and statistics has become such a vital part of the modern scientific discovery and in the process of invention. It is not necessary that we need to work our way through those complex mathematical models. These complex working are done by the algorithms fed into the high power processors in the computer system. It is essential that we need to know the science of maths.
The way equations work.
The work geometry works.
The way calculus works.
The way differentials work.
It’s the analytical application of mathematical equations and formulas towards proposing newer hypothesis towards establishing newer and nuanced theorems.
The modeling of complex human organs to working on the spaceship model to successful launching of spacecraft to the outer universe all needs man and machine to speak a common language. It is the language of maths. It is from predicting the weather to deducting the patterns. These are from the vast volumes of data that gets generated by seconds in the world-wide computer systems seamlessly connected on the web. There are stats so intriguing to interpret.
Euclid had said “there is no royal road to geometry”.
Nothing can be more captivating to study than to study the logic behind the mystery of nature. Nature is a beautiful bundle of mystery. The way sun rises and sets. The way sun transmits light onto earth. The way air circulates in the earth atmosphere. The way nature produces water. These are not ad hoc and arbitrary processes. There are patterns. There is a method behind this plain madness. There are hidden patterns in the functioning of nature. The moment the patterns are unraveled and established by mathematical equations we have the universal acceptance.
According to English Mathematician G H Hardy, “a mathematician like a painter or a poet is a maker of patterns, if his patterns are more permanent than theirs, it is because they are made with ideas”
There are different fields and different field needs different methods of study. The different branch of science differently studies the patterns and phenomena of nature.
One of the fundamental properties of nature is that it constantly seeks equilibrium. The equations capture this very property of nature using mathematical models. Maths describes the relationships between different elements in nature and establishes correlations that are coherent and cohesive. For instance the force of gravity depends on the mass of the object and the distance between the objects. We apply this cohesive thought in our daily life…
Mathematics is a language of reason and precisely the reason mathematics is in every subject of our life.
Mathematics is not merely a language of science but mathematics is science itself.
Nihar R Pradhan