YES: Studying mathematics provides in-depth views into the complexities of the discipline and is intellectually satisfying but ultimately less useful to most individuals and societal well-being.
In many acclaimed educational systems worldwide, the foundational levels of mathematics contain many topics that may engage youths’ intellectual curiosity but prove less useful if they specialize in other fields upon graduation from high school.
Studied on its own at the undergraduate level, mathematics may appear to be a highly abstract and specialized discipline for enthusiasts but appears less relevant to the concerns of acquiring a professional qualification.
At its more advanced levels of study, mathematics become extremely complex and specialists may devote a major portion of post-graduate work or experience on the identification and solution of highly abstract mathematical problems that are totally removed from everyday life.
NO: Studying mathematics is both intellectually satisfying and provide practical means for both individuals and society to enrich our lives and overall well-being.
It is the process rather than mere data one acquires that is useful in the study of complex mathematical topics at the high school level, as these topics help develop the critical thinking and visualizing skills in students that are so vital to holistic development.
At the undergraduate level, mathematics is integrated as a component both vital and applicable to a wide variety of seemingly unrelated disciplines, including economics, psychology and social work.
The more advanced levels of mathematical study aim to identify and contribute practical solutions to major challenges faced by humanity, such as complex formulations to calculate the rate of melting polar ice-caps, which may be vital to international deliberations on climate change.