One, Two, and Many

Dr. Hakan Oztunc
8 min readFeb 1, 2022

The Place Where No Mathematics!

Unsplash photo

Have you heard the story of the boy looking for a place where there is no math? I heard it from my father when I was very young. I don’t know if he wrote it for me or read it from somewhere. I haven’t seen it anywhere since. Even though I vaguely remember the tale, I liken those who are math-phobic to a child looking for a place where math is not. In my opinion, those who have math anxiety keep looking for areas where there is no math throughout their lives. Mathematics and mathematical formulas are most people’s nightmares.

“Math anxiety” is a disorder defined as feelings of tension, anxiety, and fear resulting from math situations. Recent studies have shown that math anxiety is common in North America; It has been observed that 25% of 4-year college students and 80% of college students suffer from high levels of math anxiety. Mathematics anxiety is negatively related to math performance in school and can also be seen at work after students graduate and for the rest of their lives. The general assumption is that people show much more anxiety and other negative attitudes towards math than other academic subjects. People who think they are bad at math are more likely to be anxious. While many students complain that math is hard to understand, no one complains about playing video games. When we think of these games, it is clear that problem-solving knowledge is needed while playing these games. Being successful at a video game can be compared to solving a math problem. Surely the latter! I’m not talking about which is more fun.

Numbers surround our life. A life without them seems very improbable. Therefore, a place without mathematics is unbelievable. Although some people are afraid of mathematics, no one can imagine a life without mathematics in it. In an episode of the once-legendary tv show Twilight Zone, a man wakes up and promptly figures out that no one understands him. Imagine waking up in the morning and realizing that your closest ones do not understand the language you speak. However, there was no problem the day before. Those who understood you yesterday do not understand today. What’s even more unearthly is that you can understand them, but somehow they don’t understand you: your spouse, your children, your neighbors, your relatives, etc. It’s a nightmare! I think it explained how the modern world…

Dr. Hakan Oztunc

Statistics Professor, Math Lover, Teaching @UOFT. Author of numerous Math Novels. Always looking to make math fun for everyone. MyBook: