Mathematics (from Greek μάθημα máthēma, “knowledge, study, learning”) is the study of topics such as quantity (numbers), structure, space, and change. There is a range of views among mathematicians and philosophers as to the exact scope and definition of mathematics. - Wikipedia
If you think math, or advanced math, is beyond your ability and inaccessible you were probably the victim of poor instruction. K-12 math education, in my experience and according to a leading mathematics professor, focuses too much on memorization and executing algorithms and not enough on getting us to really understand what mathematics is and what it means to think mathematically.
Mathematics is about abstraction, patterns, and calcuation. One short definition is that it's the "science of patterns". A more explicit definition is:
- Keith Devlin
- The systematic study of number, shape, form, structure, relations, motion and change, and other concepts, represented by precisely defined abstractions; and
- the development and application of procedures for reasoning with those concepts; and
- the use of rigorous logical argument to determine truth on the basis of accepted assumptions (axioms); and
- the application of that methodology to the real world.
Depending on your level of maths knowledge the above definition may make perfect sense, or no sense. If you're in the no sense camp I recommend reading Introduction to Mathematical Thinking along with taking the accompanied Introduction to Mathematical Thinking Coursera course as the book is not intended to be read, or studied, alone.
What else do I want to say about mathematics here? Enduring knowledge, foundation on which scientific knowledge rests, distillation, logic, truth, beauty. TODO.