Hidden Figures is a box-office smash, which proves three things: 1) we actually like movies about people besides white guys, 2) that black women were instrumental in NASA’s space program, and 3) that actually, math is cool. And while Tumblr’s known this for a while now, it took a lot of us a while to warm up to math. When I was in school, I absolutely hated math and could never motivate myself to care about it. I thought I was bad at it. But once I became an adult, I realized that most people are much worse at it than I was. I wish I’d tried harder in school, knowing what I now know, that math is actually pretty bomb. I hope you don’t make my mistakes. Here are five things that prove that math is actually cool.
1. Math sends people to space
Math is what makes most cool things in life possible, including voyages into outer space. NASA never would have happened without the black women who could solve countless equations on the fly. (Seriously, if you haven’t seen Hidden Figures, you have to. Watching it was the first time math made me cry in a good way.)
2. Good Will Hunting did it
Good Will Hunting is a good movie, and one of the early pieces of cinematic proof that people writing long equations on a blackboard looks really badass.
3. It’s the same in every language
Yes, that’s a Mean Girls quote. Cady Heron likes math and she even ends up enjoying being a mathlete. The true story of Mean Girls is a love story between Cady and mathematics. She isn’t sure she’s into it, she plays hard to get. And once she realizes it’s true love, she gets a jacket and becomes queen.
4. It’s a great way to impress people
There’s no movie scene where someone underestimates another person’s intelligence, so then that person whips out an essay on comparative literature and blows their mind. No, math is the best way to impress people with your smarts. Solve a crazy equation and get everyone cheering.
5. Lots of cool, high-paying jobs require math skills
Game designers, animators, fighter pilots, sports announcers, and CSI-style forensic scientists all use math in their jobs. In fact, many of the good jobs of the future are in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and, you guessed it, Math). If you aren’t good at math, you may have to become a listicle writer. And nobody wants that. Your parents would be so disappointed.
Do you think math is cool? Tweet at me and let me know! @erikaheidewald