## Why mathematics?

Mathematics is the principal means of communication of all engineers. The world around us, visible with our eyes or under a microscope, runs on principles that engineers first try to decipher and understand so that they could later make use of them in order to design their inventions or improve existing techniques. Without knowledge of mathematics the engineering world would only resemble erratic running in a labyrinth with occasional breaks spent in bouncing their heads against  firm walls in despair.

In the course of your studies you will find out that mathematics is the base of every appliance that you use on a daily basis, and that activities that you do as a matter of course such as making a phone call, searching for information on the internet, taking a photograph with your mobile phone, drawing money from an ATM, a fluent drive through a city or taking out travel insurance would not be possible without mathematics. As you will be advancing with your studies, derivatives, integrals, differential equations, integral transforms, algebraic structures, probability distributions, numerical mathematics or optimization tasks will start to pop up in the background of all these natural activities.

## Did you know that...

the oldest motivation for calculating areas of planar surfaces was the need of ancient Egyptians to establish the correct amount of taxes?
the graph theory originated because several councillors were not satisfied with the course of their Sunday walks?
the fact that the square root of two cannot be expressed by a rational number was kept secret because it challenged the established world view?
numerous mathematical formulas that you were not able to memorize at the secondary school can be easily derived using figurate numbers?
no computer can generate - out of the real domain - the number π (and will never learn it)?
the bloody arguments over whether zero is or is not a natural number are pointless because Peano arithmetics works for both cases?
the concept of matrix was defined only after determinants were established?
geometrical description of the world visible with human eyes is based on a mere five statements?
as late as the beginning of the 20th century, Elements, a textbook of geometry written by Euclid in around 300 B.C., was regarded as a book that every educated person in the world has read?
at a certain point in mathematics (but not always and certainly not during an exam) everyone can freely decide what will hold and what will not?
the computer controlling the first human Moon landing had a smaller computational capacity than your calculator?