Why Does This Professor Want Schools To Ditch Calculus For Statistics?

Arthur Benjamin makes such a good case for it.


Arthur T Benjamin, a renowned mathematician and writer, makes a case for teaching Statistics over Calculus in schools in this TED Talk. Mr. Benjamin admits that while Calculus is a skill every Math, Science, Engineering or Economics student must pick up by the time they’re done with their first year of college, very few people use it in a meaningful way in their day to day lives.

‘Don’t get me wrong, Calculus is an important. it’s one of the great products of the human mind. The laws of nature are written in the language of calculus. And every student who studies math, science, engineering and economics must definitely learn calculus. But i’m here to say that as a professor of Mathematics, that very few ppl actually use Calculus in a conscious, meaningful way in their day to day lives.’

The professor also stressed on the applications of Statistics in daily life, stressing on real-world issues like the 2008 Financial Crisis.

‘On the other hand, Statistics is a subject that you could and should use in your lives. It is about risks, rewards, randomness and understanding data. if everyone knew about Probability and Statistics, we wouldn’t be in the economic mess that we’re in today.’ 

As Benjamin says in the video, if Statistics and Probability is taught properly, it can be a lot of fun. After all it’s the mathematics of games and gambling. It’s analysing trends and predicting the future he explains. Well, we’re sold on his point. Brb, we’re off to open our Probability books.