What’s wrong with a little math?

So, what is wrong with a little math or maths (as I grew up calling this subject in India)… and that is a debate for another day whether we should call it math or maths.

But, what’s on my mind today is how (most) teenagers in the US can’t even do simple math.

So, I just landed at the Burbank airport to get my coffee. I am waiting in line while the lady in front is giving her order to the cashier and she is done with her order and as soon as she is ready to pay, the electronic register crashed. Oh nooo….

The cashier seemed a bit worried and then asked the lady in front if it’s OK for her to complete her order with a manual transaction. Yes, using the machine that look like this.



Anyhow, I started listening to the conversation between the cashier and the customer and it was apparent how both of them were really worried about the possibility of having to do manual math to complete the transaction since the register was broken.

(Yes, I know they could have used the phone to do the math, and they discussed that too. But, as soon as the crash happened, it wasn’t about the tools to do the calculation but the conversation had immediately shifted to having to do mental math)

It was bad enough to make me think what is going on around me in this “wonderful land of opportunity” that I decided to migrate to and make my home a few years ago. It worries me to see that the country is seriously lagging in STEM education.

We are now #48 in quality of math and science education. No wonder the kids worry about the possibility of having to some mental math as a crisis.

STEM crisis.png

(Read more about The STEM crisis here)

I can’t even fathom how much worse it can get but given the recent political climate, I can’t imagine what will happen to this country after November because Mr. Trump getting elected is a real possibility (yes, another article) but I must say that his supporters are very passionate and we need similar passion to defeat the possibility of this country becoming a real dump and then being studied in business schools across the world as a case study (The Rise and Fall of an Country within a century)


We gotta do something. Let’s start with educating our kids and taking the fear of math out.

Published by

Lovekesh Babbar

Speaker on topics related to data, analytics and digital transformation