Many questions related to math studies were raised during Admission Counseling Day. Will knowledge about integrals, derivatives, trigonometric equations and logarithms be useful in people’s future lives and work?

The role of math study has been a topic of discussion for many years. The question was raised once again by a parent in Hanoi to specialists on a counseling and career guidance board at the event: “I wonder if anyone here is using this knowledge in his work?”

In reply, Associate Prof Dr Nguyen Phong Dien, deputy director of Hanoi University of Science and Technology, said the school is teaching algebraic calculus and general physics with the toughest curriculum in Vietnam. However, the level of difficulty is lower than that applied at French and German polytechnic universities.

“I work in the field of mechatronics on controlling robots and mechanical systems, and math knowledge is used every day. Of course, for us, it's not about solving equations on paper but about programming,” he said.

Without going through the parts of solving problems related to integrals, differentials and differential equations, it is difficult to achieve a high level of thinking in general, especially in the field of research and development.

"All engineering systems are now described under the form of differential equations. Thus, for in-depth researchers, with international publications or innovative solutions, mathematics is certainly the foundation," said Dien.

According to Dien, universities still rely on thinking assessment of which mathematics is a part.

Nguyen Thi Cuc Phuong, Vice Rector of the Hanoi University, said the school was initially established as a school of foreign languages. It enrolls students in 10 different foreign languages and other majors taught in English, including ones related to economics and IT. 

However, students still have to study mathematics because this is the foundation that assesses students’ thinking capability.

Dr Nguyen Dao Tung, chairman of the Finance Academy, affirmed that for economics schools, mathematics is a foundation and it is used regularly.

Nguyen Phu Khanh, Vice Rector of Phenikaa University, also said that mathematics is an important learning subject.

“We always complain that mathematics curriculums are too heavy. But in fact, there is still a big difference between our mathematics and French or German mathematics,” Khanh said.

However, he said that not everyone needs to study mathematics and follow such heavy mathematics curriculums. 

Thanh Hung