“Can you name me a mathematician?” “Einstein??”
“Do you wish to become a mathematician one day?”
If these questions were asked to the public or any school students, the most likely answer to both questions might be a big ‘No!’. Why is this so?
The director of the Public Understanding of Mathematics Forum, Gene Kloz (1996) claims that the mathematics profession is the most misunderstood in all of academia. According to him, the public thinks that mathematicians contemplate ancient proofs and work as lonely recluses. Moreover, the most common public image of a mathematician has been furnished by a physicist (example, Einstein) rather than a mathematician. Why is there such a lack of appreciation of mathematicians' work by the public?
Sam, Lim Chap
"A study on Malaysian Mathematicians’ Way of Knowing,"
The Mathematics Enthusiast: Vol. 11
, Article 9.
Available at: http://scholarworks.umt.edu/tme/vol11/iss3/9