Fri, Sep 07, 2018 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTERS ]

Predator-prey mathematics studies the relationship between populations of predators like wolves and prey like moose, or lynx and rabbits. It has important applications to population studies and causation generally, and to such things as disease control.

Too seldom do we see mathematics research reported in a newspaper. The importance of mathematics to modern society is far greater than the space given to it in popular media.

Wu and Chung exhibit real understanding of the mathematics they write about. They go beyond merely saying that the study was written and published. They actually discuss the paper using mathematical terms and concepts.

Many editors might squelch such a story, fearing that it would not appeal to or be understood by their readers. This would not further public education.

The newspaper’s editors did the right thing by publishing the story, math discussion and all.

I was very pleased to be able to show the story to my young sons and read it with them. It was an opportunity to explain some math as discussed by Wu and Chung, and to illustrate the importance of studying mathematics.

The story also provides secondary-school math classes something to build on by accessing the original research. I hope they will. They can test their English as well as their math.

Taiwan has an international reputation for math education. Articles like this one give us hope that the good reputation will be deserved.

Robert Dildine

Yilan County

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