Code is The Gateway to Math

We don't value math

Bob Moses in his book Radical Equations discusses the relation between learning algebra, and civil rights. He notes that not learning math has become a social norm. It's normal to not understand algebra and our society devalues knowledge in math despite the rapidly growing demand for technical workers. I don't think that the social structures we have created will be dismantled easily, as they are self-perpetuating, with parents validating their children's difficulties in mathematics, while encouraging their struggles with literature and the humanities.

Math is opaque; Code is transparent

Code can change that

I suggest that we cannot change the perceptions of math, but we can introduce new ideas about an mostly untapped field of education: computer science. The pre-college system for teaching children about how computers work is underdeveloped, and many schools have no instruction offered altogether. I believe that the ability to create, combined with the extreme accessibility of programming can mitigate our society's hostility towards math.

Students who learn to program are given the tools to understand math in an applied context, and it's instantly clear what this can do for them in the future. Math is opaque; code is transparent. There are years in the traditional mathematics curriculum where the idea of application is non-existent; however, in code, day one is applied. Students start by learning how to use the tools they are given, then move into the theoretical, not the other way around.

There is still a social stigma around computers and programming; however, the rise of the coding youth can be driven from the bottom up. When kids are exposed to programming, they are more likely to be driven to learn it of their own volition than mathematics due to the transparency.

The future

We can create a mathematical youth with the skills needed for technical jobs; not through math classes, but by starting with the technology they already love.