Mathematics learned in China may be most difficult in world. Chinese elementary school students can repeat multiplication and division tables from second grade, while foreign children can only use addition to calculate multiplication in junior high school. Indeed, nine-nine multiplication table has increased effectiveness of study of mathematics by Chinese. Chinese students often receive awards in world for their outstanding mathematical ability.
You can't learn much from this math though. Now Chinese elementary school students have already begun to study geometry, as Euclid and others did in ancient times. At school stage, I already began to study trigonometric functions and simple calculus. Is this to catch up with Leibniz and Newton? When I entered university, I directly studied higher mathematics, that is, calculus.
I would like to ask what is use of learning mathematics by ordinary people. Most college students study math just to avoid blockages in their subjects. Of course, for specialties that require advanced mathematics, such as physics, economics, etc., study of calculus is mandatory. But why do you study calculus in history, literature, political science, visual arts, etc.? Could it be that, for purpose of training our thinking faculties, I can only say that most calculus students come in with a stunned face and leave with a stunned face.
Why is mathematics a required course in colleges and universities? This question should start with Newton. In 1669, Newton received title of professor of mathematics at University of Cambridge. The school was low on funds at time, and most of Newton's faculty and staff, including Newton, were several months in arrears. To solve this problem, Newton devoted himself to research and created calculus, and made a new subject called "Higher Mathematics" a compulsory course for whole school. Teacher salaries soon fell.
After creation of universities in our country, on one hand, Western model was fully introduced, on other hand, in past, emphasis was placed on engineering, and mathematics was also needed. So in China, higher mathematics became a compulsory course. However, times have changed, and I think that higher mathematics is no longer a required course, but should become a required course for engineers.
In addition to universities, mathematics education in secondary schools should also be moderately regulated. There is no need for students to learn such rare mathematics too early, no need. Is math designed to test people? Shen Congwen's math grade is only 0, and Qian Zhongshu's math grade is only 15. If this is changed to modern times, they will honestly go to work in Guangdong after college entrance examination.
Ordinary people only need math to learn basic operations. Of course, high school math can teach students some geometric operations and other slightly advanced knowledge, but there is really no need to construct conic sections for students to learn. If you want to train your thinking, lots of equations and geometry are enough. If it's too hard, it's not thinking training. It's hard for the sake of complexity.