The New York Times

Does Math Make You Smarter?


Does studying mathematics enhance your overall mental prowess?

Abraham Lincoln certainly believed so, embarking on the arduous task of mastering Euclid’s treatises on geometry to increase his cognitive capacities, in particular his linguistic and logical abilities. This idea — that mathematics strengthens your mind much as physical exercise strengthens your body, helping you negotiate a variety of mental challenges — goes all the way back to Plato. Alive and well in today’s world, it is one reason popularly given for why everyone should study mathematics.

So it can come as

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