Australia is losing its mathematical skills as school courses are hijacked by fads and divorced from modern mathematics as practised in industry and business.
At a time when economic growth is underpinned by jobs in maths-related fields, the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute says the teaching and learning of maths in schools and universities is in serious trouble and suffering from a lack of input from mathematicians.
Not only is the number of students taking maths continually falling, especially at an advanced level, but even students studying related fields such as engineering and science are taking fewer maths courses.
A PhD in arts, who also did her undergrad in maths, was complaining over maths PhD students having all their own offices and computers while arts PhD students rarely had their own office. I felt obliged to inform her that the country is not in a severe shortage of pretentious arts students and their ability to spell and rant about our depressing "post-Fordist" society. But meh.