I often wonder what the purpose is of mathematics. I'm not talking about simple numeracy or arithmetic, I'm talking about higher maths. Even the great English mathematician, GH Hardy, accepted that higher maths was without practical application. He said: "I have never done anything 'useful'. No discovery of mine has made, or is likely to make, directly or indirectly, for good or ill, the least difference to the amenity of the world." So what is the point? Schools and educationalists in the UK seem to be obsessed with maths. I have two theories, one frivolous and one more serious. 1. People have to learn mathematics so that some of them can become maths teachers. 2. Maths is easy to mark and measure. Subjects like English and History are much more difficult to assess and it is much harder to be objective. Put simply, maths makes life easier for bureaucrats.