To the editor of THE EAGLE:

I enjoyed reading the Feb. 20 editorial page commentary by Esther Cepeda, "Yes, math matters." It is so true that math is a necessary skill used throughout our lives in numerous ways, and "math is not just math." Math teaches us logic, critical thinking and problem-solving. Math also boosts our self-confidence along with other benefits.

Here is an example from the GED study guide: If 9X=44 - 2X, what number is X? I tried asking several friends who all had different responses. Try it! The answer took some a few minutes without paper, others were too frustrated upon seeing "math" and gave up. This problem can be solved with logic and one’s attention.

I would like to draw attention to the "STEM" craze. The abbreviation is new, but Science, Technology, Engineering and Math was preceded by the slide rule generation. That was a time when complex mathematical problems could be solved by sliding "rulers" with lines and numbers back and forth and didn’t require electricity and were
inexpensive.

The article about Nuclea Biotechnology that ran on the same day confirms the value of STEM. Hopefully, the company will locate in Pittsfield and create the 17 to 20 positions that CEO Pat Muraca spoke of. Do we need math to calculate the impact these jobs will have on the Berkshires?

I am the scientist who tried to avoid math, but it’s impossible. My slide rule predated calculators and computers, it was necessary and still exists in the leather case on a special shelf. We all need to remember that math is essential in our lives and can be fun as the "Count" showed on "Sesame Street." My thanks to Esther Cepeda for her commentary.

BETSEY HALLIHAN

Ashley Falls