The Value of the Blooming One: The DONG-A ILBO



“People ask me why I spend so much time studying math and what can I do with it. But we are not asking why violets bloom in the fields on a spring day. It is not the concern of the violet as to why it blooms ”, -Oka Kiyoshi,“ Studies of a Mathematician. “

I remember the feeling when I looked up at the night sky and how I first felt against endless space. I was drawn to astronomy because of the awe and beauty of scintillating departures. But one of the most frequently asked questions of my colleagues and myself is “what can you do while studying astronomy?” “

Studying astronomy can seem romantic. What is the practical value of studying this field, one might ask? I found the answer to this question in Kiyoshi’s book “Studies of a Mathematician”. Regardless of the field of study, there are very few instances in academia where the practical value of a field is immediately evident. Even though violets don’t need a reason to be in order to bloom, most areas of academia have practical value in their real-life application than is known. This applies to the humanities, economic and social studies as well as engineering.

This is also true for astronomical studies. The charge coupled device (CCD) used by astronomical telescopes has been applied to digital cameras and cell phones, while radio astronomy observation technology has been adapted for medical imaging such as MRI or computed tomography. Astronomy, along with medical science, is one of the oldest fields of study of mankind, was crucial for maritime and agricultural navigation. With satellite navigation and astronomical observation, we can provide more accurate time and location services than ever before. Even Wi-Fi was invented by analyzing radio observation signals from black holes. Therefore, the “value of one who blooms” is more than it appears to be.


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