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  Mathematics is commonly defined as the study of patterns of structure, change, and space; more informally, one might say it is the study of 'figures and numbers'. 
  The specific structures that are investigated by mathematicians often have their origin in the natural sciences, most commonly in physics, but mathematicians also define and investigate structures for reasons purely internal to mathematics, because the structures may provide, for instance, a unifying generalization for several subfields, or a helpful tool for common calculations. 
  An important field in applied mathematics is statistics, which uses probability theory as a tool and allows the description, analysis and prediction of phenomena and is used in all sciences. 
 wikiwhat.com /encyclopedia/m/ma/mathematics.html (1186 words) 
