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> I don't find math to be "free and flexible," at least, not compared with prose.

Then you haven't done math to a sufficient level. Which most people don't if they aren't math majors.

I'm not talking about calculus or differential equations, etc. Even engineers and CS focuses too entirely on calculation (though CS has its own kind of proofs which are more what I'd call math). Besides mathematicians, only physicists occaisionally look at math this way.

At a certain point, math is about proofs which are a kind of rigorous prose. My math tests in upper level courses were done in essay blue books up to 10 pages of single space text, on one particularly long test.

There are multiple ways to prove a theorem. There are multiple ways to write a program. Some are shorter, some are longer. Some are more cryptic and hard to follow. Some rely on the work of others to outsource your own efforts. They are really quite similar except for math doesn't have a compiler (Coq and it's I'll excluded).

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