Some nouns have a plural form but a singular meaning. Two examples are news and mathematics.
News takes a singular verb.
- The news is better today.
- What is the news today?
Mathematics can take both a singular and a plural verb. Use a singular verb if you are talking about the subject.
- Mathematics is taught at the university.
Use a plural verb if you are talking about a specific use.
- His mathematics results were below average.
The short form of mathematics is maths. It follows the same rule.
- Maths is taught at the university.
- His maths results were below average.