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Post Reply Math you don't need.
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22 / M / New York
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Posted 8/24/15 , edited 8/24/15
What do you think of the "mathematics you do not need"? I'm talking high-school and college math courses. The "regular" courses of math.

You do need to know basic math, and accounting & finances to make it in the future, but why are some people required to know the most insane things; as they'll never imply it into their lives afterward?
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M / Unova Region
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Posted 8/24/15
Definitely agreed. It will apply to some people, but the majority I highly doubt it will. In my case, in music you don't need algebra, geometry, or calculus to figure it out (music is a completely different type of math in general).
Posted 8/24/15
Probably anything beyond basic math
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22 / M / New York
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Posted 8/24/15
Math is what is holding me back. And get this... because my math wasn't so hot in high-school, I had to take 2 whole courses in my college right now that counted for no credits.

All because I'm not good at math, they hound even more on me.
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Posted 8/24/15 , edited 10/3/15
The purpose of general education is to make everyone as close to the "ideal" member of society as possible, in terms of a baseline of knowledge. It would be beneficial for our society as a whole if we were better at math, because it would make us more competitive in the world for science and computers.

There's also a component of promulgating human achievements in the area of mathematics as a part of our history. A general understanding of artistic principles, language, physicality, science and mathematics. Math isn't fun for most people but it's an important part of what built our current society.

Why did I learn finger painting and watercolor when I don't use that in my everyday life? The point (aside from keeping children busy) is to introduce concepts of color and train kids in different ways to be creative. Math is taught as a baseline attempt to teach you how to think systematically about a problem, apply known rules of the world, and prepare you to do a variety of things.

Can math education be boring as heck and not directly useful in a given form? Definitely. For any given individual, math might not be a great choice at all. But it does make sense for a certain level of mathematics to be a baseline expectation -- it's a matter of opinion where to draw the line.

Math was never my strongest area but I certainly use the concepts in computer coding and critical thinking.
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Posted 8/24/15 , edited 8/24/15
And if you struggle too hard against learning it because you "don't need it," that's an early taste of what it's like to get old and not want to learn new technologies. Scary if put that way, huh?

We "don't need" most video game rules or the backgrounds of comic book superheros either but that doesn't stop us from learning it :)

Try to focus more on either that it's required and so you will do it, or ideally find ways this stuff could be useful, even if not in your expected career path. Dwelling on how something is useless and boring is a surefire way to prevent easy absorption and keep yourself stuck in math class.
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22 / M / New York
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Posted 8/24/15 , edited 8/27/15

marklebid wrote:

And if you struggle too hard against learning it because you "don't need it," that's an early taste of what it's like to get old and not want to learn new technologies. Scary if put that way, huh?

Try to focus more on either that it's required and so you will do it, or ideally find ways this stuff could be useful, even if not in your expected career path. Dwelling on how something is useless and boring is a surefire way to prevent easy absorption and keep yourself stuck in math class.




This right here, is that stuff I'm talking about, (for example). I do NOT need this stuff for my path of life.

Ultimately, it should be a decision to your own self if you want to go on in mathematics. My father has a degree in advanced engineering, and if I came to him today with something like this he wouldn't even know where to begin.
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24 / M / St.Louis - USA
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Posted 8/24/15

DrOshawott wrote:

Definitely agreed. It will apply to some people, but the majority I highly doubt it will. In my case, in music you don't need algebra, geometry, or calculus to figure it out (music is a completely different type of math in general).


The funny thing is in college, my friend and I took a Mathematics of Music class (don't really remember the exact name). But it was basically just a Physics class.

At the OP, as a Mathematician, I can understand your pain; I had to help all the CS majors who were failing Calc I and Calc II.
As for why they make you take math classes, I think colleges want people to have a basic knowledge of all subjects (I took several Music classes for my Arts hours even though I am a Math major and I had to take 8 hours of Foreign Languages).
And the level of Math you go up to just depends on your major.

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27 / M / Louisville, KY
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Posted 8/24/15
I know for my major math that I have taken Calculus 1, 2, 3, Differential Equations, and Linear Algebra is needed, but for me in particular I have never done anything even touching Calculus 1 so I feel all those semesters have been a waste. My major is more about critical thinking rather than applying mathematical concepts. Higher level math only seems to come into play in theory and if you plan on going into computer security such as difficult algorithm development or crypto-systems such as DES, AES, SHA, etc. I personally don't plan on diving that deep into my major. Maybe in the future, but currently, yes I feel like for sure Calculus 1, 2, 3, Differential Equations, and Linear Algebra should not be required to become a computer science major. The worst we get into is probabilities and statistics and algorithm efficiency or logic design that uses some more concepts, but they all can be learned without taking all those calculus classes. Discrete Mathematics for example is useful for computer science. Things such as combinations, permutations, order, logic, etc. As far as needing to know how to do derivatives and integrals, not so much useful in the everyday life of a programmer. Sure, some fields of computer science dive into that stuff, but it's not at all common.
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Posted 8/24/15 , edited 8/24/15
Anything after geometry has been pretty useless so far. And geo isn't that frequently used in the first place.

I get making people "well-rounded" but there has to be an eye that is aware people won't remember any of it and it's ultimately a waste of time. I think this sort of education is fine up until high school, but college should be much more specialized. We wouldn't even really need any masters/graduate programs if college degrees were highly specialized and focused on getting people to work effectively. Then, college might be worth the cost more frequently.

Why would I need Calculus for a medical program? Why do English majors need to take Theater? Why do I need Art History if I'm doing Philosophy? I don't really get it. I think the only required course across all majors should be English.
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24 / M / St.Louis - USA
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Posted 8/24/15

tf2pyros wrote:





This right here, is that stuff I'm talking about, (for example). I do NOT need this stuff for my path of life.

Ultimately, it should be a decision to your own self if you want to go on in mathematics. My father has a degree in advanced engineering, and if I came to him today with something like this he wouldn't even know where to begin.


I hated my Partial Differential Equations teacher, quit bringing back bad memories.

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Posted 8/24/15
You need geometry for basic carpentry and home projects -_-.

Algebra you actually use a lot irl. This surprised me a lot actually :D. Sometimes I have to use trig and alg 2 for a few things too!

I'm not sure you'd need to take the derivative of anything unless you're trying to find the slope of your finances charts, so you can see any trends. I mean, so let's say you're trying to be savvy and list all your personal expenses over the course of X months and you want to see if there's a trend in their increase/decrease or if they're just random--you'd be using calc.
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24 / M / Tokyo, Japan
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Posted 8/24/15
its just logic training. for example, you don't need to know how to integrate everything by hand, and most integrals cant even be solved analytically anyway, but the logic and ideas behind the concept of "integration" are important if you intend on going into a science of some kind. computers can solve basically any math problem in a fraction of a second, but thats useless if you don't know how or when to use the tools available to you.

in this day and age, every skill is essentially a skill you don't need. this isnt the dark ages where information was controlled by a small, elite group of academics. the only important skill now is the ability to use google search
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20 / M / CA
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Posted 8/24/15 , edited 8/24/15
Math Huh, I am actually starting with Basic Math in my first year of college, hopefully it won't get too complicated as I get into the higher levels
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Posted 8/24/15

Khaltazar wrote:
I feel like for sure ... Linear Algebra should not be required to become a computer science major.


Linear Algebra is used in computer games. How do you rotate an object? How do you make things move? It all comes down to Matrix transformations. Linear Algebra is also used in designing Artificial Intelligence (along with statistics), and an important mathematical tool in
the area of computer security. Linear Algebra makes it easier to solve certain problems, and the problem is more intuitive.
Linear Algebra is also used extensively in engineering, when solving systems of equations, and also has important applications in game theory.
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