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Post Reply Math you don't need.
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Posted 8/24/15

ChinaCat89 wrote:

Math is very important no no doubt, but I feel like much of my time in high school was wasted learning certain types of math that I will never use. I feel like that time could have been better spent teaching us basic life skills that we need for adult life. Oddly enough I found "Logic and Set Theory" to be interesting to me, and I had an easier time learning it than the other types of math I was taught.


and they are probably more readily applicable for a high-schooler as well :p
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Posted 8/24/15
The more difficult the math course is, the less you'll actually use the formulas later on honestly. I'm working on my BSME and aside from some basic calculations most of the math that we learned is only to help understand different principal engineering concepts and figure out how different things are related and such. I mean its an invaluable tool, but if i ever need a formula i can just look it up
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51 / M / Inside the Anime...
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Posted 8/24/15

tf2pyros wrote:

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?


I have to use multi variable calculus to find subtransient reactance from time to time. But then again I'm a scientist/ engineer
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Posted 8/24/15

Khaltazar wrote:


namealreadytaken wrote:


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.


I know it has it's purposes, but not everyone wants to get into fields like game programming or theory, etc.


If you want to understand politics (elections and congress voting on bills) you need to know the basics of game theory. Maybe not a full course, but a couple hour coverage is pretty useful. I live in a democracy that has a lot of problems that are easily understood with game theory. If everyone knew game theory, we would probably fix congress already.

A basic grasp of the concepts of linear algebra is great for reasoning about, and explaining common things. Spaces (a nice explanation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6iqI2GIllI&feature=youtu.be) for example are a great concept for reasoning about just about any collection of things with properties, or sets of choices. Orthogonality ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthogonality#Statistics.2C_econometrics.2C_and_economics ) is another fantastic tool for tool for reasoning. Again, you only really need the concept which should take more than an hour and it can change how you thing about things for the rest of your life. I think of most things in these terms: knowing them really changed my life in ways that were not obvious for years. (On the topic of fixing congress, we need some organizational of legislation on unrelated parts of the issues space to reduce the scope of problems like brinkmanship that are easily explained by game theory. See, applicable!)

The subset of calculus thats really useful to just about everyone can also be covered in probably 10 minutes or less if done well (I explained calculus to someone about to drop out of highschool just fine in a couple minutes: he found it a neat and simple concept), but likely a bit more for it to really stick. All calculus is is working with rates of change. Lots of things change with respect to other things (such as world population, or the number of manga champers published changing over time). The concept of derivatives and integrals are trivial and useful: its only computing them that's hard and there is software to do that for you (but you won't need to compute them anyway usally). (And congress should pass their darn spending laws as rates instead of yearly budgets. That would fix the whole shutdown nonsense and be easier to reason about)

If you have a decent intuition for calculus, you know what it means to get a 5% return per pear on your investment, or that a city is growing 10% per year. For that last one, you know that the city is screwed and its gonna end up a logistic curve or something like it, and you can ponder whats going to cause that... The same thing (and understanding of exponential growth, which falls easily of of calculus) provides great intuition into spread of disease, spread of popular memes and videos, and the increasing power of computers (and now long and if that can continue). (Oh, and it would help you understand the relationships between inflation, saving, and dept easier, including that pesky federal dept)

The first things you learn in statistics about correlation and causality and various types of errors provide a great understanding on on the misleading studies published all the time. Sampling bias and multiple testing issues are probably the most important. Personally (since i'm a bit crazy) I find knowing the central limit theorem super useful for any time you know something about some subset of a group, and are interested in how much more information you need to make accurate inference: I watch 3 random shonen shows. If I want to estimate how good the genera is with double the confidence I need to watch 6 more (double the accuracy requires the square of the sample size approximately assuming some details I'll omit, but given that actual content there, assuming an approximately normal distribution is bullshit for that one).


TLDR: I really think most people should spend a few days learning about higher mathematics. The available classes generally suck at this and make you do a ton of useless work to get that little bit of great understanding. The internet is full of great resources though: remember you don't need to be able to do the math, instead you need to be able to apply the concepts to your reasoning. And as a bonus, knowing what those concepts are called enables you to explain things easily in those terms, and lets you look up properties that apply when you need them.
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Posted 8/24/15

lambofgenesis wrote:

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.


Shhhh, stop providing actual uses for higher level math, I really want it to just disappear;-;
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Posted 8/24/15
I find mathematics, as a whole, to be very useful. However, the usefulness of mathematics is derived from its ability to model situations; the mathematics best optimized for modeling (which I'd argue are differential equations and linear algebra) are typically not seen unless you complete a STEM degree at the college level. Inferential statistics is pretty grand too.

If you don't make it that far, though, it's difficult to discern the usefulness of mathematics because there quite frankly isn't none. That isn't to say arithmetic and elementary algebra are useless; but for the most part, they serve as nothing more than building blocks to constructing useful models. The best analogy I can make is learning arithmetic and elementary algebra but nothing higher is akin to learning grammar but not how to write sentences or essays.
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Posted 8/25/15 , edited 8/25/15
I've been known to make liberal usage of higher mathematics while building RPG characters.

There are plenty of places to use the math, you just need to know how to apply it. I agree with Zoraprime: most people won't know how to apply higher mathematics unless they have a degree in a related field.
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Posted 8/25/15
I resent my school's computer science curriculum being too nice to people who don't like math. As far as I am concerned, computer science is a branch of mathematics. I wish I had stayed a pure math major and studied programming in my spare time.

As far as applying math: Suppose you have someone you are attracted to in your car next to you, and you are driving. You want that person to feel safe in the car with you. How should you handle the brake? You might say that you should avoid pressing the brake down too far too avoid too much deceleration (third derivative of position). Actually, what's more important is that the passenger is eased into the deceleration. You want to minimize jerk (fourth derivative of position), so you should ease into whatever pedal position is necessary. This might sound like "common sense," but it is rates of change, which is a big part of calculus.
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Posted 8/25/15

stefanday wrote:

I resent my school's computer science curriculum being too nice to people who don't like math. As far as I am concerned, computer science is a branch of mathematics. I wish I had stayed a pure math major and studied programming in my spare time.


I agree, computer science is a branch of mathematics.

<--- Has a degree in computer science.

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Posted 8/25/15
No Math is useless in my opinion. I really enjoyed it in school and if you want a really nice job, do Maths!

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It doesn't matter.
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Posted 8/25/15
algebra is the only math you need to get through life.
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Posted 8/25/15
I use math rarely, but then again I'm not a theoretical physicist either.
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Posted 8/25/15
I was bad at maths and I completely hated it.

I wouldn't say I'm good at it now nor do I completely love it now either.

But I have to admit that it's not useless.

Sure, I may never really use more than basic maths in my career.

But learning it is never a bad thing in my opinion. What's wrong with having a bigger body of knowledge?

I hate to admit this but in college, I learnt that maths was this whole other language used to describe alot of logical things such as computers and science of alot of things.
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Posted 8/25/15 , edited 8/25/15
It seems like a lot of good answers have been provided at this point. I'm curious whether you agree or not. Also, look into neuroplasticity. Everything you do shapes your brain and how it works. Including math.
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Posted 8/25/15

pirththee wrote:

I use math rarely, but then again I'm not a theoretical physicist either.


Maths are important in gaming if you want to win at DPR/DPS

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