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Post Reply Math you don't need.
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27 / M
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Posted 8/25/15
This topic appears to be about hating on math. Might as well complain that you shouldn't have to learn anything if all you're aspiring to be is a bum.

Knowledge is what gives you opportunities to succeed, and even the most outlandish knowledge can be useful for any field. As I am a computer scientist, my favorite examples are heuristic algorithms, used to compute estimates for the answers to intractable problems. There is one based on the process of annealing metals. There is another that is based on the behaviors of marching ants, as well as a third based on the theory of evolution.

Should I feel slighted that my school decided it would be more useful to learn about Catcher in the Rye than about metalworking? I think I'd rather try to apply the knowledge that they did teach me. Maybe I'll come up with a neat idea.
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Posted 8/25/15

staphen wrote:

This topic appears to be about hating on math. Might as well complain that you shouldn't have to learn anything if all you're aspiring to be is a bum.

Knowledge is what gives you opportunities to succeed, and even the most outlandish knowledge can be useful for any field. As I am a computer scientist, my favorite examples are heuristic algorithms, used to compute estimates for the answers to intractable problems. There is one based on the process of annealing metals. There is another that is based on the behaviors of marching ants, as well as a third based on the theory of evolution.

Should I feel slighted that my school decided it would be more useful to learn about Catcher in the Rye than about metalworking? I think I'd rather try to apply the knowledge that they did teach me. Maybe I'll come up with a neat idea.


you could design a finite automaton that simulates the decisions that the main character had to make in the novel :p

w/o math we wouldn't have many of the things we take for granted today, such as secure connection to banks, or even having a computer, which is just a Turing machine. in addition, we probably would have less than optimal solution to many real life problems (such as finding the shortest route to a shop, for example). speaking of "probably", we;d have no way of gauging our odds in winning any type of bets (or anything that would involve probability for that matter)
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Posted 8/25/15
How to teach students to be bad at Mathematics:

1. Make grade school students memorize arithmetic tables.
2. Tell students that Step 1 is called "math."
3. Wonder why students think real mathematics is boring when they study it for the first time in high school.

Seriously, there's a difference between arithmetic and math. They are separate things. The first is boring stuff you can do on a four-function calculator. The second is logic. That's all it is. Logic that can use arithmetic as a tool. That seems like it would be useful for anything that requires thinking.

But arithmetic on it's own is damn boring, so when every grade school kid learns that arithmetic is "math," then all but the weird kids on the fringe of society (like me) soon decide that mathematics is not "their thing." I firmly believe that there is no such thing as someone who is truly "not a math person." Sure, people can differ in their intelligence and be better at some things than others, but a "not math person" is someone who decided not to try as hard in math class. Which I can hardly blame anyone for, since grade school teaches us all to hate math and is mostly successful. But learning and applying the logical rules of math is no harder than learning the logic of English and applying it to this paragraph. Different rules, sure, but no harder. Most people just get less practice at the former.
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25 / F / Satellite Beach, FL
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Posted 8/25/15
When I first saw this I thought this thread was called "meth you don't need"
I had to do a double take and I'm kinda disappointed that I didn't see correctly the first time.
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Posted 8/27/15 , edited 8/27/15
Math goes far beyond numbers and calculations, the mathematical techniques are what is really important. As an example, in calculus you are taught to make something called proofs (prove that formulas are correct). This is an example of something that is not related to math at all, but is a huge part of math. Just think of the people who invented math formulas and how they had to use this technique for every theorem they ever created. As a result of their work we no longer need to actually use proofs, its just something taught so that students can carry on that ability to further advance math.

I get what you mean but I have a different way of phrasing it; I personally will never use tons of advanced math lessons in my lifetime. That doesn't mean that they will never be useful though. In calculus you also end up using long division in an advanced way; on polynomials. That's another example of the importance of math techniques. I'd go on but I'm sure no one would read it
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Posted 8/27/15

tf2pyros wrote:


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.




In response to those formulas posted

The first integration there is an important identity used in the field of Statistics all the time, it's part of the normal distribution. If there was no way to verify that identity, then there would be no field of statistics, no reliable medical testing, or quality control. So its pretty important to know about, even for a first timer in a calculus course, because eventually one or two of those students might want to pursue an advanced degree in math or statistics.

I'm not sure about the second formula without knowing the context.

The third is obviously the Pythagorean formula. Again pretty fundamental in determining roots for quadratic equations, which show up all the time in physics, such as knowing the distance a race car has traveled when it is in a state of acceleration, or calculating lengths of a building with an arch for instance.
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Posted 8/27/15

ranran-001 wrote:




In response to those formulas posted

The first integration there is an important identity used in the field of Statistics all the time, it's part of the normal distribution. If there was no way to verify that identity, then there would be no field of statistics, no reliable medical testing, or quality control. So its pretty important to know about, even for a first timer in a calculus course, because eventually one or two of those students might want to pursue an advanced degree in math or statistics.

I'm not sure about the second formula without knowing the context.

The third is obviously the Pythagorean formula. Again pretty fundamental in determining roots for quadratic equations, which show up all the time in physics, such as knowing the distance a race car has traveled when it is in a state of acceleration, or calculating lengths of a building with an arch for instance.


The second formula appears to be a general form for the sum of the Fourier sine series and the Fourier cosine series. The applications for Fourier analysis are practically endless. For one thing, it forms the basis for both video and audio compression. Without that, there could be no Crunchyroll! :O
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16 / F / Always my room
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Posted 8/27/15
I know for certain I won't go into a career involving math so basic math is enough for me
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23 / F / Canada
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Posted 8/27/15
I need to know both linear algebra and calculus for my machine learning course.
So far I do use all the math that I've ever learned on a daily basis.
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Posted 8/27/15

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).


You'd probably need calculus to study sound waves. But in general "the arts" don't require much math compared to most other industries.
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Posted 8/27/15 , edited 8/27/15

tf2pyros wrote:

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.


I'm in the same situation 5 years older than you. I need to re-take math 85, and pass 95 to get into college credit courses. Not a big deal, you have nothing but time in life.




feynmanszombie wrote:

How to teach students to be bad at Mathematics:

1. Make grade school students memorize arithmetic tables.
2. Tell students that Step 1 is called "math."
3. Wonder why students think real mathematics is boring when they study it for the first time in high school.

Seriously, there's a difference between arithmetic and math. They are separate things. The first is boring stuff you can do on a four-function calculator. The second is logic. That's all it is. Logic that can use arithmetic as a tool. That seems like it would be useful for anything that requires thinking.

But arithmetic on it's own is damn boring, so when every grade school kid learns that arithmetic is "math," then all but the weird kids on the fringe of society (like me) soon decide that mathematics is not "their thing."


I'll never understand why teachers never taught students to break up math into the four majors disciplines. Quantity (Arithmetic), Structure (Algebra), Space (Geometry), Change (Calculus).

Things could have been so much different if students had a good grasp of of the basic foundation of mathematics from the get go.
Posted 8/27/15
How else are we gonna make life more convenient without math?
Sogno- 
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Posted 8/27/15
no
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25 / F / Satellite Beach, FL
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Posted 8/27/15 , edited 8/27/15
Dude. Even engineering students take math they don't need. It sucks. It's good to understand where things come from, but it becomes overkill for the most part. We need comment sense courses that actually help you. Like adulting 101 where you learn taxes, home/car repair, financing, and other things of that nature.
Literally, when you get into the workforce, your employer will laugh at you if you do things the long way instead of using a fact sheet where everything has already been calculated for you.
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25 / F / Satellite Beach, FL
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Posted 8/27/15

ranran-001 wrote:


tf2pyros wrote:


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.




In response to those formulas posted

The first integration there is an important identity used in the field of Statistics all the time, it's part of the normal distribution. If there was no way to verify that identity, then there would be no field of statistics, no reliable medical testing, or quality control. So its pretty important to know about, even for a first timer in a calculus course, because eventually one or two of those students might want to pursue an advanced degree in math or statistics.

I'm not sure about the second formula without knowing the context.

The third is obviously the Pythagorean formula. Again pretty fundamental in determining roots for quadratic equations, which show up all the time in physics, such as knowing the distance a race car has traveled when it is in a state of acceleration, or calculating lengths of a building with an arch for instance.


As it is important to know where these come from and how to calculate them, I think we spend too much time trying to trick students. We have programs that calculate these for you in a few seconds. Why not spend some time doing simple problems to understand how the formula works and then spend the rest of the time learning how to use the various tools that will solve them for you. By doing this, we can have students be more comfortable using their devices and be able to debug a possible wrong output from that device. That way they'll be more prepared to get out into the real world.
Posted 10/3/15
I need all maths. Gosh I love maths!
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