GOwithCO332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (6 years 5 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4793 times:

Now, I have exhausted this subject for many hours as it can get me going loco. but I do not get the purpose of studying math subjects like Calculus, Geometry and algebra two and trigonometry. In my view, there are two worlds of numbers, them used in the math world and the real world. I have to explain first that I do not do so well in math and I really don't like it. I always did not get it and it really has done nothing for my life. I think people confuse numbers with math too often. I use numbers all of the time. Everything costs a price in numbers. A lot of my interests involve numbers and percents and yes, knowing addition, subtraction, multiplication and division are imperative for functioning at the basic level. But, these maths that just teach formulas and concepts that although difficult, don't really make you think, seem stupid to force upon students in schools.

Where does math apply in life? You can't ever discuss any of it and there is no thinking or pondering to be done. It is very thick and I love to learn about things like the purchasing power parity, but I don't see math in that. I can figure that out without knowing math as it is not really math. What is the point of teaching something that just goes nowhere and doesn't really make us more well-rounded people? I have had internships for architecture firms in the past, and by no means does anything I have learned in geometry correspond or correlate to architecture. I have never had to use my mind in math, it is just memorization that goes no where.

I just really hated having these confusing math problems that looked like Egyptian hieroglyphics and it just was a bridge to nowhere, as Sarah might say, and I said thanks but no thanks. Do you find that these confusing classes of math taken in high school really reflect real life?

BristolFlyer From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 2314 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (6 years 5 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4779 times:

You had an internship at an architectural firm, and you didn't see math being used. Well I had a job sweeping a runway, and I still don't know how to fly a plane.

I'm pretty sure that architects use these math functions, it's just you didn't see them in use. I agree that not all of it is particularly relevant to every job, but it's as much about getting used to the learning process as about learning the math.

I run a sandblasting business and I do use some math for calculating areas to be worked on.

DukeofDashes From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (6 years 5 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4780 times:

There isn't much daily use practicality for the upper level math you're speaking of. I actually enjoy math and consider myself very number proficient. But even calculus didn't really make much sense to me.

But for those who are into it, and are interested in getting into an engineering type career should learn it.

The same argument could be used for philosophy, psycology, history, literature, and other upper level subjects. The entry level information will have much practicality in daily life, but the upper level info is really more for those who have an interest in it.

MD80fanatic From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 2785 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (6 years 5 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4767 times:

Quoting GOwithCO332 (Thread starter): Do you find that these confusing classes of math taken in high school really reflect real life?

Felt the same as you in high school, but had to change my mind when confronted with physics/computer science in college. Strangely....none of the math made sense in high school, but went together like fine music in college. I wouldn't sweat it....you'll do fine

FutureUALpilot From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2611 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (6 years 5 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4767 times:

Math is everywhere. I'm no good at it either, but its used in just about everything we see around us. Just because you may not use it yourself, doesn't mean it isn't there.

Now, that said, I hate just about any math that doesn't come from an airplane with a passion. I will never, EVER need to actively use calculus to find out where I should begin a descent to make a crossing restriction, or at what rate I should descend. I don't care what the equation of the line of my descent path is, nor do I care to know the derivative. As long as I can fly the airplane safely, I'm ok with it.

However, (IF) the airlines ever actively hire again and I am fortunate enough to get to plug info into the FMS, I bet there will have been calc used at some point to set that computer up and trig and geometry integrated in the design of the airplane, so, to make a short answer long...it is still being used.

I suppose, there are very few practical applications for it outside of engineering, and teaching the material itself to others. I'm sure people can come up with some uses, but they would be few and far between.

That being said, I, like you, find higher level math to be the work of the devil.

FriendlySkies From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 4124 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (6 years 5 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4757 times:

Do an internship in any sort of engineering role and tell me math is pointless.

GOwithCO332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (6 years 5 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4744 times:

Quoting FutureUALpilot (Reply 6): Math is everywhere. I'm no good at it either, but its used in just about everything we see around us. Just because you may not use it yourself, doesn't mean it isn't there.

Those are numbers. Math really is not all around us. Of course there are lines and shapes and you can make anything math, but the way math teaches the concept of a line is not what a line really is.

Higher level math is really pointless to study. If you have an interest in it, I would never argue that but I think it doesn't really make you a smarter person. Unfortunately, in all of high school, everything was just high level math and did not do me any good. I think that we should abolish this as there are very few professions where you need to use it and even so, I am sure it manifests itself in a different way.

Also, as somebody who can safely call himself an airline/airplane epicurean or freak in simpler terms, I have never seen math in the airline industry. Yes, when I wanted to see how many miles the average plane goes per minute, I did some division in my head, but nothing more. When I was training for my license, I had to know tons of numbers and concepts that used numbers, but never in a math way. The calculations I did prior to the flight were simpler multiplication and division done by a calculator. Yes, many things in aviation and flying in general use numbers, but not for math. Those numbers all mean things and correlate to something. That's why we have numbers. I just feel as though math starting from algebra is just some guy from Greece or Arabia wanting to over-think something and make a hobby out of it.

JakeOrion From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 1255 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (6 years 5 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4728 times:

It applies in all aspects of life. Of course, what they fail to mention is its overall application to a variety of careers. Engineering and sciences in most cases require extensive knowledge of math, while literature and history mostly just require basic math. What I never understood was if you were going to be a medieval historian, what does calculus and trigonometry have anything to do with the Dark Ages?

My firm belief is kindergarten through high school graduation should be learning basic math principles, grammar, country's history, etc. while also teaching the student about current events and learning to have an open mind, see what the opposing party has to say and come to a compromise, respect of others and so on. Advanced courses such as calculus and French literature for example, should be taught in college for that student to decide his/her future career.

Every problem has a simple solution; finding the simple solution is the difficult problem.

Mike89406 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1515 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (6 years 5 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4728 times:

Math is important to pilots at least when it comes to navigation figuring vectors and setting the FMC when you program your course for a destination along with various angles etc.. You also need to figure for performance when flying at various alttitudes and wind direction.

MD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14365 posts, RR: 62
Reply 13, posted (6 years 5 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4721 times:

Quoting BristolFlyer (Reply 1): I'm pretty sure that architects use these math functions, it's just you didn't see them in use. I agree that not all of it is particularly relevant to every job, but it's as much about getting used to the learning process as about learning the math.

I'm quite sure that the civil engineers and staticians working with the architects use higher mathematics like calculus or vector algebra every day in stress calculations etc..

Quoting GOwithCO332 (Reply 8): Higher level math is really pointless to study. If you have an interest in it, I would never argue that but I think it doesn't really make you a smarter person. Unfortunately, in all of high school, everything was just high level math and did not do me any good. I think that we should abolish this as there are very few professions where you need to use it and even so, I am sure it manifests itself in a different way.

Try to understand as simple concepts as Newtonian mechanics without calculus or vector algebra: Impossible.

As somebody who self-taught himself everything about vectors on flight simulator (at first), that really is not math. What you learn in geometry and Calculus is using powers and trying to explain things by creating confusing postulates that have to be explained. I have to say, most of the math people I know or people who did well in math, were not big thinkers. The more complex and astute people I know were not big into math.

I think numbers are extremely important in life as everything has been created by them. But, the math taught in high school is not reflective of these things. When you are thinking about improving fuel conservation, you are not thinking, well if the number is inside the parenthesis then I have to distribute the negative. I have been up all night thinking about the Spanish language but never have I once thought about any math. Where can you go with them!? What is there to think about?

MD80fanatic From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 2785 posts, RR: 9
Reply 15, posted (6 years 5 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4706 times:

Quoting N1120A (Reply 10): Those advanced math equations are what makes airplanes able to fly in the first place. Think about it.

Exactly.....math is everywhere. It takes advanced math to get your keystrokes to appear on my screen....and vice versa. It is not that the universe came to be because of math, but that math was invented to describe the universe. Up until now you have learned repeated boring formulas with no apparent purpose. The purpose of the madness is revealed in college...so stay tuned....

Mike89406 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1515 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (6 years 5 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4702 times:

I understand what your saying. For the common layman you may not use advanced math hardly. The fact remains that these Aviators do have to take advanced math in college to become a pilot how much they actually use it thats another story. Another example is if you are a fighter pilot and you want to vector with the nearest tanker you will probably learn or have to understand how it works in order to meet at the rendezvous point. Another application of Math people don't always think of is Statistics it's used more than you think in everyday life's statistics applications but not necessarily by you or me.

I heard it said once that if you understand and have a common knowledge of math applications you may be better at problem solving in life. Thats not to say that you need to use math to solve problems but the mere fact that you tackled various Math expands your minds thinking. Does that make you a smarter person than a average person or a genius? Of course not. However I understand that most of poeple like myself will data dump what we have learned over the coarse of a lifetime.

MD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14365 posts, RR: 62
Reply 17, posted (6 years 5 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4696 times:

Quoting GOwithCO332 (Reply 14): I think numbers are extremely important in life as everything has been created by them. But, the math taught in high school is not reflective of these things. When you are thinking about improving fuel conservation, you are not thinking, well if the number is inside the parenthesis then I have to distribute the negative. I have been up all night thinking about the Spanish language but never have I once thought about any math. Where can you go with them!? What is there to think about?

When I was in university studying physics, the calculus class started with the Peano axioms, and everything else was deducted from them, and each deduction had to be logically proven.

Assumption => proof => new assumption following out of the first one => proof => etc.

ScrubbsYWG From Canada, joined exactly 8 years ago today! , 1495 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (6 years 5 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4677 times:

this OP lives in a small world. I wonder if he realizes that maybe he doesn't quite 'see' it everyday, but a huge amount of everything you do every day has been helped with mathematics like geometry, algebra, and calculus. Do you realize that all formulae used to design the car you drove, design the electrical system that turns on your lights, design the lasers they used to scan your items at the grocery store have all used the formulae and concepts you dont see a need for? Maybe you personally don't use it, but that just means you don't understand the underpinnings of everything you use in daily life.

I work in engineering in the plastics industry. I DO use math every day. I may not solve differential equations(although i have friends that to solve DEs every day--ever thought how they figure out to how get the satellites up into the sky that allow us to watch tv?), but the formulae i use to design products that you have in your home all use calculus, algebra and geometry as a basis.

If you just take a calculus course, i can see how it is sometimes difficult to see the value of it. But, having gone through an engineering degree, a vast majority of engineering equations used in stress analysis, electricity, fluid mechanics, etc. are all based on the very math you think has no need. If you don't think the above topics are important in everyday life then you live a sheltered life and have not tried to learn how the world works, or at least you don't appreciate how the world was made.

MD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14365 posts, RR: 62
Reply 20, posted (6 years 5 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4670 times:

Quoting PlaneWasted (Reply 18): I use complex numbers every day in work (signal processing). Simple everyday things such as a cruise control in a car uses pretty advanced math.

Just work with some LCR circuits and you'll need complex numbers.

Oh trust me, I appreciate it. And, I think about many of the simple things of technology. I mean, I don't know how I am typing into this computer right now. I know a lot about how to work a computer but not how it was created. I just think that math is not important in high school. In France, you have a choice and one if math based when you get to high school. I am the type of person who would rather be in the business of scanners at supermarkets then know the mathematical equation. Also, it is not just like if you put a couple of equations together you get new technology.

There are a ton of people out there who use math and do things with it. But, I went to a private school and when you have nothing to apply it to while learning it, it becomes archaic. When you want to make the Iphone, you have an idea. When I am reading for English or discussing history in Euro, it is analyzing something and thinking about something. Math just seems like a very one-way way of thinking. All I am saying is, I don't think you can learn much about the world by studying math. I love demographics and I love to know about the demographics of countries. Some math comes in there with populations and percents, but those numbers mean something. The math learned in high school just comes out of the air.

TRVYYZ From Canada, joined Oct 2004, 1376 posts, RR: 9
Reply 22, posted (6 years 5 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4651 times:

Ya, Math is pointless to the one's who think it is.

I have had to apply almost all of the math I learnt including linear algebra, calculus, calculus of variations, statistics, trigonometry and complex numbers after my school days and I still use half of them atleast in my job.
A differntial equation is required to explain/model the dynamic behaviour of a sytem (if the OP can make sense of this sentence).

What you learn in High school is just a foundation so that when you go to university and take applied science or engg. you are ready for the tough time ahead

AirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 23, posted (6 years 5 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4635 times:

ScrubbsYWG From Canada, joined exactly 8 years ago today! , 1495 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (6 years 5 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4627 times:

I'm not quite sure where you are going with this. You ask if math is pointless, then you understand that it is used all the time, even if you don't use it personally. well, that doesn't really mean it is pointless does it?

you don't like math? fine. You don't understand math? fine. Math is all around us. music is math. people around you use math everyday to build and design the stuff you use everyday. You thought math was archaic and one way in high school. i was amazed with math in high school. i actually enjoyed my engineering math classes in university, and i relish the days at work when i have some sort of complex design that requires a lot of math to come up with something. Sometimes reading history is incredibly boring to me. What does the life of cavemen and their movement patterns mean to me? But yet i understand that some people find it incredibly interesting and i wouldnt start a thread saying 'anthropology is pointless'.

I think what you meant to say is math is pointless to your own personal path in life. And that is ok, even though i think you use more math that you think. Some people don't enjoy math and go a different route like sociology or religion.

This thread is just pointless though. Just because you chose a life where math is not at the forefront does not mean it is pointless. This is worse than some of the self gloss threads we see on here.

25 DocLightning
: In medicine, most math used is basic arithmetic and algebra. Until you need a machine like an MRI, CT, or PET scanner to work. And suddenly you need p

26 Bok269
: No, but a couple of ideas won't get you there either. As is math. Once you start applying math a great deal of analysis is involved. However, before

27 LTBEWR
: They need to teach more children about financial math so as teens and adults they can understand how to manange their personal and famliy finances. Kn

28 GOwithCO332
: You do bring up a point with good aspects, but what you are saying is just a tad naive. You are basically summing up a whole issue that is so ginormo

29 MD11Engineer
: Might be, but less and less people in Europe (and I assume in the US as well) are studying "hard" subjects like engineering, physics etc.. Most seem

30 Bok269
: Sure they do. But you can't produce them without understanding those complex equations. You also won't be able to understand how to make a profit wit

31 Vikkyvik
: Corrected slightly. Everywhere. Literally. They reflect life much better than elementary school math can. I'm sorry to tell you, but math really IS a

32 Bok269
: How carless of me. Thanks for the correction

33 ScrubbsYWG
: you mean a line really isn't the locus of all points equidistant from two fixed points? My grade 10 math teacher lied to me! what is your definition

34 MrChips
: Math, specifically calculus and statistics, is the foundation of nearly every decision made in business. I am a commercial pilot with a management rol

35 TRVYYZ
: Actually a line is the intersection of two planes

36 Tranceport
: I majored in mathematics in university, but I don't have the intellect to ever be a true mathematician. Many people don't realize the true nature of m

37 ScrubbsYWG
: oooh sneaky. I just remember the locus definition because my grade 10 teacher actually had us memorize math definitions for tests and i still remembe

38 StuckInCA
: Math is one of the few subjects that is absolutely NOT just memorization. If you choose a non-technical career and don't care to try to understand ho

39 HB-IWC
: Exactly. I work in airline operations, and the setting up of mathematics models in our business requires everything from simple algebra, via statisti

40 JRadier
: I used to be like you (even though I did like math), not knowing what it could be used for. I currently study logistics, which seemingly has very lit

41 Connies4ever
: Ya know, I just can't see your statements adding up. Math is used in almost every industrial process around, underpins our financial industry (what's

42 Jetblueguy22
: Math isn't pointless. What is pointless is Geometry. Honestly when am I going to need to find the measure of line abc?!?!?! Blue

43 DocLightning
: The problem with your definition is that a plane can also be defined by any two intersecting lines. So ScrubbsYWG's definition is more basic in that

45 787seattle
: You guys keep talking about learning calculus makes everything easier in terms of math, but what is a specific example of where it could be used?

46 AustrianZRH
: You are making a product, the production cost is given by some function taking in account both per-piece cost and constant cost. You want to know at

47 Pyrex
: Better still: do we really need gravity?

48 DocLightning
: It would sure save on jet fuel if we could get rid of it!

49 AM744
: Well, perhaps we are talking about a pedagogic issue. Math training should help with abstract thinking, deductive and inductive logic, inferences and

51 Baroque
: But they are just mathematical models so it is probable that airplane do not fly - or that has been the line of argument once you get away from what

52 YOWza
: Without the use of a broad spectrum of mathematics the buildings you work and live in, the vehicles you ride or drive in the, software, the internet a

53 FRAspotter
: When I was in High school, I hated math. I did well up until Pre-Calc and than I started failing like crazy... Now that I'm in college (and a history

54 FlyDeltaJets87
: Math Pointless? Math proves that women = evil. Women = Time x Money We know that time is money, thus: Women = Money x Money, or Money^2 We also that M

55 Pawsleykat
: Last year, in my 5th year of high school, i hated math and so totally could not understand how it was used in real life. My teacher wasn't particularl

56 Luckyone
: Hardly. Most of the math taught at the high school level would barely qualify as a 1000 level course at a university. Case in point, Calclus I is typ

57 JetMech
: The only thing I hate about Maths is that I'm not a natural at it. Besides that, I have to agree that it is probably the king of all the scientific su

58 Mir
: How do you think they determine pricing for different classes on different dates booked at different times? Hint: it's not just lucky guessing. Reven

59 David L
: Another example lies in studying dynamic systems like ecosystems. For example, the way the populations of various species in the food chain affect eac

60 Cusaeng
: i had a conversation with a passanger a while back about the hand baggage size restrictions and the conversation went something like this ... and I st

61 Connies4ever
: OP's thread start reminded me of this: http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/too_old_for_this_shit.png A reasonable knowledge of math will take you a long way t

62 IAirAllie
: Math isn't my favorite though I had to use it a lot while I worked on my PPL. Even as a flight attendant I use a fair amount of it on a daily basis. M

63 NoWorries
: Once upon a time (1/t) pretty little Polly Nomial was strolling across a field of vectors when she came to the boundary of a singularly large matrix.

64 Flighty
: Is math pointless? No. Math is a great hobby. Instead of hating it, just take it slow and work on it without giving up. It's like a puzzle to solve. A

66 Sovietjet
: Calculus is high-level math? I'm sorry but calculus is not that hard, you just need to pay attention a bit and focus. If you think math is pointless,

67 MD11Engineer
: One thing about maths lessons: If they are built up like the ones we had in university (each lesson using the results of the previous one to logically

68 DocLightning
: BTW, to point out to the OP, math is NOT pointless. In fact, between any two distinct points there an infinite number of points.

69 BlackProjects
: If you dont do maths at School you can not Learn how to Count your Money!

70 Mike89406
: I actually thought Pre-Calculus was easier than Algebra and I understood it. When I got to a certain level of Algebra I struggle.