GOwithCO332
Topic Author
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Is Math Pointless?

Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:06 pm

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
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:13 pm

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.  Wink

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.
Fortune favours the brave
 
DukeofDashes
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:13 pm

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.
"I always keep a bottle of whiskey handy in case I see a snake, which I also keep handy!" - W.C. Fields
 
bok269
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:14 pm

Take a physics course and calculus and trigonometry will suddenly prove useful.
"Reality is wrong, dreams are for real." -Tupac
 
MCOflyer
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:14 pm

I still don't see where a lot of the material I am using now is going towards at all.

Hunter
Never be afraid to stand up for who you are.
 
md80fanatic
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:16 pm



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  Smile
 
futureualpilot
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:17 pm

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.

[Edited 2008-10-01 16:20:30]
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FriendlySkies
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:21 pm

Do an internship in any sort of engineering role and tell me math is pointless.
 
GOwithCO332
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:28 pm



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.
 
rabenschlag
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:30 pm

The heading of this thread is hilarious! Even better: Is geometry pointless?
 
N1120A
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:31 pm

Those advanced math equations are what makes airplanes able to fly in the first place. Think about it.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
JakeOrion
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:34 pm



Quoting GOwithCO332 (Thread starter):
Where does math apply in life?

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
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:35 pm

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.

[Edited 2008-10-01 16:38:41]
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:39 pm



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.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
GOwithCO332
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:42 pm



Quoting Mike89406 (Reply 12):

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
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:47 pm



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
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:52 pm

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.

Mike

[Edited 2008-10-01 16:57:46]
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:55 pm



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.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
planewasted
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:56 pm

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.

[Edited 2008-10-01 16:58:53]
 
scrubbsywg
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:03 am

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
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:04 am



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.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
trvyyz
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:09 am

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  Smile

Quoting PlaneWasted (Reply 18):

You'd be dealing with FFT's or may be some z-transforms I guess.

[Edited 2008-10-01 17:17:19]
 
GOwithCO332
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:12 am



Quoting ScrubbsYWG (Reply 19):

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.
 
AirframeAS
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:18 am



Quoting GOwithCO332 (Thread starter):
Where does math apply in life?

Go through AMT school and you will see as to why math is very, very important!!
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
scrubbsywg
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:28 am



Quoting GOwithCO332 (Reply 21):

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.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:34 am

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 particle physics.
-Doc Lightning-

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bok269
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:36 am



Quoting GOwithCO332 (Reply 21):
Also, it is not just like if you put a couple of equations together you get new technology.

No, but a couple of ideas won't get you there either.

Quoting GOwithCO332 (Reply 21):
When I am reading for English or discussing history in Euro, it is analyzing something and thinking about something.

As is math. Once you start applying math a great deal of analysis is involved. However, before you can start applying math, you need to start by knowing how to do operations. You didn't learn exponents before you learned multiplication, did you?
"Reality is wrong, dreams are for real." -Tupac
 
ltbewr
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:46 am

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. Knowing about interest calculations, budgeting money, some basic economics which can require higher level math would be far more valuable for most over trig and calculus. Financial illiteracy is part of the reason for the current financial crises in the USA, people's difficulty in understanding it and how to deal with it.
 
GOwithCO332
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:57 am



Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 27):

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 ginormous in scale and saying that the lack of teaching simple economics in school is what caused it. The economy does not run on people who got into the business that don't know anything. Mistakes were made that caused this crisis but I doubt it was because people just didn't know anything.

Do you realize that the camera which everybody says involves complex equations to produce or the keyboard that requires equations to function all fits into the economy. You can learn all of the budgeting and basic economics on wikipedia if you really wanted. Also, you learn this stuff by living life. However, they should teach it in schools. What I have noticed is, most kids who take those classes as an elective such as personal finance, go into vocational occupations. So, schools don't want to have it as the people who are interested in economics take the economics course while people who need it to start in the workforce go into mostly vocational jobs.
 
bok269
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:18 am



Quoting GOwithCO332 (Reply 28):
Do you realize that the camera which everybody says involves complex equations to produce or the keyboard that requires equations to function all fits into the economy.

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 without understanding microeconomics.

Quoting GOwithCO332 (Reply 28):
So, schools don't want to have it as the people who are interested in economics take the economics course while people who need it to start in the workforce go into mostly vocational jobs.

What?
"Reality is wrong, dreams are for real." -Tupac
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:19 am



Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 27):
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. Knowing about interest calculations, budgeting money, some basic economics which can require higher level math would be far more valuable for most over trig and calculus. Financial illiteracy is part of the reason for the current financial crises in the USA, people's difficulty in understanding it and how to deal with it.

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 to study "man made" stuff like law or maybe business administration (of which my brother, who has a masteral degree in it together with a similar degree in electrical engineering, says that the business lectures were very "wishy washy" nothing real to grasp. Opinons given by the professors without proof, at least according to the standards of proof, logical or experimental, required in mathematics, "hard" sciences or engineering).
The problem is that our economies depend on people being able to apply the laws of nature to develop new technologies.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
vikkyvik
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:27 am



Quoting Bok269 (Reply 3):
Take a physics course and calculus and trigonometry will suddenly prove necessary.

Corrected slightly.

Quoting GOwithCO332 (Thread starter):
Where does math apply in life?

Everywhere. Literally.

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

They reflect life much better than elementary school math can.

Quoting GOwithCO332 (Reply 8):
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.

I'm sorry to tell you, but math really IS all around us. They don't call it the universal language for nothing.

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.

Well, frankly, I hate politics, and from that perspective, I could say that politics is pointless to study, because, really, I've gotten 26 years into my life without worrying much about it.

But, of course, I'd be wrong.

As to what math courses should be taught in high school - well, that's a different question. Not everyone in my high school took calculus; not everyone was required to. But quite frankly, a crapload of stuff suddenly makes a lot more sense once you apply calculus to it.

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 27):
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. Knowing about interest calculations, budgeting money, some basic economics which can require higher level math would be far more valuable for most over trig and calculus. Financial illiteracy is part of the reason for the current financial crises in the USA, people's difficulty in understanding it and how to deal with it.

Unfortunately, knowledge of the financial principles does not equal responsible spending.

There are plenty of people who know they SHOULDN'T buy something, but they will anyway. Myself included at times.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
bok269
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:43 am



Quoting Vikkyvik (Reply 31):

Corrected slightly.

How carless of me.  Wink Thanks for the correction thumbsup 
"Reality is wrong, dreams are for real." -Tupac
 
scrubbsywg
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Thu Oct 02, 2008 2:16 am



Quoting GOwithCO332 (Reply 8):
but the way math teaches the concept of a line is not what a line really is

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 of a line?

And yes, i actually DO remember the definition of a line.
 
MrChips
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Thu Oct 02, 2008 2:28 am

Math, specifically calculus and statistics, is the foundation of nearly every decision made in business. I am a commercial pilot with a management role at a small charter company, and I often find myself performing very complicated statistical analysis and working with calculus when doing such things as marginal cost analysis. I too thought calculus and stats were pointless in school (both in high school and in college) - I now find myself wanting for more knowledge in both these subjects.

Furthermore, it's not just the knowledge of how to find the hypotenuse of a triangle or the integral of a given equation - what is even more important is the form of logic and the thought process that any form of mathematics requires you to employ.

So stop making excuses and do your homework.  

[Edited 2008-10-01 19:29:17]
Time...to un-pimp...ze auto!
 
trvyyz
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Thu Oct 02, 2008 3:32 am



Quoting ScrubbsYWG (Reply 33):

Actually a line is the intersection of two planes  Wink
 
tranceport
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Thu Oct 02, 2008 3:43 am

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 mathematics, the study of patterns or relationships. Numbers have very little to do with pure mathematics beyond being the "alphabet" to write the language.
 
scrubbsywg
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Thu Oct 02, 2008 3:49 am



Quoting TRVYYZ (Reply 35):
Actually a line is the intersection of two planes

oooh sneaky.

I just remember the locus definition because my grade 10 teacher actually had us memorize math definitions for tests and i still remember them some 10 years later.
 
StuckInCA
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Thu Oct 02, 2008 4:05 am



Quoting GOwithCO332 (Thread starter):
it is just memorization that goes no where

Math is one of the few subjects that is absolutely NOT just memorization.

Quoting DukeofDashes (Reply 2):
There isn't much daily use practicality for the upper level math you're speaking of

If you choose a non-technical career and don't care to try to understand how things work or why things happen, then you are correct. Otherwise you're absolutely wrong.

Quoting FutureUALpilot (Reply 6):
Math is everywhere.

Absolutely everywhere.

Quoting GOwithCO332 (Reply 8):
Those are numbers. Math really is not all around us.

Wrong!

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.



Quoting ScrubbsYWG (Reply 19):
I DO use math every day.

I too use math every day, and fairly complicated math pretty regularly (as a Mechanical Engineer).

I think the bottom line is that if you're interested in non-technical fields and aren't that interested in understanding the world from a technical standpoint, math beyond beginning Calculus is not necessary. Otherwise, it's essential.

I can't even understand how people get through their day without knowing Trig. It seems almost the same as not knowing how to read. It's EVERYWHERE.
 
HB-IWC
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Thu Oct 02, 2008 7:05 am



Quoting MrChips (Reply 34):
Math, specifically calculus and statistics, is the foundation of nearly every decision made in business. I am a commercial pilot with a management role at a small charter company, and I often find myself performing very complicated statistical analysis and working with calculus when doing such things as marginal cost analysis.

Exactly. I work in airline operations, and the setting up of mathematics models in our business requires everything from simple algebra, via statistics to pretty advanced calculus, including such things as (systems of) ordinary and partial differential equations, calculus of complex numbers, Laplace transforms and the like. I find it all very exciting.

Quoting Tranceport (Reply 36):
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 mathematics, the study of patterns or relationships. Numbers have very little to do with pure mathematics beyond being the "alphabet" to write the language.

It is my experience that one can only truly appreciate the intrinsic beauty of mathematics once one has gone through a really in depth study of the discipline. At that point, one can see all the links and interconnections as well as the applications is a multitude of other disciplines.
 
JRadier
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Thu Oct 02, 2008 7:54 am



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.

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 little math in it. The thing math thaught me was thinking logically, seeing relations between numbers etc and that does help out a lot. Even though I don't use advance algebra (which I think is a shame) the way of thinking helps me out in more ways than you can imagine.
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connies4ever
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:15 am



Quoting GOwithCO332 (Thread starter):
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?

Ya know, I just can't see your statements adding up.  Yeah sure

Math is used in almost every industrial process around, underpins our financial industry
(what's left of it, anyway), architecture, engineering, science, medicine, almost everything you look at. And by math I don't mean simple arithmetic, I mean algebra, linear equation systems, calculus, and so on.

It's probably our most important tool in trying to understand everything around us.
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jetblueguy22
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:37 am

Math isn't pointless. What is pointless is Geometry. Honestly when am I going to need to find the measure of line abc?!?!?!
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DocLightning
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Thu Oct 02, 2008 11:01 am



Quoting ScrubbsYWG (Reply 33):
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 of a line?



Quoting TRVYYZ (Reply 35):
Actually a line is the intersection of two planes

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 it only requires that you define the terms "point" and "equidistant."

You do get into a philosophical issue because the definition of "distance" requires that you measure along a... straight line. And the definition of "straight" is another interesting concept. For example, physicists used to define it as the path that a beam of light took in a vacuum. But we now know that light most certainly bends as it passes around massive objects thanks to relativistic effects. On the other hand, if one takes spacetime curvature into account, then one must accelerate in one direction or another to maintain a "straight line." And there is the issue of how many dimensions you are talking about. A truly straight line should be straight in all dimensions. However, any straight line that can be drawn in our universe is subject to curvature in the 4th or higher dimension without us having any way of telling.

However, I prefer this definition:

A line is what occurs at LHR Customs when a Syrianair flight offloads a whole load of non-English-speaking passengers at the same time as flights arrive from SFO, MAD, MEX, and JFK.  duck 
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AustrianZRH
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:58 pm

Hi!

Big version: Width: 714 Height: 342 File size: 10kb


Sorry, couldn't resist Big grin.
WARNING! The post above should be taken with a grain of salt! Furthermore, it may be slightly biased towards A.
 
787seattle
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Thu Oct 02, 2008 2:09 pm

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?
Student - KELN
 
AustrianZRH
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Thu Oct 02, 2008 2:24 pm



Quoting 787seattle (Reply 45):
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?

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 what price at a given production rate you are making the highest profit. So what are you doing now without derivations?
WARNING! The post above should be taken with a grain of salt! Furthermore, it may be slightly biased towards A.
 
Pyrex
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Thu Oct 02, 2008 3:25 pm



Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 9):
The heading of this thread is hilarious! Even better: Is geometry pointless?

Better still: do we really need gravity?
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DocLightning
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Thu Oct 02, 2008 3:53 pm



Quoting Pyrex (Reply 47):
Better still: do we really need gravity?

It would sure save on jet fuel if we could get rid of it!
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
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AM744
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RE: Is Math Pointless?

Thu Oct 02, 2008 4:10 pm



Quoting GOwithCO332 (Thread starter):
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.

Well, perhaps we are talking about a pedagogic issue. Math training should help with abstract thinking, deductive and inductive logic, inferences and all those things that have made contemporary civilization possible, rather than memorization or mechanization.

Quoting GOwithCO332 (Thread starter):
Where does math apply in life?

I guess everybody whose work involves design, problem solving or research need them at some point. (at the very least to understand an article or textbook that could help in solving a given problem).

I wish more of my coworkers had a more formal training, thus we could communicate requirements and design in a more disciplined manner.

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