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Old 01-12-2013, 11:10 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I use math a lot for work and am grateful for understanding it.

I think it makes life a lot richer. I was blessed by having a father who was a mechanical engineer. Math instruction started changing to theoretical gobbledegook when I was in school but he was able to show me the VALUE of math in the real world.

Then when I went to grad school we had to derive the Schroedinger equation, and it all made sense. It is beautiful stuff, math is!

Now we can have computers do calculations we had to do with slide rules when I started college. And things we simply could not do (such as graphs for anything other than the hydrogen 1s orbital probability map--the power now is astonishing-)

I have to do a lot of stats for work and wish I had more time to derive the statistical functions. We were required to do that in a physics class and that made it all come alive

About the only thing better than math is chemistry, JMO!
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:22 PM   #12 (permalink)
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So the high schools, colleges and universities really should modernize their approach to learning. My daughter has always been terrible at math. She had to take advanced algebra 3x to pass to get accepted to CSUMB for a communications major. Her major is all about writing, marketing, advertising, teaching and a minor in computer graphics couldn't hurt. Both she and I have seen so many people turned away from their life's goal in education because they cannot do math. I was considering getting my BA in nursing but I had to take advanced algebra. In nursing all I needed to know was the dimensional analysis formula for medication. For my personal use I need fractions and percetages, the rest can go to heck! Anyway I had to drop the class because it's been 30 years since I took math.

Yes, there are certain degrees I would hope you would need advanced math for, but to make you go through this is just a weeding out process that probably weeds out some really brilliant and creative minds.

Best wishes on your finals!

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Old 01-12-2013, 11:42 PM   #13 (permalink)
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i think, good karma has good advice
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:49 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
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i think, good karma has good advice
I agree! I learned to appreciate things new to me such as fine arts and history in University and learned how interconnected everything really is!
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:30 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I think what bugs me the most about math is that one year they'll show you how to do something using this method that takes forever, and the next year they'll show you the same thing but they'll teach you a way faster method. AND just when you think you have the final answer, the next class you find out that no, that wasn't the final answer, there's actually many more steps to get the real final answer. Only for the process to begin again and professors are like "Accctuuuaallyy there's more...." It always felt like a class full of lies to me.
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:40 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I failed algebra and geometry in school. I ended up taking extra classes in high school in consumer math. I couldnt for the life of me get through algebra or geometry. Consumer Math i understand. I'm starting classes on monday for my Medical Coding Specialist certificate and during my assessment it was determined that I need a math course. I was like "NOOOOO!!!!" but I'm signed up and dreading it.
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:30 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Good_Karma View Post
It doesn't matter if you use what you learn, the point is to learn HOW to learn, how to focus, how to complete a task, how to study, how to retain information. You are working your brain like a muscle, which will help you later in life no matter what you are doing.
As a twenty year math teacher, thank you.

Stats may be outsourced, but you need to interpret them. Or know which ones are altered/useless.
Algebra teaches how to follow procedures, interpret an answer, solve a problem. I don't know of too many jobs where you aren't asked to "solve problems", or have the ability to think.
Geometry exercises the part of the brain that has gone unused until high school. Critical thinking. Again, I don't know of too many jobs where you won't be asked to gather information and come to a conclusion based on information you know to be true. Or how to justify to your boss why you think he/she should spend $xxxx for a budget. They aren't going to just take your word for it.

I have this same conversation every year with my students. I end up giving a sports analogy. Think of your brain as a muscle. What happens to the athlete who doesn't work out, or attend practice? When they go to use their skill, it's diminished. Or not what it could be. Same with critical thinking. If you've never had to think, how are you going to get a job that requires decision making skills. Memorizing facts isn't enough.
Or an athlete lifting weights as part of his/her training. When you're on the field or court, you aren't required to literally carry weights or use a treadmill. But that practice in the weight room improves your skills for the big game. Same with math. That muscle is developed for when need it.

Math starts you out exercising that muscle.

Good luck on your tests!

PS. Feel free to PM me if you need help with your math. lol. Happy to help.
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:51 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Good response M&J. Personally, I find it pretty shocking that someone going into business/marketing does not understand the importance of knowing statistics. Even the baker/chef aspect...........don't think you'll need to know all those conversions you learned?

Also never underestimate where life is going to take you and how jobs will change. I'm a scientist and I never thought I'd be using Lean Six Sigma, but guess what? I'm using it now...so I guess I'm grateful for those few business classes I took in college.

I do hate to say that it's a little sad that people are considering the required math in US schools as "advanced." Hardly. And you're glamourizing the UK a little bit. Considering in world rankings they are much higher than the US in math and science categories, I would say they are actually learning more advanced math that the US, no?
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:09 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by GSDElsa View Post
Good response M&J. Personally, I find it pretty shocking that someone going into business/marketing does not understand the importance of knowing statistics. Even the baker/chef aspect...........don't think you'll need to know all those conversions you learned?

Also never underestimate where life is going to take you and how jobs will change. I'm a scientist and I never thought I'd be using Lean Six Sigma, but guess what? I'm using it now...so I guess I'm grateful for those few business classes I took in college.

I do hate to say that it's a little sad that people are considering the required math in US schools as "advanced." Hardly. And you're glamourizing the UK a little bit. Considering in world rankings they are much higher than the US in math and science categories, I would say they are actually learning more advanced math that the US, no?
What if the baker decides to own their own shop? They will need to understand "math" to make business decisions. Or be at the mercy of someone else who does.

Regarding comparing the US to other countries......quite a few of the stats were are comparing are not actually apples to apples, oranges to oranges. We include all HS scores in ours......in many other countries the students are routed into nonacademic paths/vocational training at an earlier age. So, only the students who persue an academic path are in the math courses, which skews the results. Not in all countries, but quite a few to whom we are compared.
Not an excuse for our low scores, though. Sadly.
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Old 01-13-2013, 03:10 PM   #20 (permalink)
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The math I use the most is cross multiplying fractions (sometimes I use this daily), some more basic algebra, and some stats. I also do some math in Excel and while I know the actual math sometimes I need help writing the formulas but that's because I never took more than one course in Excel. I loved algebra and stats, didn't like geometry, calc was so-so.

I went to a liberal arts college so I can't complain about all the stuff I had to take or I should have picked a different school. I was required to take three PE classes, cell biology (plus lab), and chemistry (plus lab) and I was a business communications major.
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