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Importance of Higher Mathematics

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Axis

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Post Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:00 pm

Importance of Higher Mathematics

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Post Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:42 pm

Re: Importance of Higher Mathematics

Honestly, the entire structure public schools have right now is absolutely trash. Testing takes priority over learning.
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Post Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:51 pm

Re: Importance of Higher Mathematics

True, but that also depends on your teacher. My AP literature teacher does not grade. He scores essays and practice AP problems, but that doesn't affect our "grade"; it instead serves as a benchmark assessment. At the end of each quarter we talk about what we think our grade should be based on effort, progress, and stuff like that. Respect for the man, he knows what he's talking about.
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Post Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:07 pm

Re: Importance of Higher Mathematics

Frankly, I agree with the OP. While I myself am not taking calculus (yet), I am currently taking Trigonometry. When would a writer have to (under general circumstances, I not talking about a trigonometry textbook writer) write about how the value of sin(30) is 1/2, while 5pi/4 is 225 degrees? I would like if high schools and colleges stopped trying to compete with other nations in educational levels (I'm fairly certain for this reason:) in some other nations, I believe it's done like this in Japan, for example (Iku has orgasms about Japan, maybe he can confirm this), where for the first couple years in school students take the same classes. When their talents develop and it becomes obvious that one student is particularly gifted in literature while also being terrible at history, the student is ushered into predominantly literature-esque classes, with a few basic classes of each other subject.

The requirement thing is also a problem in the sense, as per the OP, that it can ruin lives. My trig teacher Mr. Philogene (great guy, seems to teach us more about real-world problems than math), told us a story of a student he had who wanted to become a car mechanic. The student had learned everything he'd need to know, at least to be good starting out. Unfortunately, he was not great in math. He'd pay attention to Mr. Philogene, he'd try to do the work, but he just could not get it. Mr. Philogene eventually ended up passing the student (even though officially he should have failed) because the student showed effort and a willingness to learn; why should he (the teacher) fail a student who will pay attention, wants to do something in his life, but would be failed by his lack of talent in mathematics?
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Post Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:10 pm

Re: Importance of Higher Mathematics

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Post Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:45 pm

Re: Importance of Higher Mathematics

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Post Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:58 pm

Re: Importance of Higher Mathematics

Meh, I don't think it really matters for most people. The majority of people just don't seem motivated, or want to do anything over taxing with their head unless forced to. They just aren't the kind of people to want to learn math, and even the fragments they learn they won't do anything with.
If you like efficiency, and you're more apt to thinking about things for whatever reason, well, higher level math, or any math for that matter can be applied to just about anything. Calculus is the reason we have all the cool technology we have today..... Its also the reason companies can churn stuff through factories at the lowest cost possible.
If you don't want to push yourself, and just want to ... 'live' I suppose, then no, math isn't for you.
I believe in a basic knowledge level, not really sure if Calculus really fits it, but all math is the same... learning a new level of math is no more difficult than a previous level, it just depends on your motivation.
And math can really make a difference.... in lots of areas of work. It would be nice if more people took the hint and focused on understanding rather than knowledge.
As far as 'jobs' go... sure, there is a lot of stuff to be done, and alot of 21st century stuff needs grunt work, and stuff that requires no math at all. Hell, it can be hard to find a job, and if you do, most job's have a predefined objective.
Whether your (it would be rare) job gives you the freedom to apply math to your own end or not, math can still be used outside of a 'job'.... there is plenty you can do on your own time if so inclined.

I can't think of much thats as pure as math, if someone's too blind to see it what can you do?
That being said.. in hopes of better critical thinking in the US, Calc. probably should be required....

I mean, how can someone like Romney even be considered as a potential elected official? The guy said something to the effect of 'why don't airplane windows open.'
calculus-->basic physics/understanding
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Post Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:02 am

Re: Importance of Higher Mathematics

Last edited by Shadow on Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:27 am

Re: Importance of Higher Mathematics

Well, there isn't much that hasn't been said yet, but I guess I can give my opinion.

I took Calculus last year, and figured that I would never use it again in my life. I was wrong. I actually find myself doing mental calculations using what I learned in Calculus when I see something, and I start doing a limit calculation or functions. Calculus was also extremely helpful for me whenever I am doing something that has odds in it, because I can do the mental calculation and get the most likely outcome(s). The same went for when I took physics. I still find myself looking at a falling object, attempting to determine its weight, and then how much force it would hit the ground with. Also, this is coming from someone who hates math with such a passion that I would rather be physically tortured then do math.

While I do agree with the fact that some people do not need higher math, I also agree with Aaron's point of the fact that it teaches logic. I would like to see a system where if you do not need higher math for your major, that you have the option of taking the math classes, or taking a ton of logic classes.

While later on in your life you may not have to use this math, it is extremely helpful if you know how to apply it to the situation you are stuck in. This to me shows that the OP (the person on facebook) is probably not understanding what he is being taught, otherwise he would see how useful it could end up being.
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Post Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:06 pm

Re: Importance of Higher Mathematics

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Post Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:27 pm

Re: Importance of Higher Mathematics

I think maybe I missed the mark a little with my first post, so let me try to help you hear what I'm saying.

It seems you're asking for a direct, practical application of the equations and techniques you learn in Calculus in the everyday lives of average people. I probably can't give you one.

But you're missing the point. You are asking these questions as if the most important thing about a person after high school is what they do for a living, and this is simply not true.

What I am trying to convey is that you should be constantly seeking higher understanding of everything. If this isn't a priority in your mind then... I'm not sure what kind of conversation we can even have. Because I don't understand you. I don't understand your point of view or your motivations, and I'm not sure that I am capable of doing so, or that I even want to.
Knowledge is an end in itself - a pure goal. To ask "Why should I learn [topic]?" just doesn't make sense to me; it's like asking "Why should I look both ways before crossing the street?" You may as well ask me why you should keep breathing.
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Post Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:49 pm

Re: Importance of Higher Mathematics

This may sound incredibly stupid, and I'm probably wrong for believing this, but if I'm happy knowing the things I do now (nowhere near as much as a few people I know *nods head to Fox*), why should I strive to learn more? Simply for the sake of learning more? Yes, knowledge is power. Yes, the smarter you are, the more opportunities you have in life. Yes, the greater your intelligence, the greater your chances of succeeding in life. But what if you're content with what you have learned? I could be perfectly happy knowing that sideburns were named after General Burnside, and that the term 'hookers' came from General Hooker's female followers. I could be ecstatic at knowing nothing more than the United States engaged in many wars in its lifespan, and now people use that against it.

I could be all that... so why should I be forced to gain more knowledge? I realise I'm kind of shooting myself in the foot here, due to your earlier point about people lacking the motivation to learn more, but I feel that if you or I want to run your life the way you or I do, then go for it. Let us live our lives the way we want, and leave it at that. Why must the educational system intrude upon our lives in a way that forces us onto a straight-line path where everyone in school learns the exact same thing?
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Post Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:12 pm

Re: Importance of Higher Mathematics

If that's honestly how you feel, then you're basically putting your humanity in forfeit.

Humans are the only beings who strive to know more than their place in the universe, as far as we know. To go against that, to thrive in ignorance, is, quite frankly, against the nature of a forward-moving society.

No offense, of course. Its entirely your decision to not want to better yourself through knowledge; if you are perfectly content with the knowledge you have right now, then it's none of my business to attempt to force knowledge unto you.
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Post Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:20 pm

Re: Importance of Higher Mathematics

Technically Pale, while your viewpoint was against my own, you still gave that one point: let me (hypothetically) live and thrive and take pleasure in my ignorance. Do whatever you want, just don't try to change what I do and how I do it.
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Post Sat Oct 27, 2012 7:53 am

Re: Importance of Higher Mathematics

I actually decided to exclude the last section of my previous post which covered your question, Voss. I decided not to say this before, because I was afraid it would seem overly antagonistic, that it might do more harm than good, and because I consider you all my friends. But I can't ignore this... this argument in favor of choosing to be ignorant. I really hope you're just trolling...

You're going to have to explain to me why ,

Are you ? I think you might be insane...

All I can hear is a petulant child whining, "But I don't wanna eat my vegetables!"
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Post Sat Oct 27, 2012 8:21 am

Re: Importance of Higher Mathematics

See, as an intellectual being who possesses the motivation and the desire to further increase your knowledge of the world, and as one myself (to a much lesser degree, I'll admit) I can see this, do you really grasp that there is a possibility that advancing one's education is not always one's goal? I mean no offense by this, of course, but why can one not choose for himself what he will and will not accomplish? Should our freedom, at least within the U.S., not be the right to make our own lives? Is forcing one's ideas and beliefs on another based on the grounds that it would benefit the recipient really freedom? If it is, this is really a demented form of freedom.

As for whether or not I'm trolling and/or insane, I'm not trolling; I honestly believe: why can't people who do want to learn more and more leave alone those who do not*? As for my insanity, I thought I'd already made that clear enough before, but I guess you didn't see that (an observation, no offense meant).

*I for one do actually want to increase my learning. I plan to be an astrophysicist (likely chance, I know), so calculus and trigonometry, and possibly discreet math or maybe statistics, even, are going to be on my list of classes that I must take, at least in high school.
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Post Sat Oct 27, 2012 1:33 pm

Re: Importance of Higher Mathematics


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Post Sat Oct 27, 2012 4:28 pm

Re: Importance of Higher Mathematics

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Post Sat Oct 27, 2012 11:10 pm

Re: Importance of Higher Mathematics

Well, if you're talking about a hypothetical scenario of someone that wants to be a mechanic..
Why do they want to be a mechanic?; as you learn your wants change. If this hypothetical person is inspired/motivated to sit and think, then perhaps they would want to learn.
One initial point of my last reply was the difference between what you *want* and what you *do*. Someone may choose to be a mechanic for a job, but they can still *want* something more; and working with math can lead to that... if you want to better understand your stuff.
Cars weren't created by people that didn't want more, or tried new things relentlessly. Not wanting to improve their technology, and merely doing *only* (this is where your *want* comes in) busy work on them is like being Amish... or maintaining a garden. -(and not making any improvements :P)
If you've ever played with curves, the Epitrochoid is one of my favorites... it's also a mathematical curve that gives the least resistance for a gear, and the Wankel rotary engine was made from it. Mazda rx-7 w/ rotary ftw

Don't tell me you wouldn't ooo or ahhh when you see a curve come to life on the vehicle ;D

"Do you really grasp that there is a possibility that advancing one's education is not always one's goal?"
Yes, it seems unfortunately common... it makes me wonder about things like the Bell Curve. It would be nice if there was a way to individually inspire everyone, but unfortunately that just isn't possible :P.
Now, freedom is a double edged sword, it is necessary for one to have freedom to learn whatever they want, and work themselves up to an understanding level that can really make a difference, but at the same time freedom can be used by another to learn.... nothing. The price paid for freedom is therefore worth it... since 'no' good things can come out without it.
That being said, if someone, a kid, for example, didn't want to learn math... well, you should do whatever you can do get them to learn it... Lots of courses are useless, you can find fault in them... math is not one of these.

What if English wasn't required here in the U.S. for school children? .... Could you imagine students not being able to talk to each other, or even read a message sent over a T.V. ?
A basic knowledge level really is fundamental...
And luckily, us humans seem to have a built in antidote for when this illiteracy occurs... people die, and their old ideas with them.

I don't know, for whatever reason people and their motivation level just seems to form into a bell curve.... the majority of people just always seem to lack the substance needed to do what's right... it always seems to take someone a bid crazy to channel these people into some kind of 'goal'

Hmm, forcing Education on someone really always isn't the best idea... a world of illiterates is scary, but at the same time 'schools' can be used to manipulate the unmotivated, and create a bulk of unfortunate, brainwashed individuals that know no different that what they were taught.
Fortunately, math *can't* be... twisted, math is math so I don't see why it shouldn't be forced/required. Although, when we start talking about a 'school/system, err... "entity"' that gains the power to 'force' education on someone... care should be taken for Exactly What is taught... and if forcing one subject on someone is but an opening for forcing a twisted subject on them, would it matter, or then not be worth it?
Well, in either hypothetical circumstance, the motivated individual is going to learn math, and learn how to 'untwist' something if its presented to them. The unmotivated individual will only do what they have to, and aren't going to create anything of substance in 'either' scenario.
This gives Lt. Voss's statement on freedom some serious weight, since when an 'entity' forces something on someone, it's almost ALWAYS used as an opening to force something else, albeit a bit twisted.
Do the ends justify the means? :D

I think the real question here, is for the *individual* to *decide*. Everyone should think long and hard on everything, including what they want. With any luck if you sit down and run a thick skull through some math, or just *think*... you might *want* something a bit more abstract than what a dog wants from his bowl at 5 o'clock.


@ikusari
Well, there are many types of freedom, and Anarchy... well, with the way it opens things up it doesn't really give the positive people a way to harness the masses; I think that should be the goal of a system, anyway...
And with today's technology, there is no reason we can't have a system more similar to Anarchy than the one we have today, granting many new freedoms at a relatively low cost...
Hell, with today's technology there is no longer a need for politicians since everyone can vote.... oh wait, if the majority of people are retarded, what gives?

We only have so much time, if you want to spend all of it fighting people about crap... social crap, and trying to change the ideas of the masses; well... good luck changing people's minds; it very rarely happens. If you learn the most pure thing possible (math), and expand your toolkit, toolbox, etc; you'll be able to help people in realistic ways. E.g. math -->technology. People will eat up the technology and worship you, even if they learned absolutely nothing from it, you'll have the peace of mind knowing you helped people.

About a book... there are lots of places where trigonometry can be used in a common book; perhaps the author wanted to state somebody's mood?, perhaps they drew a simple curve so you'd understand the picture they were painting with the passage. If you learn math, a picture/curve can describe a paragraph of words in an instant.
One of my favorites, that uses such things: , now go read it.
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Post Sat Oct 27, 2012 11:16 pm

Re: Importance of Higher Mathematics

off-topic, but I love Neal Stephenson! Cryptonomicon is great literature that uses math in interesting ways.
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Post Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:00 am

Re: Importance of Higher Mathematics

I don't think a part of my argument was clear: I support general education. The operative word, obviously, being general. Teach people the basics. Teach them how to solve basic math, how to structure sentences correctly, even if they're only all simple sentences. Teach the kids to know the periodic table is a chart, not a table that comes around occasionally. Teach them that gravity is what pulls everything down, teach them that Columbus "discovered" America (about 500-ish years after Leif Ericson) in 1492 (though a textbook I read said it was in 1942... >_>).

I thought we could assume that we were discussing the title of this thread, higher mathematics. Advanced education. My proposal is not "let everyone decide if they want to learn what 2 + 2 equals." No. My proposal is "let everyone decide if they want to learn what the value of cos(135) is, whose answer will be in the second quadrant and whose radian form is 5pi/6."

And another furtherance, based on Fox's suggestion that mathematics is a language: Okay, it's a language. I assume you'll also say that the different types of math could be called dialects? At least for the purpose of explaining your "language?" Well, if you don't speak a language, you forget it. And since you can speak one dialect without knowing another, it's possible to forget one type of math and remember another. You can forget calculus and trigonometry by not using it often. You can forget basic algebra, if you really live under a rock. But we use algebra everyday, to calculate how much money to spend on food, how far you can travel with a certain amount of fuel, and so on.

And come on. Since when will we use in our average, everyday lives?

P.S. In order, they are: problem on an AP test, exterior calculus equation, and differential equations.
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Post Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:10 am

Re: Importance of Higher Mathematics

Where did you pull that from? Wikipedia's article for Math at the very bottom? That's some pretty challenging differential eq. That shit is for engineers, no one learns it in high school. If you do, you have to bust your ass through three years of Calculus first.
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Post Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:54 am

Re: Importance of Higher Mathematics


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Post Sun Oct 28, 2012 6:30 pm

Re: Importance of Higher Mathematics

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Post Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:45 pm

Re: Importance of Higher Mathematics

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Post Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:37 pm

Re: Importance of Higher Mathematics

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Post Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:08 am

Re: Importance of Higher Mathematics

lol highschool math is super easy ... but that's because I was good in math ... the school system in the us is kind of dumb and when I went to school it was heavily geared toward English (my worse subject) you needed 4 years of English and only 2 years of math ... I think as a student you should be able to choose either 4 years of math or 4 years of English because for people like me English was hard ... and for (most people bad in math) they got to do 4 years of there best subject and only have to deal with 2 years of math ... I took 4 years of math because I enjoyed it .. and English I put up with every day.

they say if you good in math your usually bad at English and if you good in English your usually bad in math (has to do with different sides of the brain are dominant than the other)... not sure if dominant is the right word but you guys get the point ...
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Post Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:04 pm

Re: Importance of Higher Mathematics

Usually... maybe... I took four years of English and four of math (depends if you're counting four years as 4 classes or not... If you are, I took 6 years of math). English and math were both my strongest subjects. Still are today, in college.
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Lt. Voss

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Post Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:05 pm

Re: Importance of Higher Mathematics

Aaron, I'm sure what Qweef meant when he said 4 years was one year per "type". So one year for algebra, one year for geometry, etc.

EDIT: Just for clarification.
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Post Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:07 pm

Re: Importance of Higher Mathematics

That's really weird then. So Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Trigonometry, College Algebra, Calculus IA? Is that 6 or 5 and a half? Or four?
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