Senior HTF Member
- Apr 29, 2000
That's kind of my point, Scott. By cutting off subjects & knowledge early on, you're limiting your choices later in life. And noone knows what their longterm path in life is.
Memorizing something or anything should come as a function of repetition and use in the workplace.
Spelling words and memorizing equations are two totally different things. Spelling merely requires the proper ordering of letters, and you've been learning to spell all your life, hence the memorization that comes from repetition. There's a lot more critical thinking involved with equations. You have to understand how they were derived and what they're used for. You can't expect to have them memorized for a test, let alone the rest of your life, when you've only used them for three weeks!!!
I guess it's also partly my fault that I didn't fully develop my explanation, and the point I was trying to make. I was trying to make the point that it was more useful to remember the "how's" and "why's" of an equation. This is vastly different from just flat out memorizing an equation. Only through repeated use can somebody remember complex equations, and I'm not talking about sissy shit like y=mx+b either. I'm talking about memorizing data analysis equations students have never used in their lives and expecting them to have it as rock solid memory for a test in three weeks.
The argument for using computers and calculators comes from the fact that they simplify the work for you, and even then you still have to punch in the numbers at the right places.
Again, I making the point that it's important to know how and where to use an equation, not having to blatantly memorize each little thing in a short time span.
Let's say you wanna do linear regression analysis on a set of data. I think it's fairly reasonable to have a list of equations like this (this is only skimming the surface here)
Sxx = sigmaXi^2 - [(sigmaXi)^2/N]
Syy = sigmaYi^2 - [(sigmaXi)^2/N]
Sxy = sigmaXiYi - [sigmaXisigmaYi/N]
m = Sxy/Sxx
Sr = |-------------
Sm = |-------------
and expect students to at least know how to use these equations. But I think it's extremely unreasonable for students to memorize something of this nature they've only used for three weeks. That's why I think it's good to use a computer or calculator to figure this out. Let's say you can't use a computer or calculator. Wouldn't you agree that it was more reasonable to have such convoluted equations somewhere in writing so that a student can use them? Memorizing it is great and all, but if somebody can't, it really shouldn't be held against them, particularly on a test.
Of course memorization is useful, and more power to the people that keep these things in their brain. I just don't see the point in forcing it upon somebody.
Hope that clears things up.
Repeatedly edited for mistakes and other thoughts.
Complex numbers help us gain a grasp of AC power (3-phase power, as well as single phase power), which in turns helps every one of us surfing on the internet.
So true, I'm having electromagnetism this year, and suddenly complex numbers and vector diagrams show up in the Alternating Current section...
The sad thing is, I will sometimes do math homework or extra credit for fun....
That's not "sad"!
What is sad are comments like this where the writer feels that liking math or doing math for fun is something to be pitied. It is not! If you like and enjoy math then revel in that fact. If you have a talent for it, then enjoy it for all it's worth. You have the ability to easily glimpse the inner workings of the universe. That is breathtaking - not sad.
A real sad thing is that I wish I could offer help and suggestions to others in their struggles in math. All I can really say is to find a good tutor. I am not one, however, in that math has always made enormous sense to me.
OK those are all true examples but who REALLY uses it??? I'm sure I could think of somehow I could use it in every thing I do such as "the angle at which I pour my OJ in the mornings to make it flow the best" or something to that effect. And also, other than being a building block, is it REALLY useful?? I mean in some of your jobs you're not going to say, "Well, Bob, I gotta quit man because I don't know how to do rational expressions." Hot damn.
In my chosen field of study & work -- corporate law -- strong math skills are a massive asset. Indeed, I think they're a necessary (though not sufficient) condition for success. Complex calculations are required constantly, in respect of everything from takeover bid exemptions to calculation of profits legally available for dividends, to tax-focussed restructurings. Colleagues who have math "issues" err in take over bid calculations consistently. Indeed, they can't even seem to conceptualize the calculation required.
I bring up this example because law is not something that people typically associate with math. It goes to demonstrate that besides the inherent value of learning advanced algebra or whatever is troubling you, that learning may be useful in the places you least expect.
Since I love math so much, I'm taking an Intro to Programming (Pascal) class this year and I'm taking C++ next year.
The sad thing is, I will sometimes do math homework or extra credit for fun....
What's sad is that you're made to think it's sad. :-/
And good luck with the programming class. Pascal rocks as a introductory language.
OK some of you are taking the stereotypical approach to life. Read Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki or some of his other books and you'll see that the approach to get good grades, go to a good college, and get a good high paying job with good security won't get u anywhere in life.
Van, as someone who is at least twice your age, I'll cut you some slack. I think you are looking for excuses to justify a bad grade. I also think you are looking in the wrong places.
I am not saying that you are going to understand Algebra II, or go on to higher math. I do think, however, with the right combination of teachers, tutors, and math books, you could at least get through high school with a foundation in math that will be useful to you in life.
Here is a problem that you should be able to solve:
Let's say that you like the classic television shows of the 70's and 80's and you want to buy a new television that will give you the largest possible 4x3 image so you can view these shows in their proper aspect ratio. There are plenty of affordable 4x3 televisions. But you also want to consider a widescreen 16x9 television, because you want to want to watch all your anamorphic widescreen DVD's with enhanced resolution.
Keep in mind that 4x3 material on a 16x9 television will appear "windowboxed" with bars on the side of the image (for this problem, we will not consider zoom modes, as they are contrary to the OAR principle). Thus, 4x3 content will be presented and preserved in the middle of the 16x9 frame.
You narrow down your television choices to a 50-inch 4x3 television or a 65-inch 16x9 television. (Both screen measurements are diagonal.)
Which television will deliver the larger 4x3 image?
What are the heights and widths of both television screens?
My teacher wrote this on the Board
PMDAS (Paranthesis, Multiply, Divide, Add, Subtract)
Frank, your HS or previous teachers never told you about the order of operations? That's pretty bad teaching. I'll believe it, though. I've seen a few teachers that just have no idea how to make someone else understand. They know the material so they figure everyone else does or forget that the students are just...students. My math teacher is pretty good, though. He makes sure to make any lesson as visual as possible for us. It can really help in understanding why something is the way it is.
There are 3 circles, each with a 10 in. radius, touching each other but not intersecting. There is a blank space in between them. What is its area?
Mike got it right. And here's how it's done:
Sketch out the three circles and sketch a line from the center of one to the center of another and so on until you have an equilateral triangle (it doesn't need to be exact, just for visualization). You'll notice that the lines will intersect exactly where the circles touch. Now we need to take the area of the triangle and just subtract the areas of the triangle that are shared with the circles.
The base of the triangle is 20 and the height would be (using Pythagorean theorem)
10^2 + h^2 = 20^2
So the area of the triangle is A=1/2*b*h=173.205
The area of the circle shared by the triangle is 1/6th the area of the circle (60 degrees in every angle of an equilateral triangle...60/360=1/6)
There are 3 of those areas so subtracting all 3 from the area of the triangle gives us 173.205-3*52.360=16.125.