Author Topic: Mathematics  (Read 657 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Florestan

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 24411
  • Location: Bucharest, Romania
Mathematics
« on: June 21, 2022, 10:51:03 AM »
1. Did you like it / were you good at it during elementary / secondary / high school / college years?

2. Are you a graduate of a college where mathematics was among the core courses?

3. If yes, do you use it in your current / former job?

4. If no, do you think, in retrospective, that learning it during elementary / secondary / high school was of any use?

My answers:

1. Not particularly liked it / was good at it.
2. Yes (M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering, aborted Ph. D. in Applied Mathematics)
3. Yes (former job)

"I’ve always said music should make you laugh, make you cry or make you think." - Kenny Rogers

Online ritter

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 7916
  • Raoul Dufy, "Tragédie, Comédie"
  • Location: La Villa y Corte
Re: Mathematics
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2022, 11:13:53 AM »
1) Liked it initially, but in my final college years got to loathe it.

2) Yes, as an engineer, mathematics was at the core of the curriculum.

3) Never worked as an engineer, apart from a brief stint as a trainee while still in college Went straight to business school after graduating, and have spent all my career in finance / investments, so use maths every day…
ritter
-------------------------------------------------------------
« …tout cela qui prend forme et solidité, est sorti, ville et jardins, de ma tasse de thé. »

Offline Szykneij

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2990
  • Tony from Massachusetts
Re: Mathematics
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2022, 11:44:37 AM »
1. Did you like it / were you good at it during elementary / secondary / high school / college years?

I didn't hate it, but it wasn't one of my favorite classes. I was adequate at it during school.

2. Are you a graduate of a college where mathematics was among the core courses?

I majored in music in college, but went to a state school where a semester of math was required. ( I was in a class with math majors.) Of course, math factored heavily in my music theory and other courses.

3. If yes, do you use it in your current / former job?

Yes, being good at math was important in most positions I have held in a variety of areas.



Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it.  ~ Henry David Thoreau

Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines. ~ Satchel Paige

Online Lisztianwagner

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5574
  • Wo die Macht der Worte endet, beginnt die Musik.
  • Location: Italy
  • Currently Listening to:
    Classical Music; Wagner, Liszt, Mahler, Beethoven, Rachmaninov, J. Strauss, Tchaikovsky, R.Strauss, Ravel, Sibelius, Chopin, Holst, Prokofiev, Debussy, Shostakovich, Nielsen, Dvořák, Schoenberg and Zemlinsky. And many more......
Re: Mathematics
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2022, 11:48:07 AM »
1) I liked it, but not particularly until the college years.

2) Sure, it was the daily bread among the core courses as a physicist.

3) Yes, I do.
"Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy." - Ludwig van Beethoven

Online k a rl h e nn i ng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 64337
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, D. Scarlattii, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Martinů, Haydn, Henning
Re: Mathematics
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2022, 11:50:23 AM »
Like Tony: I didn't hate math, but it wasn't one of my favorite classes. I was adequate at it during school. The highest math I had to take a  class in was algebra. For a few years between high school and college, I was a bank teller, so basic math was my job for a while, and thus useful.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3576
  • Location: Chicagoland
Re: Mathematics
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2022, 12:02:03 PM »
1) Generally disliked and bored by it, and was never very good at it. However, I never figured out how much of that was the teacher's fault and how much my fault. I had one teacher who taught it in a totally practical way ("here's the operation, here's how you do it, here's what it's good for in real life"). That is my preferred way of teaching. Unfortunately other teachers were not nearly so clear and practical. The worst was my high school algebra teacher, a frustrated philosopher who was unable to make any point without burying it in philosophical verbiage. BTW math is generally badly taught in the USA, because people who are really good at it are usually working in some more lucrative job.

2) No, I'm a linguist. While I realize there are mathematical uses of linguistics, I was always more of a language-literature-history type.

4) Not a waste, I learned some useful things. Also, I've always been fascinated by statistics; it's the only part of math I find interesting.
formerly VELIMIR (before that, Spitvalve)

"Who knows not strict counterpoint, lives and dies an ignoramus" - CPE Bach

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 62507
  • Krzysztof Penderecki (1933 - 2020)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    An assortment of composers from the 19th, 20th and 21st Centuries
Re: Mathematics
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2022, 12:07:08 PM »
Okay, I'll bite:

1. I was decent at math in school. It was not and will never be a favorite subject, but I do realize it's important to learn arithmetic. Also, I never had a good math teacher or that made it seem interesting. I was more inspired by music, literature, science (in particular biology) and history.

2. Nope.

3. Nope.
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

My "Top 5" Favorite Composers: Debussy, Mahler, Strauss, Sibelius and Bartók


Offline Jo498

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5977
  • Location: Germany
Re: Mathematics
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2022, 12:08:55 PM »
1. I liked it well enough (usually more than the natural sciences, except physics, but part of the problem was that the biology/chemistry teachers were the worst) I was never bad*, became better during middle school and was quite good in high school (had it as a main subject for the HS diploma although it was also the school subject I had to invest some time in, unlike many others ;)), didn't like it that much on college level when it got *much* harder and/or far more abstract, the quality of the teaching was often a hindrance, so I did what I needed (for physics)
2. yes (eventual degree was mostly philosophy but I fulfilled more than the required classes in pure and applied maths for a physics M.A. at my university) I found a lot of it fascinating but I lacked both the talent to be really comfortable and also the diligence for "pure maths".
3. not really

Maths is often taught poorly, so students dislike it. That's really a pity, I think.

*fun factoid: I started elementary school in the late 1970s when there was a highly controversial "fad" to start in the first grade with elementary set theory! So we in parallel learned to write numbers (like letters one obviously needs to just learn to write them) and had colorful plastic shapes and a pastic template for drawing Venn diagrams to learn stuff like that the red triangles are the intersection of the red plastic thingies and the triangular ones... It was not confusing but there was never really clear to us small kids what if any connection there was between the set theory and the basic arithmetics we learned. Some connection was only revealed when much later one learns about rational and real numbers etc.
I think set theory in elementary school was abolished a few years later.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2022, 12:11:25 PM by Jo498 »
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3031
  • Location: U.S.A.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Eric Dolphy, Persian music, Sorabji, Scriabin, Sex Pistols
Re: Mathematics
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2022, 12:27:13 PM »
I am dealing with applied math, stats, regression, time-series, etc.
The math level and the level of other subjects significantly vary across the nations, even among the developed nations.
Something done at colleges in a country is done at secondary schools in other countries.

Online DavidW

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 550
Re: Mathematics
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2022, 02:31:32 PM »
1. Yes I was very good and won the Math department award in high school and was inducted into the honors society (Pi Mu Epsilon) as an undergrad.  I competed in math competitions in high school and was the president of my high school's math club.  I also answered one question correctly on the Putnam exam when I was in college, which it doesn't make me amazing but the median score is zero after all so I'm still proud of that accomplishment.

2. I have a bachelor's degree in Mathematics, as in I double majored in Physics and Mathematics.  I've made great use of everything I learned from that degree as I went into theoretical Physics for grad school (I have a PhD in Physics).

3. I'm a Physics teacher, and so yes I use math on a daily basis.  However I only use high level math when I teach advanced electives.  But it is safe to say that I use algebra, trigonometry and calculus nearly every day.

Online k a rl h e nn i ng

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 64337
  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
    • Henningmusick
  • Location: Boston, Mass.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Shostakovich, D. Scarlattii, Stravinsky, JS Bach, Liszt, Martinů, Haydn, Henning
Re: Mathematics
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2022, 02:52:15 PM »
1. Yes I was very good and won the Math department award in high school and was inducted into the honors society (Pi Mu Epsilon) as an undergrad.  I competed in math competitions in high school and was the president of my high school's math club.  I also answered one question correctly on the Putnam exam when I was in college, which it doesn't make me amazing but the median score is zero after all so I'm still proud of that accomplishment.

2. I have a bachelor's degree in Mathematics, as in I double majored in Physics and Mathematics.  I've made great use of everything I learned from that degree as I went into theoretical Physics for grad school (I have a PhD in Physics).

3. I'm a Physics teacher, and so yes I use math on a daily basis.  However I only use high level math when I teach advanced electives.  But it is safe to say that I use algebra, trigonometry and calculus nearly every day.

Nice!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Gurn Blanston

  • Haydn: that genius of vulgar music who induces an inordinate thirst for beer - Mily Balakirev (1860)
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 32340
  • Support your local Haydn Society
    • Gurn's Haydn Blog
  • Location: Texastan, where else?
  • Currently Listening to:
    Haydn, I reckon.
Re: Mathematics
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2022, 05:38:27 PM »
Wow, you guys!!   :-[

1. Until we reached the end of arithmetic, where I could cipher tolerably well, I was basically living in an entirely different, number-free world.

2. No, liberal arts was our credo. Mathematics was not not on most people's agenda. 

3. I did use the one subject I liked (Plane Geometry) surprisingly often in the several careers I've had. All that really complicated stuff like quadratic equations? Meh, not so much.

So you could list me as "probably not a fan", although I like the basic concept of having numerals to complement letters...  ;)

8)
 
Help support GMG by purchasing from Amazon using this link

Visit my Haydn blog: HaydnSeek

Follow me on Twitter @GurnBlanston106

Offline LKB

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3785
  • Location: USA
  • Currently Listening to:
    something between my ears
Re: Mathematics
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2022, 07:12:44 PM »
1-4: No.

That being said, l do find certain areas of mathematics interesting, which is just as well given my interest in astronomy. But back when math was an inescapable part of my academic evolution, l hated it beyond words.
Mit Flügeln, die ich mir errungen...

Offline Jo498

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5977
  • Location: Germany
Re: Mathematics
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2022, 10:12:01 PM »
3. I'm a Physics teacher, and so yes I use math on a daily basis.  However I only use high level math when I teach advanced electives.  But it is safe to say that I use algebra, trigonometry and calculus nearly every day.
Where would you draw the line to "high level maths"?
As someone else pointed out, there are subjects, even like basic calculus that are seen as (intro) college level in some school systems but obligatory in other systems (or at least obligatory for the ones preparing for college). Of course, many subjects and fields can be taught on several levels and one main difference to college level (and also between maths as auxiliary and pure maths) is systematic rigor etc. not that one can work out a partial derivative.

In my vague view, informed by the German school system (but also a little experience with international college students) I'd distinguish probably:

elementary: up to ca. 6th/7th grade, i.e. fractions, percentages, elementary geometry
intermediate: algebra, roots, trigonometry, powers, logarithms (up to ca. 9th/10th grade)
pre-college: pre-calculus, basic one-dimensional calculus, basic statistics, basic vectors, basic complex numbers (up to end of high/prep school, of course some things will usually be elective in HS and a lot will be covered again in introductory college classes)
college: anything beyond, i.e. differential equations except the easiest ones, advanced calculus, vector calculus, functional analysis, higher algebra etc. roughly anything that will almost only studied by students of maths, physics, computer science, other engineering subjects or other highly mathematised fields.

 
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Biffo

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3189
  • Location: United Kingdom
Re: Mathematics
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2022, 12:36:06 AM »
I was always very good at arithmetic and studied Mathematics to A-level (exam taken at 18); I didn't like it but got an adequate grade.

I studied Chemistry at university and we did Pure Maths, Statistics, Physics and Electronics as subsidiaries. I actually enjoyed the Pure Maths more than I had done at school. A number of students complained because they were told they didn't need A-level Maths for the course (most had Biology instead) and the stuff we did was beyond A-level.

I did use the Statistics very occasionally later in life. I never saw the point of the Electronics course but it had a high Maths content.

Eventually, when I gave up my career in scientific research I went into IT. I never really needed much Maths but being numerate probably helped.

Offline vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 24471
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Mathematics
« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2022, 01:01:38 AM »
I failed my maths 'O'-Level exam at school (exam taken at 16) and did so badly they didn't think that it was worth me retaking it.
I failed the Science one and French one as well (I got our French au-pair girl to do my homework  ::)):
Examiner (in French) 'What is the weather like?'
Me (In French and looking at watch) 'Ten past three'
Examiner: 'Next candidate please'.
My wife is excellent at Maths and my daughter so-so.
Now I wouldn't be able to be a teacher or get into university as you need a basic proficiency in maths.
I use it in my work for working out exam percentages but I can just use a calculator.
I wish that I was better at it.
Without History and English Literature I would never have scraped into university.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2022, 01:04:39 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline 71 dB

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 9910
  • I'm not insensitive. I'm an INTJ/P.
    • Soundcloud
  • Location: Helsinki, Finland
  • Currently Listening to:
    This and that...
Re: Mathematics
« Reply #16 on: June 22, 2022, 02:24:51 AM »
The best MBTI personality type to be a Mathematician to my knowledge is INTP. My type is INTJ, but it seems I am close to the border of INTJ and INTP so that I consider myself an INTJ/P. So, I am not 100 % Mathematician type, but I am close. Math(s) was always my strength in school. I liked it and I was good at it.

Before high-school Maths was easy for me, but there were also some others on my class who did well.

In high-school were the Math(s) gets harder especially for unmotivated pupils, I dominated my class supreme.  8) However, I needed to work for it, but that wasn't a problem because I liked it. Same with physics for that matter.

In the University I had to work, but I didn't dominate anymore. In a course of 90 students my place would be around place 30. I started to see my weaknesses studying Math(s) and understood I could never be a Mathematician. Now, many years later I know it is because I have too much 'J' in my MBTI type instead of 'P'. My brain wants to "jump" to the conclusions over tedious steps. At university level math(s) that starts to be a problem, but I could manage and even got good grades.

At work I of course need Math(s). I don't really understand people who says they don't need math(s) in their work. What can you do without math(s)? Write poems? I guess, but most of people don't write poems for living. Even music theory is very mathematical! Even those who don't need math(s) in their work benefit from it, because (and this point should be hammered in schools) math(s) is not just to calculate certain things. It is about logical thinking. It teached logical thinkings which in turn helps with critical thinking. Very important stuff in a World of online disinformation!

Of course Math(s) is not easy for everyone, but "not needing it at work" is a bad excuse. Only a very small percentage of people need to calculate integrals or solve differential equations, but being able to calculate what is for example 20 % of 400 is an important basic skill to survive in a complex World and a lot of people struggle even with that! People should at least be good at reading statistical graphs as part of scientific literacy.

If I was good in Math(s) in school, there were subjects that I really struggled with. Reading my posts now you wouldn't believe how bad I was in English (and Swedish) even in high school. Geography is also very difficult for me, because it is all about memorizing things and I am really bad at that. My brain just wants to understand logical connections. I struggled with sports/gymnastics which is typical for aspies.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2022, 02:51:05 AM by 71 dB »
Spatial distortion is a serious problem deteriorating headphone listening.
Crossfeeders reduce spatial distortion and make the sound more natural
and less tiresome in headphone listening.

My Sound Cloud page <-- NEW track "Jazzz"

Offline 71 dB

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 9910
  • I'm not insensitive. I'm an INTJ/P.
    • Soundcloud
  • Location: Helsinki, Finland
  • Currently Listening to:
    This and that...
Re: Mathematics
« Reply #17 on: June 22, 2022, 03:17:29 AM »
I use it in my work for working out exam percentages but I can just use a calculator.

No, you can't work out exam percentages just with a calculator. Give a chimpanzee a calculator and ask it to calculate the percentages.  ;D You need to know how to operate the calculator and that means you have understanding of how percentages work. Give credit to yourself for the math you can do! Math is not really about being able to calculate the fifth root of 72 in head*. It is for example about understanding percentages. It is about knowing what someone means by 20 % of 400. If you know it means 80 (thanks to the numbers being easy to calculate in head) you know how to use a calculator to calculate (very accurately) 17.2 % of 386.5 which is nastier to calculate in head.  ;D

* It is not so difficult to make rough estimates in your head: The fifth root of 72 is the number that raised to the fitht power (multiplied 5 times by itself) gives 72. So, could it be about 2? Well 2^5 = 2 * 2 * 2 * 2 * 2 = 4 * 4 * 2 = 16 * 2 = 32. We already know the fifth root of 72 is bigger than 2, but how much bigger? Bigger than 3? Well, 3^5 = 3 * 3 * 3 * 3 * 3 = 9 * 9 * 3 = 81 * 3 = 80 * 3 + 3 = 240 + 3 = 243 which is much bigger  than 72. So,  The fifth root of 72 is in between 2 and 3, but probably closer to 2, because 2^5 is closer to 72 and 3^5. How about something like 2.2 as an rough extimate? If we calculate the fifth root of 72 using a calculator, we get 2.352158045. The error of the rough estimate is 0.152158045 which is less than 7 % of the correct value! If you needed no more than 20 % accuracy, calculating it in head is good enough!

Spatial distortion is a serious problem deteriorating headphone listening.
Crossfeeders reduce spatial distortion and make the sound more natural
and less tiresome in headphone listening.

My Sound Cloud page <-- NEW track "Jazzz"

Online DavidW

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 550
Re: Mathematics
« Reply #18 on: June 22, 2022, 05:31:19 AM »
Jo,

Pretty much where you drew the line to answer your question.  I consider calculus, multivariable calculus, vector calculus, linear algebra and elementary differential equations as lower level as they are introductory courses.  When I say high level math I mean abstract algebra, tensor calculus, complex and real analysis, more sophisticated ordinary DEs and partial DEs, differential geometry etc etc

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3031
  • Location: U.S.A.
  • Currently Listening to:
    Eric Dolphy, Persian music, Sorabji, Scriabin, Sex Pistols
Re: Mathematics
« Reply #19 on: June 22, 2022, 05:34:55 AM »
1. Yes I was very good and won the Math department award in high school and was inducted into the honors society (Pi Mu Epsilon) as an undergrad.  I competed in math competitions in high school and was the president of my high school's math club.  I also answered one question correctly on the Putnam exam when I was in college, which it doesn't make me amazing but the median score is zero after all so I'm still proud of that accomplishment.

2. I have a bachelor's degree in Mathematics, as in I double majored in Physics and Mathematics.  I've made great use of everything I learned from that degree as I went into theoretical Physics for grad school (I have a PhD in Physics).

3. I'm a Physics teacher, and so yes I use math on a daily basis.  However I only use high level math when I teach advanced electives.  But it is safe to say that I use algebra, trigonometry and calculus nearly every day.

David, do you like quantum physics? What position/theory do you hold about the nature below sub-particle level?