Why is Math Important - Associated Topics | Dr. Math Home |...

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Associated Topics || Dr. Math Home || Search Dr. Math Why Is Math Important? Date: 01/02/2002 at 15:30:23 From: Amanda Dalton Subject: Why math is important Why is math so important? Some of it we don't need to know in the real world so why do they teach us things we won't need to know? Date: 01/02/2002 at 16:57:46 From: Doctor Achilles Subject: Re: Why math is important Hi Amanda, Thanks for writing to Dr. Math. This is a really hard question to answer well. I can think of a few reasons. The first is that it's often surprising how many places strange math ideas pop up. We have an FAQ page dedicated to this, and it links to a lot of archives that show how math is used in a lot of different professions (from physics and medicine to law and just your everyday life): Why Study Math? http://www.mathforum.org/dr.math/faq/faq.why.math.html But there are two really important reasons for learning math that don't directly link to how you will use it in your daily life. The first is basically "the more you know, the more options you have available." I'm 21 years old. Almost everyone I know who is my age either had no idea what he or she wanted to do 5 years ago, or they thought they knew but then changed their minds later. (Actually, a fair number of my friends STILL don't know what they want to do.) I have one close friend who wanted to be a computer scientist until he got to college, and then he changed his mind and he's now studying
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politics. But all the math that he learned for computer science has helped him with the statistical analysis and economics he has to study as part of his politics work. Fractions, geometry, algebra, and trig will all be integrated into just about anything you ever want to study, and having practiced those things in high school will allow you to not have to worry about relearning them later. Slope-intercept form for economic graphs or for population models in biology should be second nature, so that you don't have to worry about math later and can focus on what you really do want to study. For example, let's say you want to be an ecologist. Ecologists often study population size. Let's say that you're studying a population whose size increases like this: size = 2 * time + 100. This is a standard slope-intercept equation. A lot of people don't want to learn slope-intercept because it doesn't seem to have any point. But if you understand it enough that you don't have to think about it, then when you see an equation like that, you won't have to worry about the math at all and you can just think about the ecology. So basically, the idea here is that if you learn math now, then when
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This note was uploaded on 04/12/2011 for the course CHEM 302 taught by Professor Rodriguez during the Fall '10 term at Grand Valley State University.

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Why is Math Important - Associated Topics | Dr. Math Home |...

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