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do you actually use math in real life? (Read 1435 times)

Offline chopincat

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do you actually use math in real life?
« on: February 03, 2015, 01:46:20 AM »
Excluding math-related careers, is there any point in real adult life when you're actually going to need to know how to factor a quadratic equation or what the sine of 60 is? I'm feeling a bit fed up.

Offline ted

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Re: do you actually use math in real life?
«Reply #1 on: February 03, 2015, 02:55:06 AM »
Inasmuch as logic and reasoning lie at the foundations of mathematics, then yes, of course I do, because without logic and reasoning life would be at best uncertain and at worst dangerous. It may not appear such, but when we plan the most efficient way to undertake, for instance, a day's travelling to carry out a number of tasks at different locations and times, we are in fact processing what can be a highly complicated algorithm. Higher maths, equations and so on ? Obviously not as often, I do that for fun, and as a sort of gym for the brain; it might help ward off dementia.
"When I was young they said, 'Ah, wait until you are old, then you'll see.' Well, now I am old, and I have seen nothing." - Erik Satie

Offline cwjalex

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Re: do you actually use math in real life?
«Reply #2 on: February 03, 2015, 05:03:29 AM »
excluding math related fields, you don't often use math beyond basic algebra in everyday life.  however, there are a tremendous amount of fields where mastering higher mathematics will be beneficial and be required.  doctors probably don't use a lot of math but to become a doctor you will need to take and pass many math related courses.  math is the foundation of a lot of other science fields like physics and chemistry.  being strong in math is beneficial in a lot of fields whether you wish to become an engineer, actuary, accountant,  or computer programmer to name a few.  math is extremely important and in my opinion IQ is most succinctly gauged by math related skills and competency.

when i was in highschool and taking calculus i shared much of the same frustration as you and figured i wouldn't need it later in life.  one of the biggest regrets i have now is that i didn't pay more attention and master mathematics as i am now going back to school for engineering and relearning a lot of the math that i blew off in highschool.  being good at math opens up so many different career paths and many of those are very high paying.  i was considering law school at one time and studying for LSAT tests and i read this study where they gave the test to students of all different kinds of majors and the math majors scored the highest by a clear margin. you might think a lawyer wouldn't need a lot of math but the logic games portion of the LSATs is really just math word problems.  many pre law students have to study extensively for this portion of the test but people strong in math can figure out and ace this section without any preparation.

think of higher level mathematics as mental gymnastics that will work out your brain for many different tasks.  it's great for problem solving and one of the most important skills that you can master.  don't make the same mistake i did, learn math and get good at! 

Offline pianoplunker

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Re: do you actually use math in real life?
«Reply #3 on: February 03, 2015, 06:41:43 AM »
Excluding math-related careers, is there any point in real adult life when you're actually going to need to know how to factor a quadratic equation or what the sine of 60 is? I'm feeling a bit fed up.

Engineering careers require this type of math. As well as physics math, How to launch a space shuttle to dock with the space station requires mega-math, unless they are just being lucky

Offline j_menz

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Re: do you actually use math in real life?
«Reply #4 on: February 03, 2015, 06:49:05 AM »
How to launch a space shuttle to dock with the space station requires mega-math, unless they are just being lucky

Challenger..... Columbia......


Not quite so lucky.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline pianoplunker

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Re: do you actually use math in real life?
«Reply #5 on: February 03, 2015, 07:04:58 AM »
Challenger..... Columbia......


Not quite so lucky.

True, but had nothing to do with math.

Offline mussels_with_nutella

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Re: do you actually use math in real life?
«Reply #6 on: February 03, 2015, 11:44:40 AM »
You have to know the basics of maths in order to not be lied.

For example, to know how to interprete graphs and statistics (Key concepts: Scale, regression models and assumptions, R2 index of "goodness", number of samples taken,...)
If you don't know this concepts, it is IMPOSSIBLE to know if the data/results/graphs you are given are OK or just a lie.

About the interest of banks and so on, you might have to know how percentages work, and thus working with fractions. Also when you are paid, to analyze a bit what you are becoming, maths are relevant. But basic maths, you don't have to know what is the Cauchy's theorem on complex variable :D

It is also important if you want to play piano: How could you play a Bach's waltz without maths?  ;)

P.D: I'm an engineer, and I chose my career because maths and physics can develop a great critical and reasoning mind: That's the main advantage of knowing maths in the daily-life. It is not a necessary condition, but it's pretty sufficient :)
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Offline thalbergmad

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Re: do you actually use math in real life?
«Reply #7 on: February 03, 2015, 06:09:13 PM »
I only use maths to work out the import duty on me latest banjo.

Apart from that, it is of no use to me.

Thal
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Concerto Preservation Society

Offline pianoplunker

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Re: do you actually use math in real life?
«Reply #8 on: February 04, 2015, 06:40:36 AM »
Quote from: mussels_with_nutella link=topic=57345.msg618178#msg618178
It is also important if you want to play piano: How could you play a Bach's waltz without maths?  ;)


I dont know if Bach wrote any waltzes, but if he did it would be 1,2,3 1,2,3. I like music because I dont have to count very far. Math is not my friend so if I can keep the count to 6 or less then I am good. I let the engineers do all the crazy math :-)

Offline j_menz

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Re: do you actually use math in real life?
«Reply #9 on: February 04, 2015, 06:45:42 AM »
I dont know if Bach wrote any waltzes, but if he did it would be 1,2,3 1,2,3.

As far as I'm aware, he didn't. That means you count i, 2i, 3i  i, 2i, 3i.  ;D
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline indianajo

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Re: do you actually use math in real life?
«Reply #10 on: February 04, 2015, 03:32:04 PM »
Uh, yeah.
I calculate gas milage all the time to see when it is time to raise the hood and examine the engine to see why it is not performing properly.  Sometimes I calculate whether I can make it home without stopping or stop in Evansville and burn another 25 minutes, since stations are 8 miles off the highway at Evansville.  
I use division in my head to calculate price to book ratios of stock shares, since schwab will supply P/E ratios but not P/B. Hint, P/B <1 is good as long as a market disaster is not looming.   As far as managing stock shares, everybody hopes to retire someday, and some big corporation is no longer going to buy you a nice pension.  You need to figure the probabilites by yourself, to separate the good deals you are offered (rare) from the scams (very common).  Most small company retirement plans are managed to get the company owners nice free hunting trips or cruises ("seminars"), not to make the employees the most money on their investments. And the stockbroker that calls you with a hot tip, is doing it because he makes a nice commission, not because it would be the best deal for you.  Learn to do the math yourself, and work less years when you are old.  
for sines and cosines, I calculated last year what size steel beam I would need to pick up my 6300 lb tractor with a beam trolley, so I could split it and  repair the transmission.  The 14 ga steel beams on craigslist weren't big enough, I let those go.  I'm still waiting, meanwhile mowing 23 acres with a 42" riding mower.  Or, I could just give the man $4000 and let him weld a gear tooth up for me, the way the sleazebag reseller did before he sold the tractor to me. I got 1.5 mowing trips around the property before the transmission went all neutrals.   If I repair it myself I can have a gear made if I can't buy one from the (bankrupt) dealer.  Inside engines and transmissions there is a lot of cheating work done- I caught the last sleazebag on one element of a motor re-build,substituting cast iron rings instead of the stainless steel I specified.  But he snuck another cost cutter in, welded up a cracked block probably,  and I got total 3000 miles out of that motor overhaul before antifreeze started pouring into the oil pan.  He's related to the piano tuner that installed a humidifier for me to "fix" the tuning pin that needed retuning every month.  That didn't work either. 

Offline cwjalex

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Re: do you actually use math in real life?
«Reply #11 on: February 04, 2015, 10:40:39 PM »
i'm not positive about this but i don't think you can score high (120+) on an IQ test without being strong in math

Offline Bob

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Re: do you actually use math in real life?
«Reply #12 on: February 05, 2015, 02:24:52 AM »
I had a teacher in junior high who had a chart on the wall with math used in different careers.  If you're in science, business, etc. you might.  Otherwise, most of them were math up to 8th grade.

And the joke... In music, we only need to be able to count to four.  ....while balancing spinning plates, tapping, following the conductor, emoting, etc......


Otherwise, part of the point (another teacher said) was to teach you to work, to teach you follow directions, to follow a supervisor, etc.  All stuff that was likely to come up in your future, disregarding the actual subject matter. 
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline liszt1022

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Re: do you actually use math in real life?
«Reply #13 on: February 05, 2015, 04:27:17 AM »
Well I don't know if it counts as "real life" but I do a lot of origami and it takes a good head for plane geometry and proportion scaling.



Offline timothy42b

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Re: do you actually use math in real life?
«Reply #14 on: February 05, 2015, 04:52:31 PM »
I had a teacher in junior high who had a chart on the wall with math used in different careers.  If you're in science, business, etc. you might.  Otherwise, most of them were math up to 8th grade.


We live longer and we change careers more often. 

I had my master's in clinical psychology and then later went back and got an engineering degree.  If I had skipped all the math I couldn't have done that. 

You might decide on a career that doesn't need math, then later on change your mind. 

When I was in engineering school, there was a sign on the wall that read: 
Quote
Most girls don't take four years of math in high school, and with that decision they end up disqualifying themselves from 90% of possible careers.
 

Of course engineering schools now are more integrated.
Tim

Offline timothy42b

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Re: do you actually use math in real life?
«Reply #15 on: February 05, 2015, 04:53:51 PM »
Speaking of which, where did the opinionated nyi% go?  Haven't seen him in at least a month.
Tim

Offline Bob

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Re: do you actually use math in real life?
«Reply #16 on: February 05, 2015, 11:48:34 PM »
Statistics and data crunching tends to come up a lot.  More data is collected.  Someone needs to understand who to deal with it all.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline fftransform

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Re: do you actually use math in real life?
«Reply #17 on: February 06, 2015, 12:09:02 AM »
If you've got no probabilistic sense, how can you estimate the ethical utility of your actions?  'Consequences', as relevant, inherently follow from your decisions, i.e. occur later in time.  If you can't gauge the likelihood of these consequences unfolding amongst potentialities in which they have a net gain utility, you cannot even ask whether they are ethical, assuming your viewpoint admits utilitarian considerations.

Or do you mean arithmetic?

Offline gyzzzmo

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Re: do you actually use math in real life?
«Reply #18 on: February 07, 2015, 12:33:10 AM »
You can ask this question about around 90% of the stuff you learned at high-school.
1+1=11

Offline chopincat

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Re: do you actually use math in real life?
«Reply #19 on: February 07, 2015, 04:50:49 PM »
You can ask this question about around 90% of the stuff you learned at high-school.

True. The difference is I find a lot of what I'm learning in high school to be really intellectually stimulating, so I find it useful. But high-level math just stresses me out.

Offline mussels_with_nutella

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Re: do you actually use math in real life?
«Reply #20 on: February 07, 2015, 08:11:28 PM »
As far as I'm aware, he didn't. That means you count i, 2i, 3i  i, 2i, 3i.  ;D

 ;D  ;D  ;D jajajaja i laughed a lot
Learning:
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When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something
Shostakovic

Offline pianoplunker

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Re: do you actually use math in real life?
«Reply #21 on: February 08, 2015, 12:29:22 PM »
As far as I'm aware, he didn't. That means you count i, 2i, 3i  i, 2i, 3i.  ;D

Oh no, Bach just became more complicated - I better just stick to counting to 4 ;D