## A quick explanation that will make math easy to learn if you ever actually need to... | |

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Anonymous Coward User ID: 28008747 United States 11/20/2012 09:54 AM Report Abusive Post Report Copyright Violation | Not only is math a language, but science is considered somewhat disreputable unless it is described mathematically.Why? Because math is precise, and math allows you to work out logical conclusions.Math can be manipulated. Simple example is a story problem.Joe is five years older than Fred. In three years, Joe will be twice as old as Fred. and the question is: How old are Joe and Fred? So you set it up (J = Joe's age, F = Fred's age, everything is in units of years): J = F + 5 J+3 = 2 (F+3) and then manipulate it, one way is to realize that the second equation is equivalent toJ = 2F + 3 and then we have F + 5 = 2F + 3 so F = 2 and J = 7. There's no easy way to get there other than math, unless you like a lot of trial and error. English can't be reliably manipulated like this. And if you can do this problem by trial and error, there are plenty of problems in science, engineering, economics, etc. that you cannot do in a hundred years by trial and error, but math will get you to the answer. |

Anonymous Coward User ID: 28008747 United States 11/20/2012 10:00 AM Report Abusive Post Report Copyright Violation | By the way, the hardest thing for most people to learn in the example is how to "set up" the problem, i.e. translate from English to Math, take a two sentence story and turn it into two equations. This is the part we still require human intelligence for, and it's the part that always requires some attention even if you've been doing technical work for years. The manipulation part we can do entirely by computer. |

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Anonymous Coward User ID: 28008747 United States 11/20/2012 10:11 AM Report Abusive Post Report Copyright Violation | When OP says math is not taught in schools, it's because you can't do much with math until you get to a bit of calculus, and the way we have schools structured, most people never get that in school and the rest get it only in the final year, 12th grade. I suspect this is because that's all the math our school teachers are able to teach, so they spread the material out over so many years to keep the students safely below the teachers' not-very-high level of knowledge. Calculus isn't hard, definitely not harder than learning algebra. (this applies to the high school versions of both subjects.) But calculus lets you do harder problems, so maybe it feels hard. And just a bit of calculus lets you start doing physics, and a bit more calculus lets you do electromagnetism in physics, so for those of us who study science, the calculus and physics courses work as a tandem in late high school / early college. For me, the reinforcement both ways was very important. It's unfortunate that most students never get to the point of experiencing this synergy. Maybe if we could just move a bit faster in math and stop treating calculus as some mysterious amazing thing that most people never even get to touch, we might find that more people get to the point where math and science together become interesting, and they might decide to study those things further. |

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Anonymous Coward User ID: 875736 United States 02/14/2013 06:37 AM Report Abusive Post Report Copyright Violation | There is no comprehensive dictionary, and, math teachers put stumbling block in front of students so they can't learn. IE-Dictionary any math symbol: 1. definition. 2. alternate definition, etc. IE Stumbling block Division. Teacher demonstrate division on the board, then asks students to divide 22 into 44. Easy. Teacher does no demonstration and asks students to divide 22 into 23, or 21 on written test. All students get low or failing grades on test (matter of record) Teacher then launches demostration for fractions and negative numbers. Too much information. Class clown disrupts class. Bell rings. Math day lost. |

Anonymous Coward User ID: 1274009 Netherlands 02/14/2013 06:46 AM Report Abusive Post Report Copyright Violation | Cool, OP! I never payed much attention in school and now 40 years ahead I know practically nothing about it anymore. Lately I'm thinking to take up Mathematics and it's variants but have no idea where to begin for home study. Maybe any tips on where to start? Some online material you know of? And a big |

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Anonymous Coward User ID: 33719584 United States 02/14/2013 06:53 AM Report Abusive Post Report Copyright Violation | Cool, OP! Quoting: I never payed much attention in school and now 40 years ahead I know practically nothing about it anymore. Lately I'm thinking to take up Mathematics and it's variants but have no idea where to begin for home study. Maybe any tips on where to start? Some online material you know of? And a big Anonymous Coward 1274009 Don't study math. That is the point. Math is a language. It is impossible to learn a foreign language by studying it. You have to use it. So figure out what you want to do... build an engine... write a physics engine in a computer... launch a rocket... etc. Then find the math that applies to that. As you experiment to achieve your goal, learning the math will be effortless. Just like you will learn all the technical words as well. |

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numewenonUser ID: 50314060 Canada 12/13/2013 06:43 AM Report Abusive Post Report Copyright Violation | My students tell me all the time that they are "bad" at math. I tell them something along those lines. It's a language. Music reading is a similar language. You cannot compose a beautiful peice by just knowing the mechanical "grammar" of music, you need to have creativity. Everybody can learn math, music, language/grammar... If they are interested enough. Having the creativity to do great things with them is a different matter. |

eekersDreamer of Dreams User ID: 38137469 United States 12/13/2013 06:44 AM Report Abusive Post Report Copyright Violation | "We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." - T. S. Eliot |

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