is pure math useless?


by babysnatcher
Tags: math, pure, useless
rollingstein
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#19
Feb1-13, 10:53 AM
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Quote Quote by WannabeNewton View Post
I'm curious as to how you people figured out what in god's name post #1 was actually saying.
The title was cogent. Rest wasn't. :)
WannabeNewton
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Feb1-13, 11:26 AM
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Quote Quote by rollingstein View Post
The title was cogent. Rest wasn't. :)
Haha fair enough. I saw the title and almost had a heart attack.
HallsofIvy
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Feb1-13, 02:23 PM
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Quote Quote by WannabeNewton View Post
I'm curious as to how you people figured out what in god's name post #1 was actually saying.
No body could! That's why:
babysnatcher;4252537]Wow! You guys are really gonna have this pissing contest on my post? Why.......
babysnatcher, to answer your questions
What am I missing from the physics classes that are named "solids" ,and "eletricity and magnetism"? What am I missing from advanced organic chemistry and inorganic chemsitry classes? What am I missing from math classes I am not taking? I am just convinced that all of these upper division and grad school course versions of my foundations of ChE(chem, math, phys) cannot be for nothing.
Read the college catalog descriptions or, better, ask professors who have taught them. The content of even the same named course can vary from college to college and even from teacher to teacher. For math, at least, the content of upper level undergrduate and grad courses tends to be the derivations and proofs of the "methods" that you learned in the lower level courses.

But with math it seems very difficult to "know" that you "know" - I actually do not "believe" in 100% "knowability", which leads to the "belief" chance for any possibilities at any time which leads to the "belief" of "unknowability". It has not been proven that the uncomprehendable is impossible. The perception or reasoning ability of the spectator does not change what is already there, could be there, or is not there. I hope you can see the evidence I provided in the context I wanted it instead of literally what the words say because everything I have said does not agree from the beginning but the "opposite" is unprovable. Regardless of my "belief", I am willing to go along with "2 can only be 2, and no other number at the same time" for now. Does more relativly solid evidence like this come up in pure math?
Statements in mathematics are "verbal knowledge". Things are true because they follow from the basic definitions. "2 can only be 2, and no other number at the same time" because "2" is defined to be a specific number. Every statement in mathematics begins (even if it is not explicitely written) "IF (all definitions, axioms, etc. for this particular branch of mathematics) THEN ...". A specific theorem makes no claim that all of those are true, just that if they are true, then ...
saminator910
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#22
Feb1-13, 10:05 PM
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I think your decision should depend on how much you like theory, some people get into really pure math, with no applications, and find it pointless, others like it best. If you really like your applications, I would stick with applied physics, or engineering. Also, you may be surprised by how much 'pure' math you see in theoretical physics. You should research into each field a little more, look at pure math topics and see if any really interest you.
Sankaku
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#23
Feb2-13, 12:22 AM
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Quote Quote by babysnatcher View Post
is pure math useless?
My main response to such questions is to ask in return:

Is music useless?

How will I ever know what a symphony means?

Should everyone become a professional musician? No, of course not. Should people have strong preferences in music? I know I do.
mal4mac
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#24
Feb2-13, 10:44 AM
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You can never know anything "beyond doubt", except (perhaps) that you are a thinking consciousness, even "2 is always 2" might be just a dream you're having, or a malicious idea that some demon has placed in your mind. There is really only "best opinion" as defined by the gatekeepers having that opinion (in maths it's maths professors, in physics, physics professors...) If you like maths more than physics then why is that? If you prefer mathematics to physics because it's a more interesting "game" for you, then do mathematics, don't do it because you are worried about "truth standards", because there is no truth... (if you can't see that, and are really bothered by it, then you better study a lot of philosophy... Socrates said we know nothing, and he's right...) Also don't choose on "usefulness", who's to say what's useful? Do what you like...
babysnatcher
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#25
Feb9-13, 12:12 PM
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Quote Quote by Robert1986 View Post
I have no idea what the ramblings in post #1 were saying. I guess I was just answering the title of the thread.
To all you people with the same issue,

Solving a thousand 30minute physics problems? No problem.


Understanding my post? Legendary difficulty.

I'm glad some of you can automatically connect everything together. Its relevant one way or another.
Victoreen
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#26
Feb11-13, 03:27 PM
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Quote Quote by babysnatcher View Post
To all you people with the same issue,

Solving a thousand 30minute physics problems? No problem.


Understanding my post? Legendary difficulty.

I'm glad some of you can automatically connect everything together. Its relevant one way or another.
This post is better. Sentences are shorter and it's not nearly as intimidating.
People typically want to enjoy what they read so don't be offended.

If you want to teach you should major in whatever you want to teach. If you want to learn a lot of applied math go for Physics. If the program is anything like mine you'll learn most of the pure math topics slightly above the level of Boas. Pure math is based on proof, but Physics is all about application.


http://books.google.com/books/about/...d=C3-NQgAACAAJ
mathwonk
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#27
Feb12-13, 12:11 AM
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everything has some uses. the answer book for my calculus text was useful as a doorstop.
dkotschessaa
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#28
Feb12-13, 06:33 AM
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For purposes of this thread, I'm going to be the guy that says,

"There's really no such thing as pure math."

have fun with that one!
meuphemia
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#29
Feb12-13, 09:09 AM
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I guess your true direction depends on what exactly you plan to do with all of that knowledge once you get it.
SophusLies
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#30
Feb12-13, 12:43 PM
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I must confess that in my first proof based math class I had some resistance as to why we were learning it. I wanted applications at first but sometime in the semester I started to change my mindset. I started viewing math as math and nothing more. After I broke into that way of thinking I really began to see what mathematics was trying to do and because of that I ended up taking many, many more pure math courses. In my opinion, the most of beautiful part of math is how much they can generalize things. I don't see how this can be viewed as useless, but I also disagree to even question the practically of math. Someone will find a use for it, as with many other areas of pure math have before.
meuphemia
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#31
Feb12-13, 06:54 PM
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OP, I missed a lot of the random responses in here. I think you'd be very well served spending time on youtube and other sites that make online lecture videos available. You should also check out text books....seek out the course titles (as you've started to) and find out what texts they're using , then rent/purchase/download them (open source of course). Many professors put their lecture notes online, which may provide a more concise overview of the content of the course(s).

If you really want to know what else is worth knowing out there...go dig for it. From there, either you'll latch on to something worth exploring/studying further, or you'll be satisfied that you're on the right path.


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