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How Much is Trig Used in Maths Outside of Calculus?

  1. Aug 11, 2015 #1
    My trig. is so-so (I honestly hated it) and just curious how much it's used and needed in other maths? Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 11, 2015 #2
    As an Undergrad, here are the math courses I've taken:

    Diff EQ - Used trig nonstop
    Linear Algebra - not much trig, only once we got to transforms (rotations)
    Vector Cal - lots of trig
  4. Aug 12, 2015 #3
    It is used and needed a lot. Of all the pre-calculus topics, trig is the most important one.
  5. Aug 12, 2015 #4


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    You really need to change that.
  6. Aug 12, 2015 #5
    Somebody who hates trig either:
    1) Didn't understand it
    2) Had a bad teacher/class
    Trigonometry is one of the most beautiful subjects of mathematics and science. It's a very ancient piece of mathematics, but very important. I think I'd like to call it one of the major achievements of scientists. Seriously, if you see everything you can do with trig and all the application it has, it is hard not to be impressed.
  7. Aug 12, 2015 #6


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    Very much both IN mathematics and in other fields which rely on mathematics. Optics is one part of science and technology in which Trigonometry is extensively in action.

    What a student really hates is restricted time in which to earn a grade, and the effort to relearn and maintain the concepts and skills while trying to learn more... also for a grade under another time constraint.
  8. Aug 12, 2015 #7
    Should make it a habit to get good at the things you enjoy least, both in the workplace and in adademia.
  9. Aug 13, 2015 #8
    I didn't LIKE trig but it's certainly useful. I really wish I'd just memorized all the identities back in high school (/taken IB HL maths instead of goddamned maths studies) so I wouldn't have to stop and look them up every 5 seconds.

    Anyway, it's ubiquitous. Same as algebra, it's just a fundamental thing that comes up constantly, you don't really think of it as "trigonometry" as a separate subject or thing, it's just part of solving various problems. Plus most of the time it makes things easier to solve anyway if they're based off periodic functions and stuff, or to represent complex things in the trig form (forget what it's actually called).

    That said, how much of it is triangles vs periodic functions varies. Generally it's not so much the geometric stuff as it is the functions that crop up constantly (although sometimes the former does show up depending on the problems).
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