Practical applications and maths

In summary: There's a lot of group theory involved but I'm not sure what you'd call the actual branch.In summary, the conversation discusses the question of whether there are any branches of mathematics that do not have practical applications. The participants define "practical" as having physical or real-world applications and consider whether computer science falls into this category. They also discuss the relative practicality of different branches of mathematics, such as cryptography and abstract algebra. The conversation concludes with some examples of areas of mathematics, such as magic squares and Rubik's cubes, that may not have practical applications but still have some potential use in computer science.
  • #1
nobahar
497
2
This is a question that got me thinking, but no further! Hence why I ask it here:
Does anyone know of any mathematics that DOESN'T have practical applications?
By practical I mean physical, real world applications.
 
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  • #2
Does physical and real-world include computer science?
 
  • #3
Well, I'm sure that somebody could argue that any branch of mathematics you named was exceptionally practical as well as beautifully theoretical.

But I for one believe that some types of math are more "practical" than others, in that they are more directly applicable.

For instance, cryptography compared to Abstract Algebra.
 
  • #4
I'm not sure what you mean by "cryptography compared to Abstract Algebra".

Cryptography is an application of mathematics, not mathematics itself, which uses a lot of Abstract Algebra.
 
  • #5
I'd say physical and real world includes computers, I mean something that just doesn't apply anywhere. For example, when learning maths you often use practical applications to improve your understanding, is there something you can't really do that with? I personally can't see that being possible, but I'm not that well informed!
 
  • #6
I simply meant that if you take a course under the heading "Cryptography" it will be more "applied", and hence more applicable to the real world, than a course under the heading "Abstract Algebra". For just the reason you stated...

At my school, Abstract Algebra wasn't even a prerequisite for Cryptography, because they cherry-picked the Algebra you needed to know and retaught it as applicable. Courses like that I believe are about as applied as you can get in Mathematics departments...

Not that there's anything wrong with pure mathematics.
 
  • #7
nobahar said:
This is a question that got me thinking, but no further! Hence why I ask it here:
Does anyone know of any mathematics that DOESN'T have practical applications?
By practical I mean physical, real world applications.

Magic Squares? Rubiks cube?

Apart from the application of novelty I'm not sure what utility they have.
 
  • #8
I recall magic squares being used to solve some sort of comp-sci type problem, but now for the life of me can't remember what it was. It probably had no actual application to the real world anyway though.

I'm not entirely convinced that a Rubik's cube is strictly an area of mathematics
 

Related to Practical applications and maths

1. What are some practical applications of maths in everyday life?

Some practical applications of maths in everyday life include budgeting and managing finances, calculating measurements and conversions for cooking or DIY projects, and understanding probability and statistics in making decisions.

2. How can maths be useful in a career?

Maths is useful in a career as it helps with problem-solving, critical thinking, and data analysis. Many careers, such as engineering, finance, and science, rely heavily on mathematical concepts and calculations.

3. What is the importance of understanding practical applications of maths?

Understanding practical applications of maths is important as it allows us to make informed decisions in our daily lives and in our careers. It also helps us to develop logical and analytical thinking skills.

4. How can I improve my maths skills for practical applications?

To improve your maths skills for practical applications, you can practice regularly, seek help from tutors or online resources, and apply maths concepts to real-life situations. It is also important to have a strong foundation in basic mathematical concepts.

5. What are some common misconceptions about maths in practical applications?

Some common misconceptions about maths in practical applications include the belief that it is only useful for solving complex equations, or that it is not relevant to everyday life. In reality, maths is used in various aspects of our daily lives, from managing finances to making decisions and solving problems.

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