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Programs Why do I have to take "Calc-Based Physics"as a Math major?

Fervent Freyja

Gold Member
596
441
math isnt about application, it's the beauty behind it.
The beauty behind it? Do you mean the natural world around you? The value of mathematics is that it meets human needs and has given us higher chances of survival with it's applications. The quality of life has improved for the majority of the world because of it. What would the human condition look like without it never being applied throughout history? Not a world that I would ever want to witness, and that's saying something. Physics will do even more for humankind one day.

I think you will regret the choice, I know that I do. But, they may not let you into this course anyway. It's not intended for mathematics or science majors, but serves as an option for other majors to take that could satisfy their general requirements. My university recommended reading material for the course is "Physics for Dummies"- I'm not kidding. This course will probably need to grade on a curve, but if you are as competent as you say in mathematics and do too well then you may be considered by your peers as the 'curve wrecker'.
 
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The beauty behind it? Do you mean the natural world around you? The value of mathematics is that it meets human needs and has given us higher chances of survival with it's applications. The quality of life has improved for the majority of the world because of it. What would the human condition look like without it never being applied throughout history? Not a world that I would ever want to witness, and that's saying something. Physics will do even more for humankind one day.

I think you will regret the choice, I know that I do. But, they may not let you into this course anyway. It's not intended for mathematics or science majors, but serves as an option for other majors to take that could satisfy their general requirements. My university recommended reading material for the course is "Physics for Dummies"- I'm not kidding. This course will probably need to grade on a curve, but if you are as competent as you say in mathematics and do too well then you may be considered by your peers as the 'curve wrecker'.
Most people dont study maths or physics to increase our chances of survival etc. Almost all researchers who do mathematics/physics do it because they love it. There is definitely a beauty in mathematics, I know of no mathematics researchers at my university that do it for the applications to industry.

If you think maths as just a tool then I guess youll never understand when someone says there is a beauty in the mathematics but there is :)
 

Fervent Freyja

Gold Member
596
441
Most people dont study maths or physics to increase our chances of survival etc. Almost all researchers who do mathematics/physics do it because they love it. There is definitely a beauty in mathematics, I know of no mathematics researchers at my university that do it for the applications to industry.

If you think maths as just a tool then I guess youll never understand when someone says there is a beauty in the mathematics but there is :)
Young man, do not get smart and you should drop the straw man argument. Mathematics are manipulative cognitive skills that must be taught; therefore, they meet the definition of a tool. Everyone here is trying to communicate the importance of understanding the applications behind the tools, which can give more creative foresight.

I was pointing out the most valuable results that have stemmed from mathematics in recent history, and its contribution to, you know, people. I wasn't talking about your egocentric view on the beauty of it. I did not state that the catalyst for developments in mathematics came from human needs. Just that, great mathematicians were able to work at a level ahead of their time, and those principles were utilized by others to benefit humanity. I see beauty in tools that can improve the lives of people, particularly of those that still suffer.

Push that pencil and boost about your superiority all you want, but remember that you were simply lucky to be born in an environment that provided you the opportunity to even learn mathematics. You do not owe anybody charity or have to go out of your way. But, ungratefulness to the extent I see in juveniles today is disgraceful and disturbing. Kudos to the nurse that used simple equations in administering the drugs and IV that saved a childs life today.
 

George Jones

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Science Advisor
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From "A Mathematician's Apology" by pure mathematician G.H. Hardy:

There are many highly respectable motives which may lead men to prosecute research, but three which are much more important than the rest. The first (without which the rest must come to nothing) is intellectual curiosity, desire to know the truth. ... It may be fine to feel, when you have done your work, that you have added to the happiness or alleviated the suffering of others, but that will not be why you did it. So if a mathematician, or a chemist, or even a physiologist, were to tell me that the driving in his work had been the desire to benefit humanity, the I should not believe him (nor should I think the better of him if I did). His dominant motives have been those which I have stated, and in which, surely, there is nothing of which any decent man need be ashamed.
Notes: 1) here "apology" means "explanation" or "defence" and is not an expression of regret; 2) I don't agree with the sexist language.
 

symbolipoint

Homework Helper
Education Advisor
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From "A Mathematician's Apology" by pure mathematician G.H. Hardy:



Notes: 1) here "apology" means "explanation" or "defence" and is not an expression of regret; 2) I don't agree with the sexist language.
Nice quotation of that mathematician, but the language was not picked to be sexist. The pronouns as applied there function for all genders. The pronouns used are typical. Women and others are not excluded.
 
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Young man, do not get smart and you should drop the straw man argument. Mathematics are manipulative cognitive skills that must be taught; therefore, they meet the definition of a tool. Everyone here is trying to communicate the importance of understanding the applications behind the tools, which can give more creative foresight.

I was pointing out the most valuable results that have stemmed from mathematics in recent history, and its contribution to, you know, people. I wasn't talking about your egocentric view on the beauty of it. I did not state that the catalyst for developments in mathematics came from human needs. Just that, great mathematicians were able to work at a level ahead of their time, and those principles were utilized by others to benefit humanity. I see beauty in tools that can improve the lives of people, particularly of those that still suffer.

Push that pencil and boost about your superiority all you want, but remember that you were simply lucky to be born in an environment that provided you the opportunity to even learn mathematics. You do not owe anybody charity or have to go out of your way. But, ungratefulness to the extent I see in juveniles today is disgraceful and disturbing. Kudos to the nurse that used simple equations in administering the drugs and IV that saved a childs life today.
But maths isnt just a tool for some people and all these applications you speak of were developed, on the whole, from pure interest for the subject so without that there may not even be the applications. Many of the researchers I have come across in industry and academia have said they arent really in that area for its applications but just for pure interest in the subject. An example of this my tutor is currently doing research into dynamics of bubbles and she says the applications could be more targeted delivery systems of chemotherapy drugs but also said while that is great, her main interest is just to further the knowledge in that subject are. Also you say 'everyone is trying to put across the importance of application' but I view it more as putting across the importance of being open minded when approaching new subject areas

I never boosted about my superiority either nor an I ungrateful for everything I have in my life today (especially as a lot of it comes from my hard work). I also wasn't 'getting smart with you' I was just stating the reason that, from what I have observed and read about, a lot of maths and physics applications are about today. You seemed to say that the only real reasons people do maths is to benefit society but this simply isnt the case

Anyway this is straying from the point of the thread.
 

symbolipoint

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max1995, good show!
 
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But maths isnt just a tool for some people and all these applications you speak of were developed, on the whole, from pure interest for the subject so without that there may not even be the applications. Many of the researchers I have come across in industry and academia have said they arent really in that area for its applications but just for pure interest in the subject. An example of this my tutor is currently doing research into dynamics of bubbles and she says the applications could be more targeted delivery systems of chemotherapy drugs but also said while that is great, her main interest is just to further the knowledge in that subject are. Also you say 'everyone is trying to put across the importance of application' but I view it more as putting across the importance of being open minded when approaching new subject areas

I never boosted about my superiority either nor an I ungrateful for everything I have in my life today (especially as a lot of it comes from my hard work). I also wasn't 'getting smart with you' I was just stating the reason that, from what I have observed and read about, a lot of maths and physics applications are about today. You seemed to say that the only real reasons people do maths is to benefit society but this simply isnt the case

Anyway this is straying from the point of the thread.
Of course many (most?) mathematicians aren't super interested in applications directly. And there's nothing wrong with that. I think that the point the others were trying to get across was that students should never intentionally shut out the prospect of application-based math, and more importantly, a lot of students underestimate how much it can help your math skills to see the math applied to something or to see the historical reasons for the development of that math in the first place. There can be a deeper understanding gained by looking at how the math is applied, if only because it boosts motivation. Micromass mentioned general relativity with differential geometry and quantum mechanics with functional analysis, for example. Likewise, it makes sense to learn physics in general in order to better understand calculus.
 
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Of course many (most?) mathematicians aren't super interested in applications directly. And there's nothing wrong with that. I think that the point the others were trying to get across was that students should never intentionally shut out the prospect of application-based math, and more importantly, a lot of students underestimate how much it can help your math skills to see the math applied to something or to see the historical reasons for the development of that math in the first place. There can be a deeper understanding gained by looking at how the math is applied, if only because it boosts motivation. Micromass mentioned general relativity with differential geometry and quantum mechanics with functional analysis, for example. Likewise, it makes sense to learn physics in general in order to better understand calculus.
Sorry just re read a point I made and it wasnt very clear, I totally agree with you on not shutting out application based maths (hell I study maths and physics aha)
 

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