# Why do I need math?

1. Nov 30, 2004

### FAQ

Why do I need to learn so much math? Can someone tell me when I would need to know rational equations?

2. Nov 30, 2004

### dduardo

Staff Emeritus
You haven't done much math if your doing rational equations.

3. Nov 30, 2004

### FAQ

lol, no I havent. And not since my teacher has been gone for over 5 weeks!

4. Nov 30, 2004

### franznietzsche

I hope you're a sophomore in hgh school with that attitude...

5. Nov 30, 2004

### Zeteg

Mathematics is a logical break down of everything. Without logical senses, we're no better than the monkeys. Our foreheads allowed mathematics to become a part of our world, so it's quite useful for us to be human. :)

6. Nov 30, 2004

### dekoi

The only way to be attracted to math is fascination.

7. Nov 30, 2004

### franznietzsche

Math is an art, if you cannot see this, your life is without meaning.

8. Nov 30, 2004

### Smurf

Math is a bad Habbit, if you can't see you're doomed to a life of endless calculations and lonely nights.

9. Nov 30, 2004

### franznietzsche

My nights aren't lonely...

...I have a roommate

10. Nov 30, 2004

### ShawnD

It's so you don't need to pay attention in class, and you don't need to remember as much. Math is to teach you the ability to systematically work your way through problems.

For most highschool and university stuff, you can just work your way through problems using math and reasoning; forget remembering. One specific example in my case is Faraday's Constant. I skipped the week where we were doing redox calculations in chemistry, and farday's constant was introduced. There was a test when I came back to class, and I didn't know what faraday's constant was; I had never even heard of it. To get out of that bind I just threw together some numbers that I had previously learned - the number of electrons in a coulomb, and the number of things in a mole. If you divide one by the other, you get farday's constant. I did really good on that test too.

Just work hard at understanding math. School will be so much easier if you can understand math.

11. Nov 30, 2004

### mattmns

You only need math if you are going to college. If you are not going to college then I would not bother learning it, because for most people it is useless (yes I do plan on being a math teacher and yes I will tell my students how I feel). If you are going to college, you will most likely need at least one class in math, probably college algebra, which is about the level of algebra 2 in high school. If you are going to major in any of the sciences, engineering, math, statistics, and a few others, you will need quite a bit more math and should probably learn to like it.

The only reason to pay attention and try to do well in high school math would be college time. If you do not spend the 4 years to learn high school math to an adequate level then you will probably end up spending plenty of time taking math classes in college to catch up. I know many people who have taken college algebra and failed it numerous times, and many of them have taken 2, 3, even 6 previous math courses while at college.

12. Dec 1, 2004

### angelina

math is a beatiful art, really, but it takes a long time for me to realise it. and by the time i realised, i hv dropped it...*sigh*...must pick it up again when i'm to go to university

13. Dec 1, 2004

### Tom Mattson

Staff Emeritus
Wrong Wrong Wrong.

My brother snoozed through high school math (actually, he snoozed through all of high school). Rather than going to college, he became a machinist. Before too long he found out that he needed to know geometry and trigonometry just to do his job. And did I mention programming the CAD/CAM machines? You need a mathematical background for that, too.

Fortunately, his employer was willing to pay for him to learn all that stuff, so they sent him to take the relevant courses. It was a lucky break that he got a second chance to make up for that missed opportunity.

14. Dec 1, 2004

### Tom Mattson

Staff Emeritus
I think that this thread is important enough to move it over to the Academic And Career Guidance Forum.

15. Dec 1, 2004

### mattmns

Yes there are exceptions. I was making a generalization, which I probably should have not made. I did, however, say that, "If you are not going to college then I would not bother learning it, because for most people it is useless"

16. Dec 1, 2004

### Tom Mattson

Staff Emeritus
But it's that attitude that makes the skilled trades inaccessible to "most people".

17. Dec 1, 2004

### mattmns

You could go to a college to get the adequate training, but that of course will probably cost money and time. I guess I never thought of that position because here college is free, for everyone(with a few requirements), as long as you keep up a decent gpa. But that is a very good point, and if you have any other reasons to learn math in high school, then I would certainly like to hear them.

18. Dec 1, 2004

### Maxwell

The beautiful thing about math is that it helps us be lazy. We don't actually want to do the work, so we come up with shortcuts, and eventually shortcuts for shortcuts.

19. Dec 1, 2004

### Tom Mattson

Staff Emeritus
The point is that the "adequate training" is available in high school. There should have been no need for my brother to go to college to get it! That is why saying that "you only need math if you are going to college" is horrendously bad advice.

The fact that college is free in your country doesn't have too much relevance here. You still have to take the time out to learn things that should have been learned before being graduated from high school. Also, there are years of lost wages to be considered. Employers typically don't pay to educate employees until they have some time in, and they typically pay undertrained employees less than trained ones.

The reason why every single high school student should learn math is that it leaves doors open, rather than closed. That should be enough to convince anybody.

Last edited: Dec 1, 2004
20. Dec 1, 2004

### HallsofIvy

Well, what exactly do YOU mean by "math". Anyone, whether they go to college or not, needs to know enough arithmetic to balance a checkbook and would be better off if they could make sense of financial reports. I know plenty of people who didn't go to college but use geometry (as the machinist above), need to know how to estimate accuracies, plug numbers into formulas, etc.

In any case, while you certainly don't need all the types of mathematics (even limiting to those taught in high school) for every possible job or life, I would hate to see a highschool student limiting himself or herself to only those jobs that don't require various types of mathematics. If, as a teenager, you are not learning everything you can, whether you can see an immediate need for it or not, you are limiting yourself before you know what you can do.