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Who uses math beyond algebra in their daily job?

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Who uses math beyond algebra in their daily job?

Old 07-07-08, 03:11 AM
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Who uses math beyond algebra in their daily job?

With high schools starting to force students to take 4 years of math credit I'm curious who uses any math beyond Algebra 1 in their daily jobs. I would have gone with a completely different major in college had math not been required. I'm sure others would have to. I personally think the amount of Math and Science we force kids to take nowadays is overkill. Why can't we start having classes that can applied to real life situations?
Old 07-07-08, 03:44 AM
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hmm, classes in real life situations... like what? washing my car? delivering my pizzas?
Old 07-07-08, 03:58 AM
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Originally Posted by puddytay
I personally think the amount of Math and Science we force kids to take nowadays is overkill. Why can't we start having classes that can applied to real life situations?
American students have been falling behind their counterparts in developed countries for years. For example: this study has US students at 17th (out of 30 in science) and 24th (out of 30 in math). I don't know if kids today need to take more science and math classes, but they certainly need to learn more science and math. I do agree that some real-life skills need to be taught better - the mortgage crisis shows that most people could use a basic finance course, for example.

As for your original question, I'm a cell biologist; I don't use calculus every day but my research does require a working knowledge of statistics, which is above Algebra 1 in the curriculum.
Old 07-07-08, 06:23 AM
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Well, all engineers and scientists use math beyond Alegebra I.
(I was an electrical engineer and later an engineering manager). High school seems to use a lot of underkill in preparing the kids for courses they will take in college in these curricula. Geometry, trig, calculus, statistics are all important in these fields.
Old 07-07-08, 06:28 AM
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Eh, being a television director has no need for mathematics.
Old 07-07-08, 06:51 AM
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Yeah, I use differential equations on a daily basis. A little calculus before going to bed.
Old 07-07-08, 07:09 AM
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I live by the Transitive Property.
Old 07-07-08, 07:12 AM
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Euler is my bitch!
Old 07-07-08, 07:36 AM
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Where I work I only use up to algebra, but simple multiplication and division is used all the time. The recent high school graduates can not do these calculations without a calculator ie giving 120 of a drug which is taken 4 times a day, how many days will it last. Also I was shocked to find the one girl never took chemistry to graduate high school.
Old 07-07-08, 08:13 AM
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I use a calculator. Working for a delivery company, we use math, nothing like calculus tho!
Old 07-07-08, 09:21 AM
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I would say through Algebra II for me. I think that some of the "thinking" advanced math taught me helps with some of my decision making.
Old 07-07-08, 10:29 AM
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Not me.

And I also graduated without taking chemistry.

= J
Old 07-07-08, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Cygnet74
hmm, classes in real life situations... like what? washing my car? delivering my pizzas?
That's what I was thinking.

Math courses are simply part of a foundation, as are language arts and science courses. You can only go as high as your foundation will allow, therefore a weak foundation will limit your potential. If you decide early on to eschew math beyond basic algebra, you are eliminating entire fields of career opportunities from your future.
Old 07-07-08, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by orangecrush18
I would say through Algebra II for me. I think that some of the "thinking" advanced math taught me helps with some of my decision making.
Good point! I feel that way about the majority of my university education. You may not use the exact things you've learned, but often you will use the thought processes and problem solving methods that were part of those things.

I'm a software programmer, but with my current job, I don't 'usually' need to use math beyond algebra. In previous jobs, I definitely have.
Old 07-07-08, 10:51 AM
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geometry when i play squash.
Old 07-07-08, 11:29 AM
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I'm a software developer on an ANSI C development environment for engineers. To add graphical enhancements to our user interface I often find myself using geometry to calculate angles and what not. I also need to have a basic understanding of calculus so that I know what some of our mathematical functions are actually used for. I don't ever need to do Integrals though.
Old 07-07-08, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Mordred
I don't ever need to do Integrals though.
Me neither, but I find myself using reverse derivatives quite frequently!
Old 07-07-08, 11:44 AM
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I teach 4th Grade so I rarely use math above Algebra I except when I'm helping my 8th grade niece with her homework. However, I teach my fourth graders basic algebra concepts that I didn't learn until 6th grade when I was in school 26 years ago. The math standards are tougher now compared to when I was in school, I can assure you.
Old 07-07-08, 11:46 AM
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Umm.... I'm not even going to answer the original question, but I do want to add that I can't stand the math and science "rankings" of high school students. It's too one dimensional.

I know plenty of engineers and students from other countries. Many of them are excellent at math - they've had it drilled into their heads since age 2. But once you ask them to be creative and add a twist or two to solving an actual problem, things fall apart. See, a lot of the way we measure math and science success is based on whether or not students can spew out some memorized formulas or rules. In fact, practical math and science is much more than that.

One of the advantages of American society is that we do emphasize creativity and ingenuity in our school systems. We foster both the right and left brain. Sure we could pick one or the other and our students could blow away the standardized tests, but would that really make us a better society?
Old 07-07-08, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Yakuza
I teach 4th Grade so I rarely use math above Algebra I except when I'm helping my 8th grade niece with her homework. However, I teach my fourth graders basic algebra concepts that I didn't learn until 6th grade when I was in school 26 years ago. The math standards are tougher now compared to when I was in school, I can assure you.
We will get calls from my wife's Uncle because their kid is in the 6th grade and they can't help with homework. The last question was something like "Today is the 12th, 4 days ago it was Sunday. What day of the week is the 27th" or something like that.

Their mom is a branch manager at a local CU, and they can't figure out how to use a calendar?
Old 07-07-08, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jonw9
We will get calls from my wife's Uncle because their kid is in the 6th grade and they can't help with homework. The last question was something like "Today is the 12th, 4 days ago it was Sunday. What day of the week is the 27th" or something like that.

Their mom is a branch manager at a local CU, and they can't figure out how to use a calendar?
Is it a leap year?
Old 07-07-08, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by matta
Umm.... I'm not even going to answer the original question, but I do want to add that I can't stand the math and science "rankings" of high school students. It's too one dimensional.

I know plenty of engineers and students from other countries. Many of them are excellent at math - they've had it drilled into their heads since age 2. But once you ask them to be creative and add a twist or two to solving an actual problem, things fall apart. See, a lot of the way we measure math and science success is based on whether or not students can spew out some memorized formulas or rules. In fact, practical math and science is much more than that.

One of the advantages of American society is that we do emphasize creativity and ingenuity in our school systems. We foster both the right and left brain. Sure we could pick one or the other and our students could blow away the standardized tests, but would that really make us a better society?
I think I agree with your comments about science. Trying to reduce it to multiple choice graded by computer ensures there won't be any deep thinking.

Math seems to be tested by whether you can apply it to a problem and get the right answer (I wanted to say tests whether you can add two and two, but that oversimplifies). I'm guessing math testing isn't so far off the mark. (and I do think present high school math skills are poor.)
Old 07-07-08, 01:12 PM
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Old 07-07-08, 01:35 PM
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Electrical engineer here. I don't crunch differential equations or anything in my daily job but all the classes I did take in college (calc I, calc II, Diff Eq, Multi-variable calc, stats I, stats II, grad level stats) has made me much more competent, quick, and efficient at solving all sorts of math and stats problems in my head compared to 99% of the population. And that's very helpful in all walks of life.
Old 07-07-08, 02:15 PM
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I use math that 99% of the country don't need to learn. In general it is useful, but sometimes a post-hoc adjustment result is a veiled way to get kicked in the nuts, repeatedly.

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