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Survey - Math: Love it or Hate it? Or, couldn't care less..

Discussion in 'TUG Lounge' started by Phydeaux, Apr 20, 2017.

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Survey - Math: Love it, Hate it or Neither.

  1. Group 1: Absolutely love math, and am proud to admit I'm very good at it. I enjoy it.

    55.3%
  2. Group 2: Meh, neither really. Don't hate, but don't love it either. Can do most math in my head.

    39.5%
  3. Group 3. I'm proud to admit I'm not a math person. I'd be lost without my phone for calculations.

    2.6%
  4. Group 4: Math sucks. Can't stand it. Not proud of it, but my math skills could use a good upgrade.

    2.6%
  1. Phydeaux

    Phydeaux TUG Member

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    Where do you put yourself?
     
  2. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    The point is?
     
  3. DavidnRobin

    DavidnRobin TUG Member

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    Math doesn't care how you feel about it. #MathPersists
     
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  4. Sandy VDH

    Sandy VDH TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    I have a Bachelor of Mathematics. I started leaning more towards math, as english and other 'easy' classes were bring down my grade average. (In Canada we do not have a GPA, I assume that means you can only count to 4, We got mostly grades on a scale of 0 to 100.)

    I actually had this discussion with someone last week, because they just released a special edition audio version of A Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. Now as a Canadian author this book appears on our reading list more frequently than in the US perhaps. Well Ms. Atwood was my English teacher favorite author (which I found out later). And I, as a mere lowly student, in my book report compared Ms Atwood to other female writers and what it was that I disliked about Atwood's novel over other authors. Well you can guess it, my grade was crap because I made disparaging remarks about my teachers favorite author. (yep you guess it this is where I found out about that situation.) My arguments were sound, my grammar was good, he just did not agree with my point of view and gave me a crap mark. So I challenged him on why the grade. This was my early experience with VERY subjective grading by teachers who are influenced by their OWN point of view. If it differs from mine than my grades will be lower. I soon released with this teacher the only way I was going to get a good grade was TO LIKE THE AUTHOR. Well sorry, not happening here.

    Hey, in math your right or your wrong. There is NOTHING subjective and can't bring personal bias into it. So I learned to love math more, plus math was easy until I went and got a University degree in it.
     
  5. stmartinfan

    stmartinfan TUG Member

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    I was always good at math in high school and was looking at it as a college major. After the first few classes, I realized I didn't have the same passion for it as others. So switched to English, where my passion was. While my degree opened the doors to a career I liked, the math skills were so helpful in budgeting and all the other analytics required in the business world. It was always amazing to me to see the many people for whom numbers just didn't seem to make sense.
     
  6. Talent312

    Talent312 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    No, where do you put - yourself? ... I let Excel do my math for me.
     
  7. isisdave

    isisdave TUG Member

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    So, are we talking about math or about arithmetic? I can't really tell from the choices.

    I'm an engineer, but rarely use anything beyond algebra and basic trig. I can figure out the sales tax on $4.19 or convert 72 degrees F to C in my head, which always amuses my family. But I'm certainly not "fond" of math, and found calculus difficult.
     
  8. DavidnRobin

    DavidnRobin TUG Member

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    Respectfully, I am going to have to disagree with the statement about 'math' not being subjective (but understand what you mean...). I work with math all the time where results are not necessarily right or wrong, and decisions most often need to be made with imperfect information. Math is necessary for decision making with imperfect information, however because mathematical probability and variability play a determining role - no matter how much 'math' is used - it will only get so far from an objective standpoint, and subjectiveness needs to be applied.

    I work with Modeling & Simulation (NONMEM) folks that often fail to appreciate this, and tend to overly complicate algorithms with little added value. The Law of Mass Action (A + B <=> A-B) while a pure mathematical law, has consequences that depend on the subjective based on its asymptotic nature. Often, there is no perfect solution, only wrong solutions that hopefully helps guide to the optimal solution.

    Talent - I am unclear how you can use Excel (or a calculator for that matter) without understanding math (do i need to add or substract? multiple/divide? what function is best used? how best to list the data? what do the results mean? what data need to be included/excluded?)
     
  9. Sandy VDH

    Sandy VDH TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    I will agree to disagree. I think you are combining two things. Decision making and mathematical modeling. I too do modeling. In this case the ASSUMPTIONS made and factors chosen are subjective. However the MATHEMATICS in the calculations IS NOT subjective. The math is a formula. There is NO variation on the answer. There is variation on its meaning and impacts to a business, that is also subjective, but the calculation itself is NOT, It is just math. Just MHO.

    You are confusing applying math outcomes with mathematical calculations. Different topics for me. I was referring to the fact that mathematical calculations are always the same answer.
     
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  10. vacationhopeful

    vacationhopeful TUG Member

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    I was a math major also. BS Math. From a old college in the deep South. First college in that state.

    It was as much of a technical degree a female could get back in the dark ages .... almost all Ivy League schools were male only. Engineering programs were at all male schools or very large state universities.

    I did managed to do a year aboard at Rutgers University .. in computer science .. and used that course work, as my foreign language requirement at the university I graduated from with a BS.

    I did say, it was in the dark ages. ;) A time long, long ago.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
  11. VegasBella

    VegasBella TUG Member

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    Yes, whether or not someone can do simple math in their heads is not about how much they like math or not.

    Awesome! My mom, too, was a math major and received a BS in Math.
     
  12. clifffaith

    clifffaith TUG Member

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    At least you do it in your head. Cliff has to give a dissertation out loud while he does it! You don't ever want to sit with him at a four-legged table that rocks.
     
  13. clifffaith

    clifffaith TUG Member

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    I did just fine in math, mostly A's, until I hit Algebra II/Trig in high school. Still makes me shudder 45 years later and I know I got at least a B. I'll tell you when math really hit home for me -- watching my landscape contractor use geometry to calculate the lay out of patio, planters and stairs. I turned to Cliff in astonishment and asked why the heck they don't teach it to kids with practical applications instead of just diagrams on a piece of paper!
     
  14. vacationhopeful

    vacationhopeful TUG Member

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    I hope I am NOT your mother's age.

    My sister 6 years younger than I, went to Duke University and received an Honors BS degree in engineering. And my sister 10 years younger than I, went to Lehigh University and received an honors BS degree in engineering in 1984 ... the first year women admitted to Lehigh U was in 1971.

    The best part about my Lehigh sister ... I, too, graduated the same day and same ceremony ... I got my MBA from Lehigh U. I did ASK her permission to attend her college first.
     
  15. klpca

    klpca TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I use math in my job on a daily basis but have no feeling about it one way or another. Math is math. I wasn't particularly fond of it in college either. I was on the crew team my freshman year and calculus was just before lunch. Because practice was at 5:30am, I was starving by noon so I didn't always go to calculus. Guess who got to take calculus twice? That was painful, but my own fault. After that, I got serious about school. No more rowing.
     
  16. x3 skier

    x3 skier Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I agree completely. I used simulation almost continuously in my career in aircraft design and development. The equations are immutable but the assumptions used can be widely disparate and if one doesn't recognize that, one can have some really disastrous outcomes:eek:.

    Several of my "interesting" discussions were with new engineers who came up with some pretty wild results. Their initial response usually was "That's what the Program result was when I ran it" when I questioned the result. The GIGO (Garbage in, Garbage out) syndrome at its best.

    Cheers
     
  17. Talent312

    Talent312 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Yeah, I thought someone might notice that. I know math, but...
    My theory is that the true value of math lies in not in the math itself, but in teaching the brain to think logically -- to synthesize disparate pieces of information to reach a rational result.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
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  18. DaveNW

    DaveNW TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    I'm good at it, can do it in my head, don't hate it, but don't seek out opportunities to stretch my limits. In day to day life, I'll use a calculator most of the time, just so I can make sure the numbers come out right in a hurry. If I did it in my head, or by writing it on paper, it'd take longer than I'd want to spend, and who has time to worry about doing stuff like long division on paper? My job relies on getting the right answer, not how I produced it.

    I'm an IT guy, a Programmer and Systems Analyst type, primarily for the hospital billing department. I count things as part of my job, write SQL scripts and Crystal Reports and whatever that produce lengthy reports and extensive Excel spreadsheets the billing folks chew up and do terrible carnage to. It's all about numbers and percentages and such. But none of it is too serious, or goes beyond the basic four things we all learned in grade school. I don't know a cosign from a stop sign, but have never needed to know, either. And if I ever do, I'll reach for a calculator. Life goes on. ;)

    Dave
     
  19. artringwald

    artringwald TUG Member

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    In college, I got the best grades in the classes I studied the least for (math), and the worst grades in the classes I studied the most for (German). I was going to major in chemistry, but when I saw how well math could be applied to understanding the behavior of objects as small as atoms up to the movement of galaxies, I changed my major to physics. Yes, I love math, but hate arithmetic. I couldn't survive very well without calculators and spreadsheets.

    Whether you love math or not, you shouldn't miss the Hidden Figures movie. Here's a list of other movies related to math:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_films_about_mathematicians
     
  20. Elan

    Elan TUG Member

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    How about none of the above? For me:

    (5) Very good at it. Don't love it or hate it. Golfing > solving Diff Eq's > cleaning the bathroom. Useful, necessary skill.
     
  21. SueDonJ

    SueDonJ Moderator

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    Being mildly OCD the order, I guess the technical aspect, of math is very appealing. I couldn't be a professional seamstress without using math and in the sewing room it comes second nature. But anyone who follows the Marriott forum knows that's where it stops - my first thought when unexpectedly encountering math elsewhere is, "HEY! NO ONE SAID THERE WOULD BE A QUIZ TODAY! DAMNIT!"

    In school I was good at it up until sines and cosines; still don't have any idea if I actually use those but if you ask me to explain them you'll get a blank stare.
     
  22. davidvel

    davidvel TUG Member

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    Dad, I didn't know you were a Tugger! Kidding aside, my father, an aeronautical engineer, would tell me the same anectodotes (still does): "These kids come out of school only knowing how to punch data into a computer model and they don't even understand what the data going in or coming out is. They don't know what equations and calculations the software is performing, or why. And they consider themsleves engineers. They will come to me with an answer to a problem, and it will say that a fan blade on a turbine should be 2 feet thick and a mile long..."

    Of course, he wrote the computer modeling program.
     
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  23. x3 skier

    x3 skier Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Sounds like your Dad went to same school of hard knocks as I.

    The first lesson to the newbies is to write down an estimate of what the answer should be before going anywhere near a computer. They always asked "How do I do THAT!?!?!?" Simple, ask somebody, look at a similar design, do a hand calculation (HAND CALCULATION??????), sketch what looks right, use a crystal ball..... Then when the magic machine spits out something, you have a reality check:thumbup:

    Cheers
     
  24. davidvel

    davidvel TUG Member

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    Ok, now I know this is Dad. :D
     
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  25. JudyH

    JudyH TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I am a true math-phobic. I am probably math learning disabled. I'm ok up to about 6th grade level. Anything that just required rote memorization. I have no comprehension of higher level more abstract concepts. I failed algebra twice, barely passed geometry. No more math after that. I would have loved to become a veterinarian but couldn't do chemistry either. The math part.
    So I was an English major. Sailed right thru college reading novels.
    Math dropouts became social workers. Took the Miller Analogy Test, no math required. Got an MSW.
    Later on got. Ph.D. in social work. Also liked statistics a little.
    Been married also 50 years to an accountant. One of the reasons I married him!
     
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