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(The New York Times)   The problem with American schools is that they teach too much math   ( nytimes.com) divider line
    More: Stupid, Americans, Appalachian State University, Advanced Placement, university system, City University London, trigonometry, School of Medicine, high schools  
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18780 clicks; posted to Main » on 30 Jul 2012 at 4:44 PM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



572 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2012-07-30 03:03:06 PM  
I told that teacher lady the only numbers I need to know are U, S and A.
 
2012-07-30 03:04:26 PM  
You misspelled meth
 
2012-07-30 03:06:17 PM  
I think it's more a problem of not knowing how to teach math, or teaching it in a way that's supposed to help students pass the four or five standardized tests a year rather than really understanding mathematical concepts. Reduce the emphasis on testing and emphasize actual knowledge, application, and critical thinking and you'll see students improve.

That said, I don't think I use much math beyond the stuff you learn in elementary school, except maybe some geometry now and then, and I think that's probably a pretty typical thing. Most people aren't using algebra in their everyday lives. Their definitely not using trig or calculus, unless they pursued careers that use those things. The problem is, the author's argument can be applied to lots of subjects. People don't need history everyday, either, but that doesn't mean those subjects aren't valuable.
 
2012-07-30 03:06:53 PM  
They're, not their. Damn.
 
2012-07-30 03:12:03 PM  
 
2012-07-30 03:15:49 PM  
I was told there would be no approved links about this subject
 
2012-07-30 03:17:59 PM  
As much as I hated algebra (and still do), I wouldn't want to abandon teaching it. Geometry is useful, statistics can be useful. However, forcing pre-calc and college algebra on college students that will never need either is a waste.
 
2012-07-30 03:20:12 PM  

slayer199: As much as I hated algebra (and still do), I wouldn't want to abandon teaching it. Geometry is useful, statistics can be useful. However, forcing pre-calc and college algebra on college students that will never need either is a waste.


Forcing the Red Badge of Courage and the Great Gatsby on students is a waste also. Have you ever need to know anything about those books?
 
2012-07-30 03:21:21 PM  
LAUGHTER OL if you cannot understand the simple algebra then you do not deserve to get to second base at all. That clasps are on the front of those silly.
 
2012-07-30 03:23:30 PM  

meow said the dog: LAUGHTER OL if you cannot understand the simple algebra then you do not deserve to get to second base at all. That clasps are on the front of those silly.


Why would algae wear a bra? They have no boobies.
 
2012-07-30 03:26:13 PM  
I went into that article thinking you could get rid of algebra if you replaced it with something more relevant like statistics.

The nation would be much better off if everyone had a basic understanding of stats.
 
2012-07-30 03:35:53 PM  

slayer199: As much as I hated algebra (and still do), I wouldn't want to abandon teaching it. Geometry is useful, statistics can be useful. However, forcing pre-calc and college algebra on college students that will never need either is a waste.


I disagree - a university degree should (but usually doesn't) indicate a person with a well-rounded education.

Allowing people to focus exclusively on their degree is job training, not university education. You end up wit scientists who can't write, and historians who can't analyze data.
 
2012-07-30 03:45:57 PM  
It's not that we teach too much math, it just seems like a third of every year of math is spent reviewing the previous year. If we'd just go with a "get it or don't" mentality, we might be able to teach something useful someday.
 
2012-07-30 03:54:42 PM  
John P. Smith III, an educational psychologist at Michigan State University who has studied math education, has found that "mathematical reasoning in workplaces differs markedly from the algorithms taught in school."

No shiat. That's because you aren't supposed to learn the algorithms; you're supposed to learn how abstraction and reasoning lead to the algorithms. We don't need any more people in the workforce who are experts in applying the quadratic formula, but that simply isn't the point. Mathematical reasoning in workplaces takes the form of abstraction and identification of relationships between abstractions. These are the skills you are supposed to begin to develop in high school "algebra" and geometry. And if you can't, you should be a barrista or some kind of clerk. You have no business making decisions. Or you could be a political science professor, who's work depends heavily on numbers he doesn't understand. You could do that, too.
 
2012-07-30 03:54:47 PM  

Babwa Wawa: I went into that article thinking you could get rid of algebra if you replaced it with something more relevant like statistics.

The nation would be much better off if everyone had a basic understanding of stats.


Wait. How exactly do you propose to teach statistics without algebra?
 
2012-07-30 03:56:04 PM  

EvilEgg: Forcing the Red Badge of Courage and the Great Gatsby on students is a waste also. Have you ever need to know anything about those books?


Nope. But reading/writing skills > math in the real world (unless you actually have a job that requires and uses arithmetic).

I never said there shouldn't be a math class requirement in college. I said pre-calc and college alegbra were a waste of time for most people (especially pre-calc). There are plenty of math classes that would be more useful (statistics, financial economics) and would still allow for students to receive a well-rounded education.
 
2012-07-30 03:58:40 PM  
The problem, in my opinion, is not with Algrebra, but with math education in this country, starting from grade school on. In college I had many classes in common with Education majors, and with virtual unanimity they complained about how hard it was to pass basic college math courses, and that what they taught wasn't necessary in life. Several of then went on to become math teachers, because that's what was hiring.

These people had no facility for or appreciation of mathematics, and simply acted as parrots for textbook course plans designed to have the fewest kids fail the standardized tests. Any time a kid had a conceptual problem, they simply could not help because they did not understand the theory, either. And any time a kid showed a facility for mathematics and a desire to learn more, they had nothing to give, thus potentially stifling a future mathematician.

In my opinion the solution is to make teaching a respectably paid vocation, such that it will attract people who could easily get work in the business sector, but might choose to become teachers if it didn't mean settling for a life of extraordinarily limited earning potential.
 
2012-07-30 04:07:53 PM  

wingedkat: Babwa Wawa: I went into that article thinking you could get rid of algebra if you replaced it with something more relevant like statistics.

The nation would be much better off if everyone had a basic understanding of stats.

Wait. How exactly do you propose to teach statistics without algebra?


I get your point, but my point would be (from my experience in high school in the 1990s) is that most everything is taught much more rote than practical real-world situations. Yeah, you need some rote learning (2x - 4 = -3... solve for x)... but it would be better to move on to some sample real world situations.

As a completely random example, but something that irks me personally... so many people cannot uderstand crime statistics. Not even to the point of understanding that per capita must be applied to any number, or its generally meaningless. Of course thats basic division, not even algebra.

All in all I just remember never having real-world situations taught to me in high school.
 
2012-07-30 04:10:53 PM  

Kimothy: Most people aren't using algebra in their everyday lives.


Hamburger meat is $2.99 a pound, how much is three pounds?

Oh shiat! You just used algebra!
 
2012-07-30 04:14:53 PM  

wingedkat: Wait. How exactly do you propose to teach statistics without algebra?


downstairs pretty much captured it. Yes, college-level stats course would and should need at least some foundation in algebra. But not all stats, and certainly not all interpretation of statistics needs an algebraic foundation. And interpretation of stats is something that everyone in every walk of life can benefit from.

I suppose my suggestion would be having statistics drive the education around algebra.
 
2012-07-30 04:18:41 PM  

Thoguh: Kimothy: Most people aren't using algebra in their everyday lives.

Hamburger meat is $2.99 a pound, how much is three pounds?

Oh shiat! You just used algebra!


That's applied arithmetic (multiplication).
 
2012-07-30 04:25:49 PM  
The guy who wrote that is a Political Science professor.

Who's subject matter is useless?

And there is no "Science" in political science, the only reason it gets the word "science" in the subject is because of politics.
 
2012-07-30 04:29:01 PM  

Thoguh: Kimothy: Most people aren't using algebra in their everyday lives.

Hamburger meat is $2.99 a pound, how much is three pounds?


$4.71
 
2012-07-30 04:29:51 PM  

Babwa Wawa: Thoguh: Kimothy: Most people aren't using algebra in their everyday lives.

Hamburger meat is $2.99 a pound, how much is three pounds?

Oh shiat! You just used algebra!

That's applied arithmetic (multiplication).


Total cost is 3X, where X is the price per pound. You have to use algebra to know where to plug in the variables.
 
2012-07-30 04:29:52 PM  

Thoguh: Kimothy: Most people aren't using algebra in their everyday lives.

Hamburger meat is $2.99 a pound, how much is three pounds?

Oh shiat! You just used algebra!


This is an algebraic word problem:

Meat is $2.99/lb. Last week it was 15% less, and you could afford 3 pounds. How much money did you have last week.

And that's elementary algebra - I don't think anyone here is arguing that you don't need that level of education. Certainly the author didn't argue that. The question is whether people need to actually master abstract algebra in order to graduate HS.

I personally think the requirement is a bit weird - sure you want people heading off to university to have no less than trig, and you'll probably want calc once you get there.

But if someone just wants to go to nursing school or whatever, a mastery of basic stats is far more useful than a mastery of abstract algebra
 
2012-07-30 04:41:01 PM  

downstairs: As a completely random example, but something that irks me personally... so many people cannot uderstand crime statistics. Not even to the point of understanding that per capita must be applied to any number, or its generally meaningless. Of course thats basic division, not even algebra.


Yeah, they do teach algebra abysmally in most places. After all, the understanding of when to apply basic division is something generally gained by learning algebra (or should be, at least).

I think two big changes need to be made:

1. Math majors shouldn't teach math.
2. Algebra, geometry, etc needs to be taught along with all the basics way back in grade school. Algebra especially is basically just math grammar, nothing that should be pulled out and made a big deal of.
 
2012-07-30 04:42:45 PM  
I hope that mathematics departments can also create courses in the history and philosophy of their discipline, as well as its applications in early cultures. Why not mathematics in art and music - even poetry

no
there is no need to teach ANY of these useless topics. history? worthless. science? useless. philosophy is for morons. literature, writing, reading? only librarians would need these useless skillz.

school should require only recess, lunch, sex, internet stuff and how to get cheat codes for video games.

/LOLOLOLOL I love when morons think that the topics that they hate are worthless
 
2012-07-30 04:44:45 PM  

Thoguh: Babwa Wawa: Thoguh: Kimothy: Most people aren't using algebra in their everyday lives.

Hamburger meat is $2.99 a pound, how much is three pounds?

Oh shiat! You just used algebra!

That's applied arithmetic (multiplication).

Total cost is 3X, where X is the price per pound. You have to use algebra to know where to plug in the variables.


Technically correct but it's no more difficult than those presented to my kids last year (elementary school). The article is about whether you should need to master algebra in order to get a HS diploma.

When people talk about algebra, they usually mean polynomials or something like "find the dimension of a rectangle whose length is 9 less than twice its width if the perimeter is 120 cm."

I don't normally nitpick on terminology, but in this case it's important. Of course the author was not saying that HS grads shouldn't need to be able to solve for x in 2.99 * 3 = x.
 
2012-07-30 04:48:36 PM  

EvilEgg: Relevant TED talk


You got there before me.
 
2012-07-30 04:50:18 PM  
Better headline: "Yes."
 
2012-07-30 04:50:47 PM  

Babwa Wawa: I went into that article thinking you could get rid of algebra if you replaced it with something more relevant like statistics.

The nation would be much better off if everyone had a basic understanding of stats.


Can you really teach statistics without an understanding of algebra?
 
2012-07-30 04:50:56 PM  

Babwa Wawa: I suppose my suggestion would be having statistics drive the education around algebra.


That could work. Maybe something more interesting. I'd advocate for a variety of applied math classes, like "interior design" "carpentry" "sports statistics" etc, followed by a mandatory "life statistics and applied probabilities" class of some sort, which would cover population, media, and political statistics. Let people do and learn things that are interesting to them while also learning algebra.

/plan fails when passing standardized tests is the #1 goal
 
2012-07-30 04:51:11 PM  
The NYT being dumb? Stop the presses!(literally)
 
2012-07-30 04:52:14 PM  
Liberal Arts major typing detected in article.

FTFA: "Andrew Hacker is an emeritus professor of political science at Queens College, City University of New York"

CONFIRMED
 
2012-07-30 04:52:28 PM  

EngineerBoy: The problem, in my opinion, is not with Algrebra, but with math education in this country, starting from grade school on. In college I had many classes in common with Education majors, and with virtual unanimity they complained about how hard it was to pass basic college math courses, and that what they taught wasn't necessary in life. Several of then went on to become math teachers, because that's what was hiring.

These people had no facility for or appreciation of mathematics, and simply acted as parrots for textbook course plans designed to have the fewest kids fail the standardized tests. Any time a kid had a conceptual problem, they simply could not help because they did not understand the theory, either. And any time a kid showed a facility for mathematics and a desire to learn more, they had nothing to give, thus potentially stifling a future mathematician.

In my opinion the solution is to make teaching a respectably paid vocation, such that it will attract people who could easily get work in the business sector, but might choose to become teachers if it didn't mean settling for a life of extraordinarily limited earning potential.


IMHO, algebra is too often incorrectly taught as a series of steps rather than a concept.
 
2012-07-30 04:52:49 PM  

pciszek: Can you really teach statistics without an understanding of algebra?


You can't teach stats without a basic understanding of algebra. But you can teach basic stats to someone without a complete mastery of algebra. You can also use statistics to drive understanding of algebra.
 
2012-07-30 04:52:49 PM  
I am terrible at math. I tried and tried in school, but I just couldn't wrap my head around it. My brain just isn't wired that way. However, I excel when it comes to language and interpretive arts, and I did very well in visual arts. Aside from the occasional grammar-Nazi snark here, I don't put down those who don't do well in English or related fields, because I know my own limits when it comes to math. I had a roommate who admitted he never learned to read, and I helped tutor him until he had at least the basic skills.

The important thing for me is that I was necessarily exposed to both fields. I found I did well in one, and not so much the other; I would expect to find that there are those who excel in math, but maybe not so much in language skills. I don't value them less that anyone else. Indeed, these people are vital in the STEM fields, which our country needs people in now more than ever. This guy's thesis is bunkum.
 
2012-07-30 04:53:46 PM  
You can't get rid of algebra. You need it to count to potato.
 
2012-07-30 04:54:31 PM  

wingedkat:
1. Math majors shouldn't teach math.



I found some of your homework.

filehurricane.com
 
2012-07-30 04:54:50 PM  
If I didn't know algebra, I wouldn't know how to buy enough hot dogs and buns so they would equal up.
 
2012-07-30 04:54:55 PM  
I hated math in school and now looking back on it the reason I hated it so much was the way it was taught to me. Funny thing is I did great in science and the math that was taught to me in there. I think it was because I was shown in physical terms how the math worked and could use it. I dunno maybe I just sucked at math I know I was really bad at fractions. Dividing and multiplying them was a nightmare.
 
2012-07-30 04:56:52 PM  
cdn.buzznet.com
 
2012-07-30 04:57:03 PM  
Problem with american schools? Lack of 2 parents and or lack of involvement.
 
2012-07-30 04:58:00 PM  
If critical thinking is a goal of algebra education then we'd probably do better by replacing it with formal and informal logic. It might cut down on the series of fallacies I read on Fark, or what are commonly called arguments by morans.
 
2012-07-30 04:58:09 PM  
I would say they do teach too much math and they teach it wrong.

My issue with math was first going from ordinary addition subtraction type stuff to Algebra. It simply throw me off. We should be introducing Algebra at an earlier age.
 
2012-07-30 04:58:16 PM  

pciszek: Babwa Wawa: I went into that article thinking you could get rid of algebra if you replaced it with something more relevant like statistics.

The nation would be much better off if everyone had a basic understanding of stats.

Can you really teach statistics without an understanding of algebra?


Probably, yes. I'd argue that that's more of a sociology or political science class than a math class, if you're focusing on interpreting numbers or defining terms.
 
2012-07-30 04:58:52 PM  
The aim would be to treat mathematics as a liberal art, making it as accessible and welcoming as sculpture or ballet.
Bwahahahahahah we should BAN art and theater from all schools. Worthless skillz are worthless.
 
2012-07-30 04:59:07 PM  

rumpelstiltskin: No shiat. That's because you aren't supposed to learn the algorithms; you're supposed to learn how abstraction and reasoning lead to the algorithms. We don't need any more people in the workforce who are experts in applying the quadratic formula, but that simply isn't the point. Mathematical reasoning in workplaces takes the form of abstraction and identification of relationships between abstractions. These are the skills you are supposed to begin to develop in high school "algebra" and geometry. And if you can't, you should be a barrista or some kind of clerk. You have no business making decisions. Or you could be a political science professor, who's work depends heavily on numbers he doesn't understand. You could do that, too.


+1
The important skills to learn in algebra are how to manipulate numbers, not just how to solve for x. I work in accounting and finance, and while I seldom use actual algebra, I constantly manipulate numbers in ways that I learned while being taught algebra. While algebra itself might be replaceable in schools, some form of intermediate mathematics needs to take its place. I got through Calc2 in college and I have only once used that knowledge for any practical purpose. I would note that I described that application during the interview for the great job/career I have now - so perhaps I should give higher math a bit more credit. Having mathematical skills does make an employee more valuable.
 
2012-07-30 04:59:11 PM  

Babwa Wawa: Thoguh: Babwa Wawa: Thoguh: Kimothy: Most people aren't using algebra in their everyday lives.

Hamburger meat is $2.99 a pound, how much is three pounds?

Oh shiat! You just used algebra!

That's applied arithmetic (multiplication).

Total cost is 3X, where X is the price per pound. You have to use algebra to know where to plug in the variables.

Technically correct but it's no more difficult than those presented to my kids last year (elementary school). The article is about whether you should need to master algebra in order to get a HS diploma.

When people talk about algebra, they usually mean polynomials or something like "find the dimension of a rectangle whose length is 9 less than twice its width if the perimeter is 120 cm."

I don't normally nitpick on terminology, but in this case it's important. Of course the author was not saying that HS grads shouldn't need to be able to solve for x in 2.99 * 3 = x.


I would defend my statement, but Baba Waba did a pretty good job of that. I could have used different terminology, but I still stand by my statement, most people do not use algebra in everyday lives. Answering for x in the above example is basic elementary word problems. Most people can figure that out, it's applied mathematics. But algebraic concepts like quadratic equations? Not used.

I'm not arguing that algebra shouldn't be taught - I said the problem was with the way it's currently taught, with an emphasis on testing, not application.
 
2012-07-30 04:59:51 PM  
A huge part of the problem is that math isn't being taught correctly, even by the (many) good teachers out there. I spent far too much time in math classes working on the "theory", the "whys" of math, and little time on the practical application thereof.

For example: No one (and I mean NO ONE) cares "why" 2+2=4, or "why" limits and log functions work the way that they do. Why are spending half of a test writing proofs for these concepts? We should be using those tests to apply the ideas to problems, and find reality-based ways to solve them.

Also, while I understand the pervasiveness of calculators and computers today (my TI83 got me through Trig and Calc), calculators need to stay out of the classroom until at least high school. I'm not a math whiz, but I can make change in my head. When the power went out in the WalMart I worked at in College, half of the cashiers had to use their phones to calculate change amounts because they couldn't do it manually.
 
2012-07-30 04:59:58 PM  

Thoguh: Kimothy: Most people aren't using algebra in their everyday lives.

Hamburger meat is $2.99 a pound, how much is three pounds?

Oh shiat! You just used algebra!


the real answer is, shop somewhere else, where you get a discount the more you buy
 
2012-07-30 05:00:02 PM  
Problem solving skills are really over rated. I can almost hear the author as a child throwing a melt-down tantrum and crying profusely because they couldn't figure it out.
 
2012-07-30 05:00:59 PM  

namatad: The aim would be to treat mathematics as a liberal art, making it as accessible and welcoming as sculpture or ballet.
Bwahahahahahah we should BAN art and theater from all schools. Worthless skillz are worthless.


Odd...a guy I did theatre with in college is making a pretty good living acting for stage and screen, and others have gone on to do radio, public speaking and other related work. Likewise, several others have had great monetary success with art and music.
 
2012-07-30 05:01:39 PM  

slayer199: As much as I hated algebra (and still do), I wouldn't want to abandon teaching it. Geometry is useful, statistics can be useful. However, forcing pre-calc and college algebra on college students that will never need either is a waste.


Maybe, but everyone should be forced to take Probability and Stats in college.

/hell, in HS
 
2012-07-30 05:02:16 PM  

Mega Steve: If I didn't know algebra, I wouldn't know how to buy enough hot dogs and buns so they would equal up.


I hate to sound like a knucklehead, but... wow. That is a perfect example to use. The next time my son complains about how he doesn't need to know math when he grows up, I'll have to use that one.

/(x*8)+(y*10)=z
 
2012-07-30 05:02:35 PM  
Bring back shop
 
2012-07-30 05:02:57 PM  
pbpl.physics.ucla.edu
 
2012-07-30 05:03:23 PM  

Grand_Moff_Joseph: A huge part of the problem is that math isn't being taught correctly, even by the (many) good teachers out there. I spent far too much time in math classes working on the "theory", the "whys" of math, and little time on the practical application thereof.

For example: No one (and I mean NO ONE) cares "why" 2+2=4, or "why" limits and log functions work the way that they do. Why are spending half of a test writing proofs for these concepts? We should be using those tests to apply the ideas to problems, and find reality-based ways to solve them.

Also, while I understand the pervasiveness of calculators and computers today (my TI83 got me through Trig and Calc), calculators need to stay out of the classroom until at least high school. I'm not a math whiz, but I can make change in my head. When the power went out in the WalMart I worked at in College, half of the cashiers had to use their phones to calculate change amounts because they couldn't do it manually.


I think there might be some value to introducing them earlier, mostly because the students will be introduced to calculators and computers at an early age regardless of how the school approaches it. There's no harm in showing students how use tools properly.
 
2012-07-30 05:03:45 PM  
The fact that this is even a debate is proof that we're completely farked as a country. How the hell can the US compete with non-derpy countries if we can't understand the most basic of abstract mathematics?

Seriously, people. We must teach it because it's hard....even though it really isn't.
 
2012-07-30 05:03:50 PM  
EngineerBoy
These people had no facility for or appreciation of mathematics, and simply acted as parrots for textbook course plans designed to have the fewest kids fail the standardized tests. Any time a kid had a conceptual problem, they simply could not help because they did not understand the theory, either. And any time a kid showed a facility for mathematics and a desire to learn more, they had nothing to give, thus potentially stifling a future mathematician.

If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.
If you can't explain it at all, you probably teach high school.
 
2012-07-30 05:04:31 PM  
I think that we have been trying to find "easier" ways to teach math for over 40 years

Evidence is that for the most part, the easier ways are failures.

The key to being good at math is the same as being good at reading. You have to do it and do it and do it and do it. In other words, those old fashioned work books that were full of excercise problems are the way to go. Teach the concept, show some sample problems, have the students do 20 problems over night. Check their work, if they don't have the idea, find common threads in the lack of understanding, assign 50 more problems designed to address the problems. Check them the next day, if they have it, go to the next concept.

The other problem is that many teachers, especially at the elementary level, don't really understand math well enough to understand whether their students get it or not, much less why they don't get it.
 
2012-07-30 05:04:36 PM  

rockforever: Bring back shop


That. The combination of mechanics + craftsmanship + applied math + problem solving = good.
 
2012-07-30 05:05:09 PM  
img189.imageshack.us
 
2012-07-30 05:05:13 PM  
fark it.
the Chinese have won.
 
2012-07-30 05:05:51 PM  

slayer199: As much as I hated algebra (and still do), I wouldn't want to abandon teaching it. Geometry is useful, statistics can be useful. However, forcing pre-calc and college algebra on college students that will never need either is a waste.


ALL classes which will never be needed are a waste. DUH
composition? complete waste.
philosophy? complete waste.
bioethics? complete waste.

computer science? totally worth it!
physics, chemistry? extra worth it.
german? worthless.

bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahhahahahaha
why do tards complain about things that they dont like, but think that others should take topics that they think are important.
 
2012-07-30 05:06:00 PM  
II'd have to say:
Dear author of "article," yes it is you stupid son of a biatch. Maybe if you worked one day in your life in a real job you'd know this.
 
2012-07-30 05:06:38 PM  

Babwa Wawa: I went into that article thinking you could get rid of algebra if you replaced it with something more relevant like statistics.

The nation would be much better off if everyone had a basic understanding of stats.


That's funny... I was just having a discussion maybe 2 days ago about the reasoning behind why stats isn't a required part of a high school education. Not necessarily a whole semester of stats, but all the basics. I even discussed a single semester of algebra and stats combined. Advanced material from either one of them is all but useless to most students, but the basics learned from both carry on to a number of things in the job market that are not science related.
 
2012-07-30 05:07:08 PM  

namatad: why do tards complain about things that they dont like, but think that others should take topics that they think are important.


Review your own posts, then attempt to answer your own question.
 
2012-07-30 05:07:45 PM  

buckler: namatad: why do tards complain about things that they dont like, but think that others should take topics that they think are important.

Review your own posts, then attempt to answer your own question.


...or do I have a hook in my mouth at this point?
 
2012-07-30 05:08:16 PM  
The problem is with convincing kids that mad mathz skillz are important- you've got to remember, these are little idiots with - as a matter of course - no properly developed concept of what the future holds for them. In more traditional societies and in the developing world, it's easy: The motivation is "because your parents want you to" or "because learning as much as you can will get you out of this place". In the US and elsewhere in the West, it's harder: You have to convince them that they will need these skills in the future.
 
2012-07-30 05:08:25 PM  

buckler: namatad: The aim would be to treat mathematics as a liberal art, making it as accessible and welcoming as sculpture or ballet.
Bwahahahahahah we should BAN art and theater from all schools. Worthless skillz are worthless.

Odd...a guy I did theatre with in college is making a pretty good living acting for stage and screen, and others have gone on to do radio, public speaking and other related work. Likewise, several others have had great monetary success with art and music.


yup, and I went to school with the Wachowskis and michelle robinson. YAWNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
school had nothing to do with anything.
they would have been much better off if they could have skipped everything!!!

/I was being sarcastic. either all classes should be required or no classes should be required.
 
2012-07-30 05:08:58 PM  

Babwa Wawa: Hamburger meat is $2.99 a pound, how much is three pounds?

Oh shiat! You just used algebra!

This is an algebraic word problem:

Meat is $2.99/lb. Last week it was 15% less, and you could afford 3 pounds. How much money did you have last week.

And that's elementary algebra - I don't think anyone here is arguing that you don't need that level of education. Certainly the author didn't argue that. The question is whether people need to actually master abstract algebra in order to graduate HS.


Ah, so this is an argument about degrees of algebra.

man, I hate useless word problems like this one. There has *got* to be a better way to get this same point across in a useful manner. I mean, are there any situations when I wouldn't know I had $7.62 last week, but I would know the relative difference in price and the amount I bought? That is sooo... backwards.

I guess, you could make it like a detective story:
"A detective is investigating a robbery and the suspect was seen leaving the supermarket and throwing away the receipt, which would have his finger prints. There are 4 receipts, but they only indicate the price spent/item. The clerk doesn't remember the price of the meat, but does remember that the suspect bought 3 pounds of beef, currently $3.99, which cost 15% less the day on the crime. Which receipt has the suspect's fingerprints?"

That's probably too long and complicated, but at least more interesting.
 
2012-07-30 05:10:17 PM  

Sticky Hands: fark it.
the Chinese have won.


Not as long as Raptor Regan has a say in matters

i.imgur.com

The communists will never succeed!
 
2012-07-30 05:10:24 PM  

buckler: buckler: namatad: why do tards complain about things that they dont like, but think that others should take topics that they think are important.

Review your own posts, then attempt to answer your own question.

...or do I have a hook in my mouth at this point?


LOL
no .... my complaint is that these people want to change the things that they hate, but think their stuff is perfect.
Literature classes exist to employ literature students. why are the rest of us punished to employ them??
 
2012-07-30 05:10:31 PM  

EngineerBoy: The problem, in my opinion, is not with Algrebra, but with math education in this country, starting from grade school on. In college I had many classes in common with Education majors, and with virtual unanimity they complained about how hard it was to pass basic college math courses, and that what they taught wasn't necessary in life. Several of then went on to become math teachers, because that's what was hiring.

These people had no facility for or appreciation of mathematics, and simply acted as parrots for textbook course plans designed to have the fewest kids fail the standardized tests. Any time a kid had a conceptual problem, they simply could not help because they did not understand the theory, either. And any time a kid showed a facility for mathematics and a desire to learn more, they had nothing to give, thus potentially stifling a future mathematician.

In my opinion the solution is to make teaching a respectably paid vocation, such that it will attract people who could easily get work in the business sector, but might choose to become teachers if it didn't mean settling for a life of extraordinarily limited earning potential.


My high school honors (!) geometry teacher told me that pi is an irrational number because we can't measure it because we can't draw a perfect circle. If we could draw a perfect circle, the exact value of pi would be known.
 
2012-07-30 05:11:21 PM  

Babwa Wawa: slayer199: As much as I hated algebra (and still do), I wouldn't want to abandon teaching it. Geometry is useful, statistics can be useful. However, forcing pre-calc and college algebra on college students that will never need either is a waste.

I disagree - a university degree should (but usually doesn't) indicate a person with a well-rounded education.

Allowing people to focus exclusively on their degree is job training, not university education. You end up wit scientists who can't write, and historians who can't analyze data.


no you dont. there are no scientists that cant write. writing is a huge component of being a scientist. historians should be analyzing history, not data anyway. people that like learning will do so no matter what. It is not a university's job to "round me" it is their job to provide specialized high tech training with resources I cant find elsewhere. I can buy lit books and biographies on my own thanks.
 
2012-07-30 05:11:24 PM  
Don't worry scrote. Lots of retards are livin' really kick ass lives. My first wife was 'tarded. She's a pilot now.

buttonpushingmonkey.files.wordpress.com
 
2012-07-30 05:11:30 PM  

namatad: buckler: namatad: The aim would be to treat mathematics as a liberal art, making it as accessible and welcoming as sculpture or ballet.
Bwahahahahahah we should BAN art and theater from all schools. Worthless skillz are worthless.

Odd...a guy I did theatre with in college is making a pretty good living acting for stage and screen, and others have gone on to do radio, public speaking and other related work. Likewise, several others have had great monetary success with art and music.

yup, and I went to school with the Wachowskis and michelle robinson. YAWNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
school had nothing to do with anything.
they would have been much better off if they could have skipped everything!!!

/I was being sarcastic. either all classes should be required or no classes should be required.


Thanks. I'm working on about three things plus Farking at the moment. My sarcasm meter alarm didn't go off to alert me. Back to the shop for it, I guess.
 
2012-07-30 05:13:06 PM  

Lord Dimwit: My high school honors (!) geometry teacher told me that pi is an irrational number because we can't measure it because we can't draw a perfect circle. If we could draw a perfect circle, the exact value of pi would be known.


Duuuuude! Your teacher ever share the bong?
 
2012-07-30 05:14:05 PM  
I hated math, became an English major, got out into the real world, and landed my first job in banking. That evolved into analytics, performance tracking, and statistical analysis & modeling. I use algebra every day.
I'm damn glad I received the broad, liberal education that included algebra, stats, logic and computer science.

I'm one of the few in my part of the corporation who is a solid writer. Probably the only one who both understands the complex issues discussed and is capable of communicating effectively. Job security rocks...

/the math is there to teach you how to effectively approach abstract and uncomfortable challenges...pretty useful, in general...
 
2012-07-30 05:14:39 PM  

wingedkat: downstairs: As a completely random example, but something that irks me personally... so many people cannot uderstand crime statistics. Not even to the point of understanding that per capita must be applied to any number, or its generally meaningless. Of course thats basic division, not even algebra.

Yeah, they do teach algebra abysmally in most places. After all, the understanding of when to apply basic division is something generally gained by learning algebra (or should be, at least).

I think two big changes need to be made:

1. Math majors shouldn't teach math.
2. Algebra, geometry, etc needs to be taught along with all the basics way back in grade school. Algebra especially is basically just math grammar, nothing that should be pulled out and made a big deal of.


To be in compliance with NCLB and the CRCT, it already is being taught in the lower grades. It's being taught like crap, but it's being taught. Most kids memorize stuff just long enough to pass and then have to re-learn it the next time around, while the kids that get it are bored beyond belief. My fifth grader and second grader were actually working the same friggin problems at one point, because the fifth grade teacher really liked the worksheet the second grade teacher created.
 
2012-07-30 05:15:04 PM  

Kimothy: They're, not their. Damn.


Too late. Your entire argument, no matter how valid, has been rendered useless.
 
2012-07-30 05:15:28 PM  
School is obviously holding kids back. We should skip the whole thing.
 
2012-07-30 05:15:38 PM  

Babwa Wawa: I went into that article thinking you could get rid of algebra if you replaced it with something more relevant like statistics.

The nation would be much better off if everyone had a basic understanding of stats.


Indeed:

"Just think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are even stupider!"

--George Carlin
 
2012-07-30 05:16:07 PM  

pciszek: Babwa Wawa: I went into that article thinking you could get rid of algebra if you replaced it with something more relevant like statistics.

The nation would be much better off if everyone had a basic understanding of stats.

Can you really teach statistics without an understanding of algebra?


Maybe per capita type stuff, but confidence intervals and margin of error would be difficult without algebra.
 
2012-07-30 05:16:19 PM  
Brian Erst writes: "Just make the coming generation of fembots user-programmable in a way that requires good math and logic skills. You will very quickly have a generation of mathematical and programming geniuses."

via-Instapundit
 
2012-07-30 05:16:31 PM  
Surely you can't be serious, math is the area we are suck the most at.
 
2012-07-30 05:17:36 PM  
i950.photobucket.com
 
2012-07-30 05:17:55 PM  

LordOfThePings: Lord Dimwit: My high school honors (!) geometry teacher told me that pi is an irrational number because we can't measure it because we can't draw a perfect circle. If we could draw a perfect circle, the exact value of pi would be known.

Duuuuude! Your teacher ever share the bong?


And just to be clear, I mean that she thought that pi was irrational because every time we measure a circle, our measurements are slightly off. She thought there was a finite decimal expansion of pi, we just hadn't discovered it yet.

I stopped paying attention in class after that.
 
2012-07-30 05:18:34 PM  

Babwa Wawa: I went into that article thinking you could get rid of algebra if you replaced it with something more relevant like statistics.

The nation would be much better off if everyone had a basic understanding of stats.


Especially certain people in certain global temp trend threads.

/15 years!
 
2012-07-30 05:18:35 PM  

rumpelstiltskin: No shiat. That's because you aren't supposed to learn the algorithms; you're supposed to learn how abstraction and reasoning lead to the algorithms. We don't need any more people in the workforce who are experts in applying the quadratic formula, but that simply isn't the point. Mathematical reasoning in workplaces takes the form of abstraction and identification of relationships between abstractions. These are the skills you are supposed to begin to develop in high school "algebra" and geometry. And if you can't, you should be a barrista or some kind of clerk. You have no business making decisions. Or you could be a political science professor, who's work depends heavily on numbers he doesn't understand. You could do that, too.


Well said. And the author is an idiot for thinking you can teach stats without any math background... unless one is a social scientist who likes playing with numbers without understanding how methodologies work. I know plenty of social scientists who love playing with quantitative models, but when you ask basic questions about their logic and causality, everything falls apart.
 
2012-07-30 05:18:36 PM  

wingedkat: 1. Math majors shouldn't teach math.


Mmm, no. Here's the thing: an alarmingly large proportion of the middle school kids I've encountered in the past while have often come in with huge gaps in their math abilities, often operating several years behind where they should be.

It should be noted that a BSc-Math degree doesn't qualify one to start an elementary certification program under typical state NCLB standards. You would need an extra year or so of general arts credits beyond your degree to qualify. Basically, you'd have to hybrid into the equivalent of a BA (Math). Math majors generally certify at middle or high school.

The converse is not true. One or two math credits are sufficient for an Arts or History major.

Worse, most teacher college professors appear to have been drawn from the huge pool of English/History majors. You're very lucky if you have a math or science background professor who can teach that aspect of education to the elementary school teacher candidates.
 
2012-07-30 05:19:04 PM  

Lord Dimwit: My high school honors (!) geometry teacher told me that pi is an irrational number because we can't measure it because we can't draw a perfect circle. If we could draw a perfect circle, the exact value of pi would be known.


That sounds a lot like the last time I tried to calculate the precise value of infinity using a scratch pad, a tape measure and the end off of a serial cable.. and three days later discovered that there were two tabs stuck together, apparently.
 
2012-07-30 05:19:23 PM  
I don't think we are hard enough on kids.

if you don't want to take the basics of math in HS, then please by all means ask me if I want fries with that after you get out.
 
2012-07-30 05:19:24 PM  

buckler: I am terrible at math. I tried and tried in school, but I just couldn't wrap my head around it. My brain just isn't wired that way. However, I excel when it comes to language and interpretive arts, and I did very well in visual arts. Aside from the occasional grammar-Nazi snark here, I don't put down those who don't do well in English or related fields, because I know my own limits when it comes to math. I had a roommate who admitted he never learned to read, and I helped tutor him until he had at least the basic skills.

The important thing for me is that I was necessarily exposed to both fields. I found I did well in one, and not so much the other; I would expect to find that there are those who excel in math, but maybe not so much in language skills. I don't value them less that anyone else. Indeed, these people are vital in the STEM fields, which our country needs people in now more than ever. This guy's thesis is bunkum.


PERFECT!!
And this is what school should be all about. Finding the things which one is good at and then being educated in those things.
People with no interest in ... botany, wouldnt disrupt the class. those interested in band, would do band.

the only reason that you would need to take other classes is to get enough exposure to determine interest in the first place.
 
2012-07-30 05:19:35 PM  
Learning math is really learning problem solving, the numbers are almost irrelevant. When I taught prep for the GMATand GRE I found the students who couldn't do math were the students who could never solve any of the verbal problems they didn't immediately know. They seemed to lack the ability to break down a question and figure out how to solve it.
 
2012-07-30 05:19:38 PM  
If the price of sending someone to prison > price of sending someone to Princeton

Then YES we need more math to keep people out of prison.

http://www.business2community.com/government-politics/prison-vs-princ e ton-university-infographic-073142
 
2012-07-30 05:20:04 PM  

Because People in power are Stupid: wingedkat:
1. Math majors shouldn't teach math.

I found some of your homework.

[filehurricane.com image 494x371]


hmm.... uh huh... yeah, turns out I don't see what you did there.

It would make more sense if you had not made it *my* homework.
 
2012-07-30 05:20:14 PM  

Kimothy: Their definitely not using trig or calculus, unless they pursued careers that use those things.


My brother cannot understand the different between growth at a slower rate and shrinking. This impacts his ability to understand all manner of social and economic issues. Even if you don't solve trig and calculus problems everyday, mastering those concepts allows you to better understand the world around you.
 
2012-07-30 05:20:17 PM  

Kimothy: Most people aren't using algebra in their everyday lives. Their definitely not using trig or calculus.....


most people don't use arithmatic more complicated than counting to 3 on a daily basis, but that doesn't mean that they shouldn't be.

/it usually isn't that important to know when train A going x mph and train B going y mph are going to meet, but it is important to understand on a conceptual level how to solve that problem
 
2012-07-30 05:21:20 PM  
He is farking joking. Right?
 
2012-07-30 05:22:39 PM  

Voiceofreason01: conceptual level how to solve that problem


a: apply brakes

or

b: JUMP!
 
2012-07-30 05:23:53 PM  

Graffito: Kimothy: Their definitely not using trig or calculus, unless they pursued careers that use those things.

My brother cannot understand the different between growth at a slower rate and shrinking. This impacts his ability to understand all manner of social and economic issues. Even if you don't solve trig and calculus problems everyday, mastering those concepts allows you to better understand the world around you.


Most farkers don't understand the difference either. Thus the Politics tab.
 
2012-07-30 05:24:10 PM  

TheBeastOfYuccaFlats: slayer199: As much as I hated algebra (and still do), I wouldn't want to abandon teaching it. Geometry is useful, statistics can be useful. However, forcing pre-calc and college algebra on college students that will never need either is a waste.

Maybe, but everyone should be forced to take Probability and Stats in college.

/hell, in HS


Poker teaches those and additional useful life skills.
 
2012-07-30 05:24:42 PM  

Kimothy: I think it's more a problem of not knowing how to teach math, or teaching it in a way that's supposed to help students pass the four or five standardized tests a year rather than really understanding mathematical concepts. Reduce the emphasis on testing and emphasize actual knowledge, application, and critical thinking and you'll see students improve.

That said, I don't think I use much math beyond the stuff you learn in elementary school, except maybe some geometry now and then, and I think that's probably a pretty typical thing. Most people aren't using algebra in their everyday lives. Their definitely not using trig or calculus, unless they pursued careers that use those things. The problem is, the author's argument can be applied to lots of subjects. People don't need history everyday, either, but that doesn't mean those subjects aren't valuable.


I'll bet you use algebra more than you think. Any time you see a package of 10 somethings for y dollars you might think about how each one of those things costs y/10. That's algebra, Bud.
 
2012-07-30 05:25:29 PM  

Babwa Wawa: I went into that article thinking you could get rid of algebra if you replaced it with something more relevant like statistics.

The nation would be much better off if everyone had a basic understanding of stats.


Totally agree about stats! Especially considering the fact that 95% of the statistics publicly presented are completely made up.
 
2012-07-30 05:25:45 PM  
I got to the line in the article with the nerd snipe, and I stopped reading. It was very difficult, but I also refrained from doing the math.

/WTF is wrong with these morons that can't understand basic algebra?
 
2012-07-30 05:25:55 PM  
I would say that we teach advanced mathematics (beyond "counting out change") because by the time one student out of fifty decides he wants to study something actually challenging, it's too late to start teaching him real math. If everyone gets algebra crammed into their skulls in middle school, the ones who discover they need calculus and statistics in high school will be ready to take them.
 
2012-07-30 05:26:28 PM  

wingedkat:
I guess, you could make it like a detective story:
"A detective is investigating a robbery and the suspect was seen leaving the supermarket and throwing away the receipt, which would have his finger prints. There are 4 receipts, but they only indicate the price spent/item. The clerk doesn't remember the price of the meat, but does remember that the suspect bought 3 pounds of beef, currently $3.99. There was a 15% sale on all items in the store which ended recently. Which receipt has the suspect's fingerprints?"

That's probably too long and complicated, but at least more interesting.


This fits in the narrative better, and also makes detail important to the story/problem.

/No more word problems with Ida and Susan building quadrilateral walls around their garden.
 
2012-07-30 05:26:33 PM  

downstairs: wingedkat: Babwa Wawa: Yeah, you need some rote learning (2x - 4 = -3... solve for x)...


X = 1/2
 
2012-07-30 05:26:47 PM  
University education, especially liberal arts education, is more important than you might think. Requiring engineering students to learn a foreign language and understand philosophy makes them better engineers because it allows them to think about things in different ways (at a potentially fundamental level), as well as just making them better people in general. Besides, engineers need to be able to write well and read well to perform research.

Also, many 18 year olds don't even know what they want to do yet. Some aren't even aware that there are options out there. I know plenty of people who started out as CS majors and turned into pure math majors, or EEs or philosphy majors (and not just to get an "easy degree"). I'm lucky in that I've known what I wanted to do for as long as I can remember, but that's not true for everyone.

If you only want to take classes that are relevant to your career, fine, go to ITT Tech. The problem is that you'll miss out on the whole universe of knowledge and information that would have (a) made your life richer and (b) made you a better network engineer in incalcuable (but real) ways.
 
2012-07-30 05:27:13 PM  

Kimothy: Reduce the emphasis on testing and emphasize actual knowledge, application, and critical thinking and you'll see students improve.


I absolutely agree. This is where Montessori school excels -- the kids not only understand the concepts behind math in an intuitive way, they tend to like the subject.
 
2012-07-30 05:28:00 PM  

Lord Dimwit: In my opinion the solution is to make teaching a respectably paid vocation, such that it will attract people who could easily get work in the business sector, but might choose to become teachers if it didn't mean settling for a life of extraordinarily limited earning potential.


I had a music teacher in seventh grade who decided to lecture the class on the need for attaining a well-rounded education (just to be clear, I actually agree with the sentiment). His example was that we could compute the odds of winning the pick-4 lottery by multiplying 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 24, so its 1 in 24. In summary:

1) He completely botched the math (the real odds are 1 in 10,000)
2) Based on this math, he came to the wrong conclusion (If the jackpot were anything over $24, and we used his math, we'd be buying as many lottery tickets as we could)

Even at age 12, the stupid hurt.
 
2012-07-30 05:28:26 PM  

mr lawson: Voiceofreason01: conceptual level how to solve that problem

a: apply brakes

or

b: JUMP!


At what point will brake application result in insufficient reduction of momentum to avoid collision requiring you to calculate the proper trajectory and starting velocity in which to disembark the train with statistically the least likely result being farked up beyond all recognition?
 
2012-07-30 05:28:48 PM  

slayer199: EvilEgg: Forcing the Red Badge of Courage and the Great Gatsby on students is a waste also. Have you ever need to know anything about those books?

Nope. But reading/writing skills > math in the real world (unless you actually have a job that requires and uses arithmetic).

I never said there shouldn't be a math class requirement in college. I said pre-calc and college alegbra were a waste of time for most people (especially pre-calc). There are plenty of math classes that would be more useful (statistics, financial economics) and would still allow for students to receive a well-rounded education.


I had to take college bound English before I went to college to major in Engineering. You can take a little bit of math, cupcake. It won't kill you.
 
2012-07-30 05:29:22 PM  
Interesting problem I saw on Youtube the other day.

If you are traveling at 80mph, how long would it take to travel 80 miles? Take into consideration all factors such as rotation speed of the tires and the average running velocity of a human being.
 
2012-07-30 05:29:46 PM  

umad: slayer199: EvilEgg: Forcing the Red Badge of Courage and the Great Gatsby on students is a waste also. Have you ever need to know anything about those books?

Nope. But reading/writing skills > math in the real world (unless you actually have a job that requires and uses arithmetic).

I never said there shouldn't be a math class requirement in college. I said pre-calc and college alegbra were a waste of time for most people (especially pre-calc). There are plenty of math classes that would be more useful (statistics, financial economics) and would still allow for students to receive a well-rounded education.

I had to take college bound English before I went to college to major in Engineering. You can take a little bit of math, cupcake. It won't kill you.


Tell that to number nine. There's a reason seven is scared of him.
 
2012-07-30 05:30:22 PM  

Lord Dimwit: umad: slayer199: EvilEgg: Forcing the Red Badge of Courage and the Great Gatsby on students is a waste also. Have you ever need to know anything about those books?

Nope. But reading/writing skills > math in the real world (unless you actually have a job that requires and uses arithmetic).

I never said there shouldn't be a math class requirement in college. I said pre-calc and college alegbra were a waste of time for most people (especially pre-calc). There are plenty of math classes that would be more useful (statistics, financial economics) and would still allow for students to receive a well-rounded education.

I had to take college bound English before I went to college to major in Engineering. You can take a little bit of math, cupcake. It won't kill you.

Tell that to number nine. There's a reason seven is scared of him.


Dammit. You know what I meant.
 
2012-07-30 05:30:23 PM  

FloydA: Thoguh: Kimothy: Most people aren't using algebra in their everyday lives.

Hamburger meat is $2.99 a pound, how much is three pounds?

$4.71


BZZZZT! Incorrect! The correct answer in the liberal agenda education system is: MEAT IS MURDER!!!
 
2012-07-30 05:30:26 PM  

Lord Dimwit: LordOfThePings: Lord Dimwit: My high school honors (!) geometry teacher told me that pi is an irrational number because we can't measure it because we can't draw a perfect circle. If we could draw a perfect circle, the exact value of pi would be known.

Duuuuude! Your teacher ever share the bong?

And just to be clear, I mean that she thought that pi was irrational because every time we measure a circle, our measurements are slightly off. She thought there was a finite decimal expansion of pi, we just hadn't discovered it yet.

I stopped paying attention in class after that.


It's really just a matter of notation. Pi = 10 (base pi)
 
2012-07-30 05:30:37 PM  
up-ship.com

Gotta give it to the NYT, they know how to troll the interpopulace. First the "Should we do journalism?" article. Then the "Journalism is hard" article. Now this.
 
2012-07-30 05:30:52 PM  

AverageAmericanGuy: Interesting problem I saw on Youtube the other day.

If you are traveling at 80mph, how long would it take to travel 80 miles? Take into consideration all factors such as rotation speed of the tires and the average running velocity of a human being.


That's exactly the sort of question you see on those late night talk show "humiliate the man on the street" segments, and I'm amazed people get that kind of stuff wrong.
 
2012-07-30 05:31:20 PM  
"The problem with American schools is that they don't teach too much math anything to anyone"

FIFY

I went overseas to an international school for my sophomore year in high school. It was waaaaay harder than my HS here in the states (I guess those damn Europeans wanted their kids to be educated or something). When I returned for my junior year, I discovered that my Sophomore English text book over there was the Senior AP English text here.

That was 30 years ago, and it's only gotten worse.
 
2012-07-30 05:31:42 PM  
 
2012-07-30 05:33:39 PM  
FTFA: "But it's not easy to see why potential poets and philosophers face a lofty mathematics bar."

disagree completely. math is prerequisite to coherent philosophical reasoning.
 
2012-07-30 05:34:03 PM  

Surool: "The problem with American schools is that they don't teach too much math anything to anyone"

FIFY

I went overseas to an international school for my sophomore year in high school. It was waaaaay harder than my HS here in the states (I guess those damn Europeans wanted their kids to be educated or something). When I returned for my junior year, I discovered that my Sophomore English text book over there was the Senior AP English text here.

That was 30 years ago, and it's only gotten worse.


And I bet kids were held back if they couldn't pass too.
 
2012-07-30 05:34:12 PM  
Yes, by all means let's volunteer to become more ignorant.
 
2012-07-30 05:34:16 PM  

MooseUpNorth: It should be noted that a BSc-Math degree doesn't qualify one to start an elementary certification program under typical state NCLB standards. You would need an extra year or so of general arts credits beyond your degree to qualify. Basically, you'd have to hybrid into the equivalent of a BA (Math). Math majors generally certify at middle or high school.

The converse is not true. One or two math credits are sufficient for an Arts or History major.

Worse, most teacher college professors appear to have been drawn from the huge pool of English/History majors. You're very lucky if you have a math or science background professor who can teach that aspect of education to the elementary school teacher candidates.


No no, I don't want liberal arts majors teaching math. I want science, engineering, and accounting majors to teach math.

The problem with the way we teach math is that it propagates itself... people who are capable of understanding it the way it is currently taught do well, learn to love it, study it in college, then go on to teach it the same way they learned it, leaving far too many of the students confused as to how it could ever be useful in their lives. I want to break the cycle, let people learned math to use it because it works teach it.

I don't advocate those programs that grab random engineers, give them a month's course in "how to teach", and throw them into problem schools. Teaching is a hard skill, and requires a lot more than just knowledge of the subject matter.

I just think "I Love Math" > "Math Major" > "Mathematics Education" is more often a bad idea than a good one.
 
2012-07-30 05:34:36 PM  

All_Farked_Up: Surool: "The problem with American schools is that they don't teach too much math anything to anyone"

FIFY

I went overseas to an international school for my sophomore year in high school. It was waaaaay harder than my HS here in the states (I guess those damn Europeans wanted their kids to be educated or something). When I returned for my junior year, I discovered that my Sophomore English text book over there was the Senior AP English text here.

That was 30 years ago, and it's only gotten worse.

And I bet kids were held back if they couldn't pass too.


Yup. Those were the days...
 
2012-07-30 05:35:09 PM  

Surool: "The problem with American schools is that they don't teach too much math anything to anyone"

FIFY

I went overseas to an international school for my sophomore year in high school. It was waaaaay harder than my HS here in the states (I guess those damn Europeans wanted their kids to be educated or something). When I returned for my junior year, I discovered that my Sophomore English text book over there was the Senior AP English text here.

That was 30 years ago, and it's only gotten worse.


What the deuce are they teaching in math that's so hard? HS level math is fairly trivial. Fark man, my second year integrals course in University - there's nooo way you could teach that in HS.

I suppose they could teach matrices. OTOH they're pretty easy but very useful.
 
2012-07-30 05:35:16 PM  
I'm taking college algebra (and have a solid A going 2 days from the final) so I'm getting a kick out of these replies. Wish I'd have done it earlier in life, but I -really- hated being shown something, understanding it, and being told I needed to do it 50 more times every night. Fark that method, I like this one better...here's some problems to try, solutions are in the back so if you get stuck, you can figure out why that answer is the right one.

There is a quiz at the beginning of class covering the previous day's stuff. If you didn't quite have it when you left and didn't work some problems that night, you're going to be screwed. If you did understand, and didn't have to work the problems, you'll be golden. I think that's a better model, at least for me it is.

/There is, no shiat, a middle schooler in my class-had to get instructor permission because they're too young to enroll at the university for HS credit.
//Yes, it's an Asian kid.
 
2012-07-30 05:35:31 PM  

LordOfThePings: [img189.imageshack.us image 400x433]


2/(x+1)
 
2012-07-30 05:35:39 PM  

slayer199: As much as I hated algebra (and still do), I wouldn't want to abandon teaching it. Geometry is useful, statistics can be useful. However, forcing pre-calc and college algebra on college students that will never need either is a waste.


I use the computer for all my math and language translation needs.

"As far as what he hates algebra (and still do), I would not give up teaching. Engineering is a useful statistics can be useful. However, before forcing Calculate College Faculty and students of algebra than ever in need of either a waste."

Run it thru a few languages and it comes out just perfect. Sea ?
 
2012-07-30 05:36:42 PM  

rumpelstiltskin: John P. Smith III, an educational psychologist at Michigan State University who has studied math education, has found that "mathematical reasoning in workplaces differs markedly from the algorithms taught in school."

No shiat. That's because you aren't supposed to learn the algorithms; you're supposed to learn how abstraction and reasoning lead to the algorithms. We don't need any more people in the workforce who are experts in applying the quadratic formula, but that simply isn't the point. Mathematical reasoning in workplaces takes the form of abstraction and identification of relationships between abstractions. These are the skills you are supposed to begin to develop in high school "algebra" and geometry. And if you can't, you should be a barrista or some kind of clerk. You have no business making decisions. Or you could be a political science professor, who's work depends heavily on numbers he doesn't understand. You could do that, too.


I agree that it isn't about solving specific complex problems. There are people with a home project, like remodelling a bathroom, that can't do the simplest of mathematical reasoning. How much tile is needed? How about paint? What angle should I cut this board? I can't imagine going through life without the math skills I have. It'd be like not being able to read.
 
2012-07-30 05:37:18 PM  

ElLoco: Babwa Wawa: I went into that article thinking you could get rid of algebra if you replaced it with something more relevant like statistics.

The nation would be much better off if everyone had a basic understanding of stats.

That's funny... I was just having a discussion maybe 2 days ago about the reasoning behind why stats isn't a required part of a high school education. Not necessarily a whole semester of stats, but all the basics. I even discussed a single semester of algebra and stats combined. Advanced material from either one of them is all but useless to most students, but the basics learned from both carry on to a number of things in the job market that are not science related.


The difficulty is that survey-level stats is about as useful as pre-calculus physics -- can may be able to memorize the formulae, but you don't have the first clue where they come from, why, or what they mean. Stats really requires and understanding of calculus, and is often even opaque with that.
 
2012-07-30 05:38:01 PM  

wingedkat: Because People in power are Stupid: wingedkat:
1. Math majors shouldn't teach math.

I found some of your homework.

[filehurricane.com image 494x371]

hmm.... uh huh... yeah, turns out I don't see what you did there.

It would make more sense if you had not made it *my* homework.


hmm... uh huh... yeah, turns out that I don't care about who you are.

You said something fundamentally stupid, so I objectified you as someone who would put a fundamentally stupid answer on a math test... possibly because you are 'living the dream' of having people who don't understand math teach it to you.

But this objection that it doesn't really apply to you is moot because (as earlier stated) I don't really care about you or want to know that you are an AP Political Science major *.

* Or something

Here's some more

edge.ebaumsworld.com
 
2012-07-30 05:39:28 PM  
Christ, did a cow crap in here? Figures the article would come from a liberal arts major. Know what, take David Copperfield and shove it up your bung hole! If you can't learn a concept that is a few hundred years old, you're an idiot. Math, at its core, is about problem solving whether it is useful for you in life or not, it builds cognitive skills in looking at a problem, breaking it down and finding a solution. It trains the brain to solve problems. Painting happy trees every day will not help you tackle problems you might encounter in the workplace (though they will make your cubicle friendlier).
 
2012-07-30 05:39:34 PM  
www.anonymouspundit.com
 
2012-07-30 05:39:35 PM  
School teaches you a bunch of mathematical operations, like adding, multiplying, integrating, etc. While useful in their own right, it leaves a bit of a gap in math-like thinking. The entire purpose of math is to make things easier, not more difficult. I think students need more examples of how math makes complex problems easier to describe, instead of solely increasing the repertoire of operations they know how to perform.
 
2012-07-30 05:39:36 PM  

degenerate-afro: Sticky Hands: fark it.
the Chinese have won.

Not as long as Raptor Regan has a say in matters

[i.imgur.com image 850x478]

The communists will never succeed!


I love how it's supposed to be a "America, Fark Yeah!" pic, but he's wielding a german SMG and has a russian RPG on his back.
Communism strikes again!

/the velociraptor is mad cool, though
 
2012-07-30 05:40:51 PM  

Because People in power are Stupid: wingedkat: Because People in power are Stupid: wingedkat:
1. Math majors shouldn't teach math.

I found some of your homework.

[filehurricane.com image 494x371]

hmm.... uh huh... yeah, turns out I don't see what you did there.

It would make more sense if you had not made it *my* homework.

hmm... uh huh... yeah, turns out that I don't care about who you are.

You said something fundamentally stupid, so I objectified you as someone who would put a fundamentally stupid answer on a math test... possibly because you are 'living the dream' of having people who don't understand math teach it to you.

But this objection that it doesn't really apply to you is moot because (as earlier stated) I don't really care about you or want to know that you are an AP Political Science major *.

* Or something

Here's some more

[edge.ebaumsworld.com image 400x216]


I find those to be creative (and accurate, in a sense) answers to math questions that might be given by liberal arts majors. I wonder if there are similar answers to English problems submitted by math majors.
 
2012-07-30 05:40:53 PM  

nacho cheese sauce: FTFA: "But it's not easy to see why potential poets and philosophers face a lofty mathematics bar."

disagree completely. math is prerequisite to coherent philosophical reasoning.


Next you'll tell me that Achilles could catch a tortoise if he gave it a head start.
 
2012-07-30 05:41:10 PM  
(_8(|)

@@@@:-)
 
2012-07-30 05:41:18 PM  
Instead of math, they should teach Chinese. So at least you'll be able to understand your Overlords in 10 years.
 
2012-07-30 05:41:21 PM  

umad: I had to take college bound English before I went to college to major in Engineering. You can take a little bit of math, cupcake. It won't kill you.


Taking statistics would be much more useful for non-STEM students throughout their lives. Pre-calc is a waste of time if you are not going to learn calculus. Taking a college bound English course before majoring in Engineering seems useful. I've met a lot of engineers who couldn't write coherent instructions and some who bragged about never reading, even in college.
The point is not to avoid math, but to teach useful math skills, which means calculus for some and statistics for others.
 
2012-07-30 05:42:03 PM  
FTA: "And if there is a shortage of STEM graduates, an equally crucial issue is how many available positions there are for men and women with these skills. A January 2012 analysis from the Georgetown center found 7.5 percent unemployment for engineering graduates and 8.2 percent among computer scientists. "

Let's see... bust your balls taking the hardest courses, the most units (and some of the highest debt because you don't have time to work) and still get paid like sh*t while watching your back (if you can even find a job) because your idiot potential employers would rather H1-B or outsource your ass as soon as they can... or skate though taking business courses, have a life and work on Wall Street for moar money than gawd...

decisions, decisions...
/college kids can do cost-benefit analysis too
 
2012-07-30 05:42:19 PM  

weiserfireman: I think that we have been trying to find "easier" ways to teach math for over 40 years

Evidence is that for the most part, the easier ways are failures.

The key to being good at math is the same as being good at reading. You have to do it and do it and do it and do it. In other words, those old fashioned work books that were full of excercise problems are the way to go. Teach the concept, show some sample problems, have the students do 20 problems over night. Check their work, if they don't have the idea, find common threads in the lack of understanding, assign 50 more problems designed to address the problems. Check them the next day, if they have it, go to the next concept.

The other problem is that many teachers, especially at the elementary level, don't really understand math well enough to understand whether their students get it or not, much less why they don't get it.


This is how I learn math down to a tee. Understand the ideas and methodology, and then practice the heck out of it until it clicks. After a little while I tend to get a a ha moment and it is easily understood from then on.

Most people at college didn't want to sit down and practice. They wanted a life and chase girls. I was married, so that wasn't a problem.
 
2012-07-30 05:42:40 PM  

wingedkat: Ah, so this is an argument about degrees of algebra.


Yeah - technically my kids were taught basic algebra in first grade. This is about how much algebra should be required in order to graduate high school.

Mimic_Octopus: there are no scientists that cant write.


Horseshiat. I used to work with a floor full of PhDs who couldn't write their way out of a paper bag.
 
2012-07-30 05:43:05 PM  
Hopefully you are talking about Abstract Algebra. If you are taking Elementary Algebra in college you are a dumb ass.
 
2012-07-30 05:43:07 PM  

pushpinder: Christ, did a cow crap in here? Figures the article would come from a liberal arts major. Know what, take David Copperfield and shove it up your bung hole! If you can't learn a concept that is a few hundred years old, you're an idiot. Math, at its core, is about problem solving whether it is useful for you in life or not, it builds cognitive skills in looking at a problem, breaking it down and finding a solution. It trains the brain to solve problems. Painting happy trees every day will not help you tackle problems you might encounter in the workplace (though they will make your cubicle friendlier).


This ^^
 
2012-07-30 05:43:30 PM  
The solution should be to start shaming people that are innumerate. People that don't understand maths should be paraded through the streets with "RETARD" painted on their backs. Since most women respond negatively to reduced social status, the innumerate will no longer be able to get laid. The problem will solve itself after a couple of generations.
 
2012-07-30 05:45:34 PM  

DarwiOdrade: [www.anonymouspundit.com image 400x535]


The problem here is that a square root of a positive number is both the positive and the negative value. So woman = +/- problem.

She's exists as either the problem or the solution, and you don't know which until you check.

That's probably a more profound truth than the original post.

\Once diagrammed Romeo and Juliet in terms of Lorenz Strange Attractors.
\\They were always doomed.
 
TWX
2012-07-30 05:45:56 PM  
Almost every well-paying long-term career requires both the ability to write and the ability to deal with numbers.

If one can't write, one can't document, can't deal with contracts, can't defend one's work if someone accuses that the work is sub-par. If one can't even read well, then performing basic tasks will be difficult.

If one can't do numbers, one can't calculate costs, can't try out different models for paying workers (hourly/billable-hourly/salaried/contract), can't estimate supplies, or follow technical documents. This even applies to the trades, like plumbing, electrical, and certainly to electronics and low voltage. It OBVIOUSLY applies to engineering and manufacturing.

Those who do badly at math or at writing will find themselves working for someone else, or will find someone else getting the better-paying job who can understand the job. That is literally it.

My job doesn't require a college degree, but I have to deal with numbers and with instructions daily. There are others who I know who would like to be in this field, but they really never will make it unless they're just doing the grunt portion of the job, which pays less.
 
2012-07-30 05:45:57 PM  
Well, hell, if we teach these kids algebra, they're going to think they're too good to take all them field jobs after we run all the illegals out!

Republicans 2012! They'll make sure you're in a low-paying job and make sure you pay more taxes!
 
2012-07-30 05:46:34 PM  
The description of the author of the article says it all:

"Andrew Hacker is an emeritus professor of political science"

I rest my case!!!
 
2012-07-30 05:46:43 PM  

bighairyguy: FloydA: Thoguh: Kimothy: Most people aren't using algebra in their everyday lives.

Hamburger meat is $2.99 a pound, how much is three pounds?

$4.71

BZZZZT! Incorrect! The correct answer in the liberal agenda education system is: MEAT IS MURDER!!!



Shows what you know. The answer "Meat is Murder" goes with the question "What was the second album by English alt/rock band The Smiths?" It's not even a math question!
 
2012-07-30 05:47:54 PM  
FTFA: "A January 2012 analysis from the Georgetown center found 7.5 percent unemployment for engineering graduates and 8.2 percent among computer scientists."

So what's the unemployment rate among actors?
 
2012-07-30 05:48:05 PM  
i134.photobucket.com
 
2012-07-30 05:49:12 PM  

FloydA: bighairyguy: FloydA: Thoguh: Kimothy: Most people aren't using algebra in their everyday lives.

Hamburger meat is $2.99 a pound, how much is three pounds?

$4.71

BZZZZT! Incorrect! The correct answer in the liberal agenda education system is: MEAT IS MURDER!!!


Shows what you know. The answer "Meat is Murder" goes with the question "What was the second album by English alt/rock band The Smiths?" It's not even a math question!


If meat = murder, then murder = delicious.
 
2012-07-30 05:49:29 PM  

ElLoco: At what point will brake application result in insufficient reduction of momentum to avoid collision requiring you to calculate the proper trajectory and starting velocity in which to disembark the train with statistically the least likely result being farked up beyond all recognition?


Easy!
It's too late when one choo-choo hits the other choo-choo!
Duh!

/on a side note, tiring to learn linear algebra on your own produces headaches
//my head hurts
 
2012-07-30 05:49:40 PM  

caramba421: The solution should be to start shaming people that are innumerate. People that don't understand maths should be paraded through the streets with "RETARD" painted on their backs. Since most women respond negatively to reduced social status, the innumerate will no longer be able to get laid. The problem will solve itself after a couple of generations.


What an incredibly short-sighted and uninformed thing to say.
 
2012-07-30 05:51:17 PM  

buckler: caramba421: The solution should be to start shaming people that are innumerate. People that don't understand maths should be paraded through the streets with "RETARD" painted on their backs. Since most women respond negatively to reduced social status, the innumerate will no longer be able to get laid. The problem will solve itself after a couple of generations.

What an incredibly short-sighted and uninformed thing to say.


(and yes, I know I was being trolled then. If I were the type to include smiley-emoticons, I'd probably put one here.)
 
2012-07-30 05:51:34 PM  

red5ish: umad: I had to take college bound English before I went to college to major in Engineering. You can take a little bit of math, cupcake. It won't kill you.

Taking statistics would be much more useful for non-STEM students throughout their lives. Pre-calc is a waste of time if you are not going to learn calculus. Taking a college bound English course before majoring in Engineering seems useful. I've met a lot of engineers who couldn't write coherent instructions and some who bragged about never reading, even in college.
The point is not to avoid math, but to teach useful math skills, which means calculus for some and statistics for others.


True, precalc & college algebra are not particularly useful for the general population, but basic & intermediate algebra (aka Algebra I and II) are pretty useful for just about everyone.
 
2012-07-30 05:51:40 PM  
Everything that exists in the universe is, basically, a giant math problem.

But why learn even the basics of the language of all creation when you could just pound out a degree in political science and get paid to expand stupid questions in the New York Times into a thousand word screed against basic competency, right?
 
2012-07-30 05:52:34 PM  
How much does your IP attorney use calculus, or does s/he just charge you $800/hour and call it good?
 
2012-07-30 05:52:49 PM  

wingedkat: downstairs: As a completely random example, but something that irks me personally... so many people cannot uderstand crime statistics. Not even to the point of understanding that per capita must be applied to any number, or its generally meaningless. Of course thats basic division, not even algebra.

Yeah, they do teach algebra abysmally in most places. After all, the understanding of when to apply basic division is something generally gained by learning algebra (or should be, at least).

I think two big changes need to be made:

1. Math majors shouldn't teach math.


To a certain extent this is true. Think back to college and you'll likely notice that the better a person is at very abstract concepts the worse they are in explaining those concepts to others.

At a certain point you need PhDs and PostDocs teaching concepts but maybe not to anyone lower than a Masters. There's a reason we have an entire curriculum devoted to Elementary Ed.
 
2012-07-30 05:53:18 PM  
So, I've scanned the thread and come up with two additional reasons that this is a horrible idea that people have not touched on yet:

1. First, even if you don't use a discipline regularly, and even if you forget a lot of it, that fact that you were once familiar with it gives you a huge advantage if you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to use it to solve a problem. Ask any engineer: Most days he won't go around applying Green's theorem to a closed curve or evaluating optical transmission matrices with in materials with anisotropic complex-valued permittivity, but the fact that he studied how to do it at some point means that if he ever finds himself confronted with a similar problem, he at least has a starting point for how to approach the problem. He may not remember exactly what to do, but at the very least, he can remember that he has a textbook somewhere with a chapter dealing with this very thing.

Having studied algebra at some point just might mean the difference between thinking "Hey, I could solve this if I looked up the quadratic formula" and "Huh, I have no idea what to do here, it must not be that important."

2. The more important reason that eliminating the algebra requirement is dumb, though, is that high school is supposed to provide a broad education, in part because most high-schoolers haven't specialized yet. They haven't been exposed to enough different fields to really decide what they even want to do yet. An important part of high school is to introduce kids to enough of a variety of subjects that they can intelligently pick which ones they'd want to focus on - sometimes forcing a kid to take a year of algebra or a year of world history or a year of english lit can expose him to ideas that he might wind up liking. I understand that not everyone is college-track, and that's fine, but I am horrified at the trend of allowing kids to deprive themselves of future choices earlier and earlier, and with less and less knowledge about what they're even choosing not to do.
 
2012-07-30 05:53:22 PM  

doyner: FTFA: "A January 2012 analysis from the Georgetown center found 7.5 percent unemployment for engineering graduates and 8.2 percent among computer scientists."

So what's the unemployment rate among actors?


Saw this in an article, sums it up pretty nicely.

A study from Georgetown University listed the five college majors with the highest unemployment rates (crossed against popularity): clinical psychology, 19.5%; miscellaneous fine arts, 16.2%; United States history, 15.1%; library science, 15.0%; and military technologies and educational psychology are tied at 10.9%.

Unemployment rates for STEM subjects? Astrophysics/astronomy, just about 0%; geological and geophysics engineering, 0% as well; physical science, 2.5%; geosciences, 3.2%; and math/computer science, 3.5%.
 
2012-07-30 05:53:26 PM  

This text is now purple: She's exists as either the problem or the solution, and you don't know which until you check.


So the solution to the question can be found by putting her in a box with a vile of cyanide?

I like it!
 
2012-07-30 05:54:00 PM  

Vegan Meat Popsicle: Everything that exists in the universe is, basically, a giant math problem.


By the time I reached high school, Carl Sagan had convinced me that what I really wanted to be was a cosmologist. However, I found that I just didn't have the chops for math, so instead of doing science, I ended up interpreting science for others. I found I was good at that, and enjoyed it immensely.
 
2012-07-30 05:54:47 PM  
Math is a fundamental aspect of life. I would argue that it's absolutely required for critical thinking and long term success.

The problem is how it's taught. The teachers are either complete morons that don't even really want to do math themselves or they're so focused on the subject that they're no good at teaching it to normal people. The issue runs very deep, the education system itself failed to educate the educators properly.
 
2012-07-30 05:55:36 PM  

wingedkat: Babwa Wawa: I went into that article thinking you could get rid of algebra if you replaced it with something more relevant like statistics.

The nation would be much better off if everyone had a basic understanding of stats.

Wait. How exactly do you propose to teach statistics without algebra?


Yeah, I'd be all for teaching basic statistics in high school, if only you didn't need to understand what "N" means.
 
2012-07-30 05:56:50 PM  

This text is now purple: The problem here is that a square root of a positive number is both the positive and the negative value. So woman = +/- problem.


No. Commute that to

problem = (+/-) woman

Woman, can't live with em, can't live without em
 
2012-07-30 05:57:27 PM  
When people talk about algebra, they usually mean polynomials or something like "find the dimension of a rectangle whose length is 9 less than twice its width if the perimeter is 120 cm."

Math is about identifying and understanding patterns. That you can use the same variable for length and width is important. That you can take information that initially looks unrelated and solve a problem is important.

Can you really teach statistics without an understanding of algebra?

Probably, yes. I'd argue that that's more of a sociology or political science class than a math class, if you're focusing on interpreting numbers or defining terms.

NO. Statistics is about drawing conclusions based on the distribution of points. Recognizing the function that governs the distribution and thus defines what properties we can expect from the points.
mean X = (1/n) Sum(X) is algebra
standard dev X= (1/n-1)Sum(X-meanX) is algebra
Don't argue with me that this is high level statistics as mean and standard deviation is very very basic stuff, and putting one formula into another is introduced in college algebra.

I would defend my statement, but Baba Waba did a pretty good job of that. I could have used different terminology, but I still stand by my statement, most people do not use algebra in everyday lives. Answering for x in the above example is basic elementary word problems. Most people can figure that out, it's applied mathematics. But algebraic concepts like quadratic equations? Not used.

What world do you live in that everything is related linearly? You have space and velocity but no acceleration?

I think there might be some value to introducing them earlier, mostly because the students will be introduced to calculators and computers at an early age regardless of how the school approaches it. There's no harm in showing students how use tools properly.

I tutored a home schooled girl who's mother let her use a calculator. She could not progress past 5th grade level because she could not recognize the patterns numbers make. She could not identify 36 as a square or tell me the roots of 12 because she'd always used a calculator.

The problem is with convincing kids that mad mathz skillz are important- you've got to remember, these are little idiots with - as a matter of course - no properly developed concept of what the future holds for them. In more traditional societies and in the developing world, it's easy: The motivation is "because your parents want you to" or "because learning as much as you can will get you out of this place". In the US and elsewhere in the West, it's harder: You have to convince them that they will need these skills in the future.

When I was asked "when am I ever going to use this?" by a student, I'd answer "I don't know, Tell me exactly what your future holds and I'll only teach the math that you need. Math, Logic and Pattern Recognition are powerful tools, Since you don't know what your future holds, don't you think you should get as many tools as possible?"

no you dont. there are no scientists that cant write. writing is a huge component of being a scientist. historians should be analyzing history, not data anyway. people that like learning will do so no matter what. It is not a university's job to "round me" it is their job to provide specialized high tech training with resources I cant find elsewhere. I can buy lit books and biographies on my own thanks.

You are thinking of trade school/apprenticeships. Universities ARE supposed to round you. While I'll concede that there are scientists who can't write, there are few if any SUCCESSFUL scientist that can't write. If the reader can't figure out what you are saying, your papers will not be published and your proposals will not be funded. It doesn't matter how brilliant you are if it can not be communicated, and it doesn't matter who well you can diagram a sentence if you have nothing to say. The rounding done at universities allows people to communicate with others not directly in their field. Cross disciplinary work leads to new insights in both fields. I can give you references (from the field of information management) if you like.
 
2012-07-30 05:57:41 PM  

buckler: I find those to be creative (and accurate, in a sense) answers to math questions that might be given by liberal arts majors. I wonder if there are similar answers to English problems submitted by math majors.


There is no right answer because most of those classes are graded subjectively. Math is graded objectively. Which is what most people who hate math are actually hating. The lack of political sway that their "feel good" best intentions can muster -don't matter when solving a math problem.

Which is exactly why this article was written.
 
2012-07-30 05:57:58 PM  

Gyrfalcon: if only you didn't need to understand what "N" means.

n
 
2012-07-30 05:59:43 PM  

Gyrfalcon: Yeah, I'd be all for teaching basic statistics in high school, if only you didn't need to understand what "N" means.


Duh... neutral. It's right next to the R.
 
2012-07-30 06:01:27 PM  

Russky: A study from Georgetown University listed the five college majors with the highest unemployment rates (crossed against popularity): clinical psychology, 19.5%; miscellaneous fine arts, 16.2%; United States history, 15.1%; library science, 15.0%; and military technologies and educational psychology are tied at 10.9%.

Unemployment rates for STEM subjects? Astrophysics/astronomy, just about 0%; geological and geophysics engineering, 0% as well; physical science, 2.5%; geosciences, 3.2%; and math/computer science, 3.5%.


Do they also publish the % of people graduating in these disciplines? You don't even need to study statistics to know that without that information the above figures are meaningless. Take for example a case where 100% of all graduates are engineers; wouldn't a larger percentage of them be unemployed? All you're doing is giving an example of supply and demand.
 
2012-07-30 06:01:42 PM  

ElLoco: It's right next to the R.


Does that mean on the other side of N is "D"?

/This analogy actually works quite well :-)
 
2012-07-30 06:02:17 PM  

Nilatir: To a certain extent this is true. Think back to college and you'll likely notice that the better a person is at very abstract concepts the worse they are in explaining those concepts to others.


That's the problem. You expect your teacher to "explain" something that is fundamentally visually based.

These expectations are really YOUR issue and not an issue with your teachers.

Blame the teacher if you can't persuade them to give you the grade that you want.
 
2012-07-30 06:02:39 PM  
i regret not being proficient with numbers. it has cost me greatly in life, in both dollars and hobbies like music.

/a million Brazilian dollars
 
2012-07-30 06:02:42 PM  
Emphasis should be on understanding concepts and building critical thinking skills. I loved algebra, hell I even liked calculus, but long division is the most mindless thing I ever had the learn. Making a 10 year old do that shiat on paper dozens of times is farking stupid. What does 105788937 divided by 137 equal? It equals go fark yourself.
 
2012-07-30 06:02:42 PM  

buckler: I find those to be creative (and accurate, in a sense) answers to math questions that might be given by liberal arts majors. I wonder if there are similar answers to English problems submitted by math majors.


Math doesn't have "creative" answers, dear. Math is. You can be as "creative" as you want, but 2+2 must ALWAYS equal 4. And in an equation where 2 + x = 4, solve for x, the answer better not be, "Well, if you consider that 2 is a relative number, depending on whether you're talking about two people having sex and one of their partners is in the closet spying on them, it could really be three, so my answer is three."

The ability to think "outside the box" doesn't count in hard science.
 
2012-07-30 06:03:04 PM  

red5ish: How much does your IP attorney use calculus, or does s/he just charge you $800/hour and call it good?


Part of being a successful attorney is having a well-rounded education. Part of having a well-rounded education includes taking classes that don't necessarily have anything to do with your career.

You don't take most of your college courses to learn the facts in the courses, you take them to exercise your mind and make you aware of the larger world outside your own life. If you don't want to do that, go to a trade school and spend the rest of your life as a welder making "good money" at twenty bucks an hour.
 
2012-07-30 06:04:03 PM  
I read that in Edward Longshanks' voice.
 
2012-07-30 06:04:19 PM  
Coming to a theater country near you.

ecx.images-amazon.com
 
2012-07-30 06:04:54 PM  
But don't you guys get it! Algebra is hard! If we stops teaching the hard math then no one has to worry about learning anymore of that hard math stuff anymore and the problem goes away *poof* problem solved OKAY GUYS.
 
2012-07-30 06:05:54 PM  
i think the best way to compete with the chinese is to produce more polysci majors. oh wait, i just realized that there is not a single thing that the modern consumer wants, that a polysci major can produce.
 
2012-07-30 06:06:01 PM  

Vegan Meat Popsicle: welder making "good money" at twenty bucks an hour.


welders can make a heck of a lot more than that
 
2012-07-30 06:06:07 PM  
If college algebra and trig are to complicated for you, you have no business having a degree. If high school algebra and trig are too complicated for you, you have no business being a high school graduate. Saying you don't need basic numeracy is like saying you don't need literacy. But since this fail-the-children ideology permeates modern America, the percentage of people needing remedial english and math at universities is on the rise.
 
2012-07-30 06:07:05 PM  

mr lawson: Voiceofreason01: conceptual level how to solve that problem

a: apply brakes

or

b: JUMP!


Senator Bob is trying to decide on how to vote on an upcoming healthcare bill. The bill would require everyone's insurance to cover basic preventative care. This bill will not result in any additional healthcare being used but will cause a shift where 1/4 of the time someone uses healthcare they will use Ordinary Health Care(OHC) instead of Emergency Health Car(EHC), 1 EHC is three times more expensive than 1 OHC. Which would save more money, voting "yes" or "no"?
 
2012-07-30 06:08:01 PM  

slayer199: As much as I hated algebra (and still do), I wouldn't want to abandon teaching it. Geometry is useful, statistics can be useful. However, forcing pre-calc and college algebra on college students that will never need either is a waste.


I must have been lucky. My high school in Michigan didn't force kids into those. I mean, I took all the math I could as I was college bound, but they had enough basic math courses you could get your requirements

Granted, this was in 98, so they may have increased the amounts you need to graduate.
 
2012-07-30 06:08:02 PM  
Do they also publish the % of people graduating in these disciplines? You don't even need to study statistics to know that without that information the above figures are meaningless. Take for example a case where 100% of all graduates are engineers; wouldn't a larger percentage of them be unemployed? All you're doing is giving an example of supply and demand.

Percentages are normalized - you fail at math.
 
2012-07-30 06:09:08 PM  
Yes! I love it when articles are posted that give us STEM farkers even more reason to make fun of liberal arts!

/physics MS student
 
2012-07-30 06:09:09 PM  

red5ish: Russky: A study from Georgetown University listed the five college majors with the highest unemployment rates (crossed against popularity): clinical psychology, 19.5%; miscellaneous fine arts, 16.2%; United States history, 15.1%; library science, 15.0%; and military technologies and educational psychology are tied at 10.9%.

Unemployment rates for STEM subjects? Astrophysics/astronomy, just about 0%; geological and geophysics engineering, 0% as well; physical science, 2.5%; geosciences, 3.2%; and math/computer science, 3.5%.

Do they also publish the % of people graduating in these disciplines? You don't even need to study statistics to know that without that information the above figures are meaningless. Take for example a case where 100% of all graduates are engineers; wouldn't a larger percentage of them be unemployed? All you're doing is giving an example of supply and demand.


"LIBRARY SCIENCE"?? How is that even a thing? Libraries are already obsolete. We don't organize information this way anymore. I'm not saying that in any way we don't NEED books, but we don't get physical books out of a lending library. Even publishers don't care for that anymore. I don't see any use for a "Library Scientist" unless the term is grossly misleading and describes something else altogether.
 
2012-07-30 06:09:36 PM  

Voiceofreason01: Senator Bob is trying to decide on how to vote on an upcoming healthcare bill. The bill would require everyone's insurance to cover basic preventative care. This bill will not result in any additional healthcare being used but will cause a shift where 1/4 of the time someone uses healthcare they will use Ordinary Health Care(OHC) instead of Emergency Health Car(EHC), 1 EHC is three times more expensive than 1 OHC. Which would save more money, voting "yes" or "no"?


Answer: Whichever lobby group gave Sen. Bob more money.
 
2012-07-30 06:10:17 PM  

red5ish: Russky: A study from Georgetown University listed the five college majors with the highest unemployment rates (crossed against popularity): clinical psychology, 19.5%; miscellaneous fine arts, 16.2%; United States history, 15.1%; library science, 15.0%; and military technologies and educational psychology are tied at 10.9%.

Unemployment rates for STEM subjects? Astrophysics/astronomy, just about 0%; geological and geophysics engineering, 0% as well; physical science, 2.5%; geosciences, 3.2%; and math/computer science, 3.5%.

Do they also publish the % of people graduating in these disciplines? You don't even need to study statistics to know that without that information the above figures are meaningless. Take for example a case where 100% of all graduates are engineers; wouldn't a larger percentage of them be unemployed? All you're doing is giving an example of supply and demand.


That's exactly the problem isn't it, there is no demand for 'fine arts' degrees but people keep taking it instead of a career where there is demand like the sciences. Everyone wants to be a farking movie star i guess.
 
2012-07-30 06:10:25 PM  
Since half the kids in grade school now will end up in the thought worker category of business, YES, YES ALGEBRA IS FARKING IMPORTANT
 
2012-07-30 06:10:59 PM  

GF named my left testicle thundercles: i think the best way to compete with the chinese is to produce more polysci majors. oh wait, i just realized that there is not a single thing that the modern consumer wants, that a polysci major can produce.


Porn. They can make lots of porn.
Some small subset of folks still pay for that.
 
2012-07-30 06:11:12 PM  

wingedkat: Wait. How exactly do you propose to teach statistics without algebra?


I don't understand how you could teach stats without algebra, so here's a picture of a book that teaches The Calculus without limits:

i158.photobucket.com

 
2012-07-30 06:11:50 PM  

Babwa Wawa: I went into that article thinking you could get rid of algebra if you replaced it with something more relevant like statistics.

The nation would be much better off if everyone had a basic understanding of stats.


How on Earth do you plan on teaching stats to kids who can't do algebra?
 
2012-07-30 06:12:48 PM  

EvilEgg: Relevant TED talk


The correct answer is you go to the right lane because paying takes more than 4 times the time scanning an item does, giving us: (3 + 5 + 2 + 1)x + 4(4x) > 19x + 4x. Pay attention and you'll notice that scanning an item is done in a second or two while paying (cash and plastic) takes up at least 10 seconds. Switching tasks (scanning to processing the payment to going back to scanning) takes some time to, which should be added as should people who aren't moving on. But for simplicity's sake I left those out.
 
2012-07-30 06:13:18 PM  
There are a number of draconian mathematical concepts that are taught for little reason.

Algebra is not one of these concepts.
 
2012-07-30 06:13:37 PM  

Thoguh: Kimothy: Most people aren't using algebra in their everyday lives.

Hamburger meat is $2.99 a pound, how much is three pounds?

Oh shiat! You just used algebra!


No, you just multiplied by 3. That's not algebra, its basic arithmetic
 
2012-07-30 06:14:09 PM  

andrewagill: wingedkat: Wait. How exactly do you propose to teach statistics without algebra?

I don't understand how you could teach stats without algebra, so here's a picture of a book that teaches The Calculus without limits:

[i158.photobucket.com image 640x819]


or better yet..

ck-12 org
 
2012-07-30 06:15:31 PM  

Gyrfalcon: buckler: I find those to be creative (and accurate, in a sense) answers to math questions that might be given by liberal arts majors. I wonder if there are similar answers to English problems submitted by math majors.

Math doesn't have "creative" answers, dear. Math is. You can be as "creative" as you want, but 2+2 must ALWAYS equal 4. And in an equation where 2 + x = 4, solve for x, the answer better not be, "Well, if you consider that 2 is a relative number, depending on whether you're talking about two people having sex and one of their partners is in the closet spying on them, it could really be three, so my answer is three."

The ability to think "outside the box" doesn't count in hard science.


When I say "accurate", I mean in the sense that the answers may not make sense from a mathematics point of view, they make perfect sense from a language point of view. It's the clash of two disciplines.
 
2012-07-30 06:16:09 PM  

Sticky Hands: fark it.
the Chinese have won.


Only until you need to think up something original. Then you need a Westerner, and preferably, an American.
 
2012-07-30 06:16:31 PM  

mr lawson: andrewagill: wingedkat: Wait. How exactly do you propose to teach statistics without algebra?

I don't understand how you could teach stats without algebra, so here's a picture of a book that teaches The Calculus without limits:

[i158.photobucket.com image 640x819]

or better yet..

ck-12 org


This book has limits in the first chapter. Isaac Newton would be displeased.
 
2012-07-30 06:16:47 PM  

KrispyKritter: i regret not being proficient with numbers. it has cost me greatly in life, in both dollars and hobbies like music.

/a million Brazilian dollars


$489,799.09
 
2012-07-30 06:16:48 PM  

Oznog: red5ish: Russky: A study from Georgetown University listed the five college majors with the highest unemployment rates (crossed against popularity): clinical psychology, 19.5%; miscellaneous fine arts, 16.2%; United States history, 15.1%; library science, 15.0%; and military technologies and educational psychology are tied at 10.9%.

Unemployment rates for STEM subjects? Astrophysics/astronomy, just about 0%; geological and geophysics engineering, 0% as well; physical science, 2.5%; geosciences, 3.2%; and math/computer science, 3.5%.

Do they also publish the % of people graduating in these disciplines? You don't even need to study statistics to know that without that information the above figures are meaningless. Take for example a case where 100% of all graduates are engineers; wouldn't a larger percentage of them be unemployed? All you're doing is giving an example of supply and demand.

"LIBRARY SCIENCE"?? How is that even a thing? Libraries are already obsolete. We don't organize information this way anymore. I'm not saying that in any way we don't NEED books, but we don't get physical books out of a lending library. Even publishers don't care for that anymore. I don't see any use for a "Library Scientist" unless the term is grossly misleading and describes something else altogether.


The term is grossly misleading and describes something else altogether in many ways. Don't kid yourself though, there are still huge libraries that require librarians, and a lot of library science is learning how to do research which is quite useful.
 
2012-07-30 06:17:04 PM  

dopekitty74: Thoguh: Kimothy: Most people aren't using algebra in their everyday lives.

Hamburger meat is $2.99 a pound, how much is three pounds?

Oh shiat! You just used algebra!

No, you just multiplied by 3. That's not algebra, its basic arithmetic


x = 2.99

3x = ?

/yup, no algebra there!
 
2012-07-30 06:18:06 PM  

mr lawson: welders can make a heck of a lot more than that


But on average, they don't. Regardless, the point is that if you don't want a well-rounded education and just want to learn a trade, there are trade schools available. Colleges are not and should not be in the business of cranking out tradesmen.

However, if you want to be one of the big-timers - a Fortune 500 CEO, a neurosurgeon, a high-powered lawyer - you need a strong, well-rounded background and a flexible mind and that's what colleges are for. Colleges give you those things by exposing you to a wide variety of topics that require a wide variety of mental skills to understand and absorb. Part of that involves maths that you may not, ultimately, have any practical use for. The point isn't the maths, that point is the exposure to that sort of thinking so that you have that general flexibility.

Higher level math should be taught in public school to expose kids to their options. It should be taught across all college programs to some extent to expose students to the type of thinking required. To argue that it should be pulled back because some people aren't good at it is absurd. The purpose of high school and college isn't good grades.
 
2012-07-30 06:18:53 PM  

red5ish: Russky: A study from Georgetown University listed the five college majors with the highest unemployment rates (crossed against popularity): clinical psychology, 19.5%; miscellaneous fine arts, 16.2%; United States history, 15.1%; library science, 15.0%; and military technologies and educational psychology are tied at 10.9%.

Unemployment rates for STEM subjects? Astrophysics/astronomy, just about 0%; geological and geophysics engineering, 0% as well; physical science, 2.5%; geosciences, 3.2%; and math/computer science, 3.5%.

Do they also publish the % of people graduating in these disciplines? You don't even need to study statistics to know that without that information the above figures are meaningless. Take for example a case where 100% of all graduates are engineers; wouldn't a larger percentage of them be unemployed? All you're doing is giving an example of supply and demand.


It's a mistake to view this exclusively in the light of % of people getting JOBS exclusively in that discipline. You don't score the value of people knowing history by the % of jobs created in the "History" field.

One thing I heard Sandra Day O'Connor lament on the Daily Show was that NCLB had placed value exclusively on math and reading, to the detriment of civics. Consequently it appears fewer and fewer people understand the basic structure of US govt, that the POTUS does not direct the Supreme Court, nor does he "make laws". And that "activist judges" is truly an absurd term indicative of a basic misunderstanding of the Judicial Branch. "Activist Judges" determined the very principle of segregation was inconsistent with the US Constitution, despite a quagmire of laws created by Legislative and signed by Executive, all with popular support. To say that they should not overrule Legislative/Executive decisions is to nullify their basic check-and-balance power and basically say that "a law cannot be wrong", because legislature is infallible. Like the Pope.
 
2012-07-30 06:18:54 PM  
Also, I read the headline in this guy's voice:
images.hollywood.com
 
2012-07-30 06:19:09 PM  

saintstryfe: Sticky Hands: fark it.
the Chinese have won.

Only until you need to think up something original. Then you need a Westerner, and preferably, an American.


This is true. Not strictly a "Westerner", though, someone of Northern European heritage.
 
2012-07-30 06:19:25 PM  
Algebra and Computers are racist.
 
2012-07-30 06:20:03 PM  
I taught part-time (homework center help) at a small college where the students were by and large unimpressive.

The ones who needed the most help were in what I guess was basic algebra. Fractions with variables, stuff like that.

It's really, really hard to teach factoring to kids who have trouble grasping negative numbers. I'm still stumped at how to explain it, since to me it's been an intuitive / guess and check sorta thing.
 
2012-07-30 06:20:08 PM  

rumpelstiltskin: No shiat. That's because you aren't supposed to learn the algorithms; you're supposed to learn how abstraction and reasoning lead to the algorithms. We don't need any more people in the workforce who are experts in applying the quadratic formula, but that simply isn't the point. Mathematical reasoning in workplaces takes the form of abstraction and identification of relationships between abstractions. These are the skills you are supposed to begin to develop in high school "algebra" and geometry. And if you can't, you should be a barrista or some kind of clerk. You have no business making decisions. Or you could be a political science professor, who's work depends heavily on numbers he doesn't understand. You could do that, too.


This.

As someone in a STEM field, have I used "algebra" much in my career? No. Have I used deductive logic that was introduced to me at a young age through the vehicle of Algebra? Yes, hourly.
 
2012-07-30 06:20:31 PM  

andrewagill: This book has limits in the first chapter. Isaac Newton would be displeased.


Nah. he would be very pleased. Newton wuz no pussy!
YO! He wuz badazz, bro.
/unlike kids today.
 
2012-07-30 06:20:36 PM  

Grand_Moff_Joseph:
For example: No one (and I mean NO ONE) cares "why" 2+2=4, or "why" limits and log functions work the way that they do. Why are spending half of a test writing proofs for these concepts? We should be using those tests to apply the ideas to problems, and find reality-based ways to solve them.


Might want to be careful about slinging around absolutes there. I certainly agree that most people don't care, but I certainly enjoyed learning the 'why's behind that wonderful logic system we call math in my theoretical math courses in college. Definitely agree that there's no point in bringing it up earlier, tho, especially in lieu of more practically-based math.
 
2012-07-30 06:20:38 PM  

moravaman: Algebra and Computers are racist.


baptistplanet.wordpress.com
 
2012-07-30 06:21:30 PM  

Explodo: Kimothy: I think it's more a problem of not knowing how to teach math, or teaching it in a way that's supposed to help students pass the four or five standardized tests a year rather than really understanding mathematical concepts. Reduce the emphasis on testing and emphasize actual knowledge, application, and critical thinking and you'll see students improve.

That said, I don't think I use much math beyond the stuff you learn in elementary school, except maybe some geometry now and then, and I think that's probably a pretty typical thing. Most people aren't using algebra in their everyday lives. Their definitely not using trig or calculus, unless they pursued careers that use those things. The problem is, the author's argument can be applied to lots of subjects. People don't need history everyday, either, but that doesn't mean those subjects aren't valuable.

I'll bet you use algebra more than you think. Any time you see a package of 10 somethings for y dollars you might think about how each one of those things costs y/10. That's algebra, Bud.


No, that's division. A basic math skill, generally taught by fourth grade or so.

/Again, not saying we don't need to be teaching algebra - we should - but we definitely don't use it very much. (Well, except where all these farkers seem to think that if the potential for a variable exists, it must be algebra and not applied math.
 
2012-07-30 06:22:04 PM  

surrealbowl: Can you really teach statistics without an understanding of algebra?

Maybe per capita type stuff, but confidence intervals and margin of error would be difficult without algebra.


"Per capita" implies a ratio. Ratios and proportions are algebra.
 
2012-07-30 06:22:23 PM  

saintstryfe: Sticky Hands: fark it.
the Chinese have won.

Only until you need to think up something original. Then you need a Westerner, and preferably, an American a German Scientist taken after WW2.


FTFY

//sorry just watched Nazi Hunters, amazed how much the German Scientists moved things forward in the US.
 
2012-07-30 06:22:48 PM  

Russky: That's exactly the problem isn't it, there is no demand for 'fine arts' degrees but people keep taking it instead of a career where there is demand like the sciences. Everyone wants to be a farking movie star i guess.


No, that's not the problem. You are ignoring the problem, which is supply and demand. If everybody studied engineering there would soon be no demand for engineers and other fields would be in demand. This is basic economics.
 
2012-07-30 06:22:55 PM  

pushpinder: Christ, did a cow crap in here? Figures the article would come from a liberal arts major. Know what, take David Copperfield and shove it up your bung hole! If you can't learn a concept that is a few hundred years old, you're an idiot. Math, at its core, is about problem solving whether it is useful for you in life or not, it builds cognitive skills in looking at a problem, breaking it down and finding a solution. It trains the brain to solve problems. Painting happy trees every day will not help you tackle problems you might encounter in the workplace (though they will make your cubicle friendlier).


This guy disagrees...
 
2012-07-30 06:23:19 PM  

Vegan Meat Popsicle: Regardless, the point is


Lol..dude...trust me...i know (and agree) with the point your were making. No argument on that here.

Major: B.S. Economics
Minor: B.A. Poly Sci
 
2012-07-30 06:24:12 PM  
Do we need algebra? Yes. Personally, i find that i use more trig in my day to day life, but i do a lot of woodworking/metal fab.
 
2012-07-30 06:24:20 PM  

Dafatone: I taught part-time (homework center help) at a small college where the students were by and large unimpressive.

The ones who needed the most help were in what I guess was basic algebra. Fractions with variables, stuff like that.

It's really, really hard to teach factoring to kids who have trouble grasping negative numbers. I'm still stumped at how to explain it, since to me it's been an intuitive / guess and check sorta thing.


I always found language to be interpretive, but math to be incomprehensible. The "one right way, one right answer" approach just never clicked with me. I always wanted to ask "but why is that the case?", and found "because it's a fundamental property of our universe," to be unsatisfying as an answer. I'm not saying that isn't the case, but the way in which my brain approaches problems just doesn't seem to mesh with it, for some reason.
 
2012-07-30 06:26:14 PM  
I may not use calculus directly in everyday life, but the understanding is there and I feel I understand the world a bit better because of it. Algebra even more so. Just because most adults don't solve for X on a daily basis, doesn't mean there is not a benefit from a fundamental understanding of it that influences their thoughts and actions. It is utterly irresponsible to deny kids that same learning. "Because it's hard" is simply not a valid excuse.

Mathematical literacy is even more important than ever in day to day life. Companies routinely obscure costs with tricks (cellphone and cable companies...I'm look at you, you assholes!). Your employers no longer give a damn about your retirement via pensions...here's a 401k program...good luck to you!

/I can't believe someone is trying to make a case for getting rid of any math education.
 
2012-07-30 06:26:40 PM  
"I always found language to be intuitive..." Damn me.
 
2012-07-30 06:27:04 PM  

Babwa Wawa: slayer199: As much as I hated algebra (and still do), I wouldn't want to abandon teaching it. Geometry is useful, statistics can be useful. However, forcing pre-calc and college algebra on college students that will never need either is a waste.

I disagree - a university degree should (but usually doesn't) indicate a person with a well-rounded education.

Allowing people to focus exclusively on their degree is job training, not university education. You end up wit scientists who can't write, and historians who can't analyze data.


This.

If you think that the failure rate of college algebra is negatively affecting your retention, your priorities are totally backwards. The point isn't to get more people out the door with degrees, it's to get people out the door with worthwhile degrees. For instance, most social science majors need to understand stats, and any stats class requires mastering algebra. But go ahead and keep graduating economics majors without any math skills.
 
2012-07-30 06:27:51 PM  
Okay, math is hard so you want to lower the standards. That's always been a great move. Increase the success rate for kids in school by making everything easier and getting rid of the hard subjects. That when added to the "don't keep score, everyone's a winner" attitude already out there in schools, and our future is farked.
 
2012-07-30 06:28:24 PM  

buzzcut73: I -really- hated being shown something, understanding it, and being told I needed to do it 50 more times every night.


I hate that, too. I got in trouble in middle school because I wasn't doing the homework. I wasn't doing the homework because I didn't like to waste my time on something I had already mastered. My dad had a discussion with them. They switched me to a more advance curriculum, except they didn't have anyone who could teach us the work and there was only three of us, so they couldn't justify hiring another math teacher.

/not Asian
 
2012-07-30 06:28:53 PM  

red5ish: Russky: That's exactly the problem isn't it, there is no demand for 'fine arts' degrees but people keep taking it instead of a career where there is demand like the sciences. Everyone wants to be a farking movie star i guess.

No, that's not the problem. You are ignoring the problem, which is supply and demand. If everybody studied engineering there would soon be no demand for engineers and other fields would be in demand. This is basic economics.


I'm not ignoring it at all, the point being there is a higher demand right now for scientific degrees but people aren't taking those. Obviously if everyone studied engineering there wouldn't be as much of a demand and if I stopped breathing I'd die, but both these points are well......obvious.
 
2012-07-30 06:31:17 PM  

lockers: If college algebra and trig are to complicated for you, you have no business having a degree. If high school algebra and trig are too complicated for you, you have no business being a high school graduate. Saying you don't need basic numeracy is like saying you don't need literacy. But since this fail-the-children ideology permeates modern America, the percentage of people needing remedial english and math at universities is on the rise.


I never took, and do not have much knowledge of trig. Heck, I got kicked out of advanced algebra. And I've done just fine in life.

Everyone thinks differently. You may use trig to solve a real-world problem... I would probably use something completely different made up in my mind.
 
2012-07-30 06:31:20 PM  

tortilla burger: School teaches you a bunch of mathematical operations, like adding, multiplying, integrating, etc. While useful in their own right, it leaves a bit of a gap in math-like thinking. The entire purpose of math is to make things easier, not more difficult. I think students need more examples of how math makes complex problems easier to describe, instead of solely increasing the repertoire of operations they know how to perform.


the purpose of algebra is to resolve complex mathematical concepts into a series of logical steps that lead through an process to an answer

it is to reduce the macrotic difficulty into simple microcity.

or, since you are SO STUPID... its like washing 20 plates one at a time instead of having to figure out how to run a dishwasher. (not precise but accurate)

The problem with algebra is simply that these stupid little shiat kids are never required to THINK IN AN ORDERED MANNER.
 
2012-07-30 06:31:39 PM  

meow said the dog: LAUGHTER OL if you cannot understand the simple algebra then you do not deserve to get to second base at all. That clasps are on the front of those silly.


3.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-07-30 06:32:55 PM  

EvilEgg: Relevant TED talk


Wow, thanks for that. Very very good stuff.
 
2012-07-30 06:33:22 PM  
The Problem with American schools is that we basically have the same program of study for 12 years.

I'm in a PhD program, and the Americans are 10% of the cohort. The Other 90% have at least 8-12 more semesters of math than we do. They get it Earlier and they get it deeper. At Age 10 or so, most of them are asked to pick from three or four "focus streams" that direct them towards jobs in Technical skills, arts, literature or Theory. They then cut the items that are 'least useful' to their focus pool and double-up on the items that are more important. Doing this while students still have enormous mental plasticity Allows a level of achievement in those realms that is genuinely surprising.

It's not that they have taken more math - they are acculturated to mathematical culture.

While I think the goal of having well-rounded students is important, I think you do that by letting them take what they want, not taking subjects that they don't like and will probably stink at. I hated taking lots of stupid pointless classes in College and High School. I wanted to take another language, or art, or shop or Math. Screw Literature - I'd been reading at a college level since 3rd grade.and Screw the Hell out of Gym. More music classes? I'd love that.
 
2012-07-30 06:34:21 PM  

Gyrfalcon: buckler: I find those to be creative (and accurate, in a sense) answers to math questions that might be given by liberal arts majors. I wonder if there are similar answers to English problems submitted by math majors.

Math doesn't have "creative" answers, dear. Math is. You can be as "creative" as you want, but 2+2 must ALWAYS equal 4. And in an equation where 2 + x = 4, solve for x, the answer better not be, "Well, if you consider that 2 is a relative number, depending on whether you're talking about two people having sex and one of their partners is in the closet spying on them, it could really be three, so my answer is three."

The ability to think "outside the box" doesn't count in hard science.


Math isn't hard science. The "proofs" side of algebra, i.e. proving that 2 + 2 = 4, is all about being creative.
 
2012-07-30 06:34:40 PM  

rockforever: Bring back shop


The machinists I have known did algebra and trig on the fly, even if they didn't call it that. "The toolholder on this lathe reads radius rather than diameter, and it's angled at 30 degrees, so to take another 10 mils off of the diameter I have to take it in just a bit under six mils according to the dial..." (I have forgotten what the controls are called; it's been years.)

On another occasion, I brought my International Harvester Scout into a shop, and informed the mechanic that if he took in out on the highway, he needed to know that the last shop (which didn't know squat about Harvester) had installed a speedometer cable that read 85% of what it should. He asked "So, if the speedometer says 60, you're really doing 70?" I said "Yep."
 
2012-07-30 06:35:10 PM  

dopekitty74: Thoguh: Kimothy: Most people aren't using algebra in their everyday lives.

Hamburger meat is $2.99 a pound, how much is three pounds?

Oh shiat! You just used algebra!

No, you just multiplied by 3. That's not algebra, its basic arithmetic


Welcome to Linear Equations.

Come for the Algebra, stay for the Pi (or 1/2 Tau, if you prefer)
 
2012-07-30 06:35:29 PM  

rubi_con_man: They get it Earlier and they get it deeper.


I uh...

erm...
 
2012-07-30 06:36:23 PM  
Teaching the poor to make correct change is capitalism.

Teaching the poor to calculate compound interest is communism.

The banks have spoken, and they are our gods.
 
2012-07-30 06:36:34 PM  

Meesterjojo: Pi (or 1/2 Tau, if you prefer)


If you prefer Tau, you don't get to do The Calculus.
 
2012-07-30 06:36:53 PM  
State regents and legislators - and much of the public - take it as self-evident that every young person should be made to master polynomial functions and parametric equations.

For the record, this argument applied to English would be:

"State regents and legislators - and much of the public - take it as self-evident that every young person should be made to master two-syllable words and telling a verb from a noun."

This is pretty basic stuff that's vital to basic functioning in society here. It's the technical version of functional literacy. Things like calculating your gas mileage and creating a personal budget so you don't go into debt require algebra, which makes the "this isn't personal finance" comment rather puzzling as well.

//A 700 on an SAT subject test isn't quite the unreachable high bar the idiot writer seems to think it is, either. It's decent, yes, but the SAT is a literacy test, not a competence test, and to get into programs that actually specialize in some form of math you're not getting anywhere without an 800. 700 for a general program is a bit high for a general knowledge requirement, but only a bit high. I didn't get out of the English proficiency requirement for general knowledge for going into a chemistry program, the logic of requiring some roundedness of students isn't limited to the liberal arts.
 
2012-07-30 06:36:54 PM  

Oznog: One thing I heard Sandra Day O'Connor lament on the Daily Show was that NCLB had placed value exclusively on math and reading, to the detriment of civics. Consequently it appears fewer and fewer people understand the basic structure of US govt, that the POTUS does not direct the Supreme Court, nor does he "make laws". And that "activist judges" is truly an absurd term indicative of a basic misunderstanding of the Judicial Branch.


Roger Taney and Charles Hughes beg to differ.

\Granted, doing so destroyed the legacy of both.
 
2012-07-30 06:36:58 PM  
While we're on the topic lets get rid of english class as well. Reading and writing are way overrated, plus it's causing kids distress when they don't succeed.
 
2012-07-30 06:37:15 PM  
Math isn't about the math in and of itself, it is about problem solving and figuring out answers. Not many people need to know some long winded formula and why A+B=C but it really is about figuring out the answers and solving a problem. I am currently enrolled at a "for-profit" college and some of the idiots that come through the doors amaze me, they can't figure out how to do the simplest things on their own. I really think that math is a way to figure out problem solving in life.
 
2012-07-30 06:37:36 PM  

prjindigo: tortilla burger: School teaches you a bunch of mathematical operations, like adding, multiplying, integrating, etc. While useful in their own right, it leaves a bit of a gap in math-like thinking. The entire purpose of math is to make things easier, not more difficult. I think students need more examples of how math makes complex problems easier to describe, instead of solely increasing the repertoire of operations they know how to perform.

the purpose of algebra is to resolve complex mathematical concepts into a series of logical steps that lead through an process to an answer

it is to reduce the macrotic difficulty into simple microcity.

or, since you are SO STUPID... its like washing 20 plates one at a time instead of having to figure out how to run a dishwasher. (not precise but accurate)

The problem with algebra is simply that these stupid little shiat kids are never required to THINK IN AN ORDERED MANNER.


Yes they are and have been. PEMDAS.

We were still teaching that useful little term a few years ago to remember the ORDER OF OPERATIONS.
They are required to think in an ordered manner to get the answers correct. However, they CHOOSE not to or are incapable of doing so.
 
2012-07-30 06:38:22 PM  

Vegan Meat Popsicle: Part of having a well-rounded education includes taking classes that don't necessarily have anything to do with your career.


This is profoundly true.

I would stipulate that there is a point where learning more about a subject becomes counterproductive not only to the goal of getting a well-rounded education but also an education that will be useful. Education is, to a certain extent, a zero sum game, since most people have limited funds and a limited amount of time to attain their formal education.
 
2012-07-30 06:38:24 PM  

Because People in power are Stupid: Nilatir: To a certain extent this is true. Think back to college and you'll likely notice that the better a person is at very abstract concepts the worse they are in explaining those concepts to others.

That's the problem. You expect your teacher to "explain" something that is fundamentally visually based.

These expectations are really YOUR issue and not an issue with your teachers.

Blame the teacher if you can't persuade them to give you the grade that you want.


My degree requires courses up through Difficult Equations (with Stats and Combinatorial courses out to the side) so I understand what you mean by visual. But still "to teach" is to pass on information and skills and if the people teaching lack the skills to do that then I can see why, unless you come into a class already understanding the material (which many Engineering and Math students do), it could be frustrating for an Arts and Crafts major to overcome.
 
2012-07-30 06:41:19 PM  

rubi_con_man: I'm in a PhD program, and the Americans are 10% of the cohort. The Other 90% have at least 8-12 more semesters of math than we do. They get it Earlier and they get it deeper. At Age 10 or so, most of them are asked to pick from three or four "focus streams" that direct them towards jobs in Technical skills, arts, literature or Theory. They then cut the items that are 'least useful' to their focus pool and double-up on the items that are more important. Doing this while students still have enormous mental plasticity Allows a level of achievement in those realms that is genuinely surprising.

It's not that they have taken more math - they are acculturated to mathematical culture.


Three questions:
1. You are attending a school in the United States, correct?
2. How many of their less-able countrymen are you not seeing?
3. How often are they cheating in their classes?
 
2012-07-30 06:41:38 PM  

red5ish: Oznog: red5ish: Russky: A study from Georgetown University listed the five college majors with the highest unemployment rates (crossed against popularity): clinical psychology, 19.5%; miscellaneous fine arts, 16.2%; United States history, 15.1%; library science, 15.0%; and military technologies and educational psychology are tied at 10.9%.

Unemployment rates for STEM subjects? Astrophysics/astronomy, just about 0%; geological and geophysics engineering, 0% as well; physical science, 2.5%; geosciences, 3.2%; and math/computer science, 3.5%.

Do they also publish the % of people graduating in these disciplines? You don't even need to study statistics to know that without that information the above figures are meaningless. Take for example a case where 100% of all graduates are engineers; wouldn't a larger percentage of them be unemployed? All you're doing is giving an example of supply and demand.

"LIBRARY SCIENCE"?? How is that even a thing? Libraries are already obsolete. We don't organize information this way anymore. I'm not saying that in any way we don't NEED books, but we don't get physical books out of a lending library. Even publishers don't care for that anymore. I don't see any use for a "Library Scientist" unless the term is grossly misleading and describes something else altogether.

The term is grossly misleading and describes something else altogether in many ways. Don't kid yourself though, there are still huge libraries that require librarians, and a lot of library science is learning how to do research which is quite useful.


As a librarian myself, I'll take this:

A, libraries are hardly obsolete. Maybe they are for how you used them - big box of encyclopedias and paper journals for school papers - but there are other options. But lots of people use libraries for lots of reasons. Libraries are community meeting places. They're a place many people go - job seekers, parents, children, seniors, people with limited budgets, people who need specialized information, all of them go to libraries. A good public library is the heart and mind of a neighborhood. It teaches its children, informs its public servants, entertains its citizens and enriches everyone.

B, Even how you used libraries still exists. Now-a-days, rather then being gatekeepers for the Encyclopedia, now librarians work to help filter the masses of information. In a world where a google search finds you 100 thousand hits, and maybe a few are relevant and accurate, a lot of people need help, especially when the target is academic or business-related, where accuracy is more important then on Fark.

C, And that's completely ignoring the dozens of non-public/school libraries there are - corporate libraries, for instance. Many companies have internal libraries to look up information related to their business and that of their industry. Archives, Records Management, keeping a history of a place, a company, an organization, that's all under the purview of the librarian. (yes, I know there are RM people who hate being lumped with librarians - tough shat, it's my post).

D, You are right in that "Library Science" is not the most preferred term - some people really hate being called a library scientist or a librarian. These people prefer the term "Information Scientist" - indeed, the school I went to was called the "School of Library and Information Sciences" (SILS for short). Librarian is a more... human word to me, so I prefer it. But I can dig where they come from.

And finally , E, you think we handle just books? Ha. Maybe 30% of my day is paper on a busy day. The rest is digital. Subscription databases, e-magazines, journal databases, e-Lending libraries, digital archives, I handle more tech then some IT guys. Remember: we brought this. We've lived in this world for 20 years now where most people just got it 6 or 8. We've adapted, and will adapt however it goes forward.

So please, don't step. We've been here, we ain't going no where. As long as there is data, as long as it has to be sorted, portioned and doled out, as long as there's students who need to know facts, and business reports to be written, while there's paper that needs to be preserved and digital files that need to be kept, we are going no where. We're Librarians.
 
2012-07-30 06:42:27 PM  
And we wonder why we're broke
 
2012-07-30 06:42:44 PM  
img441.imageshack.us
 
2012-07-30 06:43:09 PM  
I will just leave this here:

The Feeling Of Power by Isaac Asimov

\Dude was right in sooooo many ways.
 
2012-07-30 06:43:22 PM  

buckler: I find those to be creative (and accurate, in a sense) answers to math questions that might be given by liberal arts majors. I wonder if there are similar answers to English problems submitted by math majors.


Same here. cute, really.
 
2012-07-30 06:44:20 PM  

Russky: saintstryfe: Sticky Hands: fark it.
the Chinese have won.

Only until you need to think up something original. Then you need a Westerner, and preferably, an American a German Scientist taken after WW2.

FTFY

//sorry just watched Nazi Hunters, amazed how much the German Scientists moved things forward in the US.


We woulda figured it out - just the Russians took them first, so we matched, we got the better end, so we happened to get there first.
 
2012-07-30 06:48:02 PM  
for shame, biatches

2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-07-30 06:48:23 PM  

rumpelstiltskin: John P. Smith III, an educational psychologist at Michigan State University who has studied math education, has found that "mathematical reasoning in workplaces differs markedly from the algorithms taught in school."

No shiat. That's because you aren't supposed to learn the algorithms; you're supposed to learn how abstraction and reasoning lead to the algorithms. We don't need any more people in the workforce who are experts in applying the quadratic formula, but that simply isn't the point. Mathematical reasoning in workplaces takes the form of abstraction and identification of relationships between abstractions. These are the skills you are supposed to begin to develop in high school "algebra" and geometry. And if you can't, you should be a barrista or some kind of clerk. You have no business making decisions. Or you could be a political science professor, who's work depends heavily on numbers he doesn't understand. You could do that, too.



I only squeaked by with a C+ in pre-algebra and failed algebra my first time around. I simply did not understand how the teacher was explaining the math. Things got better in college, but I still struggle at any sort of general mathematics.

I'm now a senior engineer at a, in my opinion, very nice company.

People who don't understand math can still become successful. I feel mainly because we make up for it in other areas. I taught myself different ways of critical thinking and "taking the form of abstraction and identification of relationships between abstractions" as you put it. I actually have a huge advantage in my field because I can explain processes in ways that both groups can "natively" understand.

Ironically enough, my mother is currently a teacher and has a math degree. We always butted heads because she could never understand how I didn't understand the math being shown to me.
 
2012-07-30 06:48:47 PM  

saintstryfe: So please, don't step. We've been here, we ain't going no where. As long as there is data, as long as it has to be sorted, portioned and doled out, as long as there's students who need to know facts, and business reports to be written, while there's paper that needs to be preserved and digital files that need to be kept, we are going no where. We're Librarians.


I can't be the only one who imagined you standing up in front of a waving flag for this last part, hand on heart, staring off into the distance.... the music building as your fellows appear behind you.
 
2012-07-30 06:49:01 PM  
what no one has mentioned is that the author of this article is probably in a pissing match with his universities math department

also if you have a good teacher and are receptive you can learn almost anything be it writing or math

just because you are good at something doesn't mean you can teach it
 
2012-07-30 06:50:37 PM  
The problem is that we treat education like several things it's not, and no one wants to have an honest conversation about them.

1. Education is not the great equalizer. We waste inordinate amounts of money trying to get everyone the same education, as if the only reason that kids can't all be the next Einstein or the next Mark Twain is that we're just not trying hard enough. Bullshiat. Some people lack the brainpower to aspire to the intellectual or professional class. Some kids don't care to learn, and some are so farked up by poverty, drugs and abuse that they are lost. 50 years ago we would have shaken our head, washed our hands of it, and hoped that the ones that couldn't make it to college would find a useful trade or at least not end up a burden on the system. Now EVERYONE has to go to college. And so we try to teach everyone algebra. Well, guess what? Some of those kids are going to end up as assistant manager at the Kroger down the street, and they don't need trigonometry or calculus to tally out the cash registers at the end of the night. And it's only made worse by (sorry to say this) Affirmative Action. We can't have too many poor black kids failing, so we rig the grading system and teach the test and automatically pass kids to grades and to subjects for which they're not prepared.

2. Education is not a day-care. I understand that times are different and that most mothers have to work at least part time. That's just reality, I guess. But back in the day when most middle-class families had a stay-at-home mom, you had someone to tutor the kids and to teach them basic life lessons. Take the stay-at-home mom out of the equation, and is it any wonder that our schools are full of struggling students and troubled kids? We've tried to shift the responsibility to raise children to teachers, who are doing the best they can just to teach the kids enough so that they pass the No Child Left Behind tests.

3. Education is not a trade school. If you want to run a trade school, run a trade school. That's what Germany does after age 12 or so and they're getting along just fine. College prep and college for the kids who want/are prepared for it, trade school and apprenticeships for the kids that are more inclined to work with their hands. High schools and colleges shouldn't have to have official academic programs and majors for medical billing specialists or communications hacks or marketing. If you've got a good, well rounded education, you can figure those things out on the job.
 
2012-07-30 06:50:49 PM  
This is simply what liberals do when they control the license dept in a city. They make it obscenely difficult to enter a given marketplace. Be it excessive regulations such as cutting hair, or simply by limiting the number of permits, they make it easier for the existing businesses to make a profit. Payola back to the City council.

All this suggests is by dumbing down the future employee pool, there will be fewer competing lions for the lioness (a consumer).
 
2012-07-30 06:51:55 PM  

downstairs: wingedkat: Babwa Wawa: I went into that article thinking you could get rid of algebra if you replaced it with something more relevant like statistics.

The nation would be much better off if everyone had a basic understanding of stats.

Wait. How exactly do you propose to teach statistics without algebra?

I get your point, but my point would be (from my experience in high school in the 1990s) is that most everything is taught much more rote than practical real-world situations. Yeah, you need some rote learning (2x - 4 = -3... solve for x)... but it would be better to move on to some sample real world situations.

As a completely random example, but something that irks me personally... so many people cannot uderstand crime statistics. Not even to the point of understanding that per capita must be applied to any number, or its generally meaningless. Of course thats basic division, not even algebra.

All in all I just remember never having real-world situations taught to me in high school.


I still can't figure out how accrued interest works and unless I take a finance class, will probably have to rely on plug in conversions on my computer to figure out the current pay-off before I make early final payments on my financed debt.

If only highschool could give you real world tools instead of having to pay for a college level course to balance your checkbook. Personally, I think I would have enjoyed introductory courses in finance back in HS had they been available- and I don't even like math.
 
2012-07-30 06:54:43 PM  
It isn't that we are teaching too much math. It is that we are failing to teach it properly. Teaching to the test (so that kids pass the state tests) is not beneficial to anyone. People educated under this system lack the ability to use critical thinking, logic, analysis or evaluation techniques.
 
2012-07-30 06:56:37 PM  

Mad Tea Party: How on Earth do you plan on teaching stats to kids who can't do algebra?


As I've stated above, you need basic algebra to get out of second grade, for f*ck's sake. We and the author) are talking about is mastery of algebra.

You can teach basic stats without advanced algebra. You can also use stats to demystify, illustrate the application of, and tantalize kids into learning advanced algebra.
 
2012-07-30 06:57:05 PM  

Sticky Hands: saintstryfe: So please, don't step. We've been here, we ain't going no where. As long as there is data, as long as it has to be sorted, portioned and doled out, as long as there's students who need to know facts, and business reports to be written, while there's paper that needs to be preserved and digital files that need to be kept, we are going no where. We're Librarians.

I can't be the only one who imagined you standing up in front of a waving flag for this last part, hand on heart, staring off into the distance.... the music building as your fellows appear behind you.


You shoulda seen my first draft (yes, I draft my Fark posts, at least when I think they're important).

I was invoking the ancient librarians of Egypt and Rome, the monks of the middle ages... but I thought it was too much. Pull that back for the response, if needed.

This is entirely from being in a family of a professional wrestler.
 
2012-07-30 06:57:45 PM  

Russky: red5ish: Russky: That's exactly the problem isn't it, there is no demand for 'fine arts' degrees but people keep taking it instead of a career where there is demand like the sciences. Everyone wants to be a farking movie star i guess.

No, that's not the problem. You are ignoring the problem, which is supply and demand. If everybody studied engineering there would soon be no demand for engineers and other fields would be in demand. This is basic economics.

I'm not ignoring it at all, the point being there is a higher demand right now for scientific degrees but people aren't taking those. Obviously if everyone studied engineering there wouldn't be as much of a demand and if I stopped breathing I'd die, but both these points are well......obvious.


I'm glad you think it's obvious. I think it's obvious. I also think that it is sometimes necessary to state the obvious to make a point.
Not everybody's minds work the same way. There are people who are completely unsuited to become STEM majors but who have valid and valuable skills and abilities. If STEM graduates are in high demand then that's good news for them, but if a student is at heart a graphic artist you will only make him miserable trying to make him into an engineer (and probably not a very good engineer at that).
 
2012-07-30 06:59:40 PM  

slayer199: As much as I hated algebra (and still do), I wouldn't want to abandon teaching it. Geometry is useful, statistics can be useful. However, forcing pre-calc and college algebra on college students that will never need either is a waste.


I'd agree with you on everything but "Now EVERYONE has to go to college."

No, there are many high school dropouts who continue to bring my food when I go out and others entertain me in other ways.

And the percentage of high school dropouts is increasing! Wow, if you can't get through today's easy public education, I'm surprised you can remember to breathe or walk.
 
2012-07-30 07:01:26 PM  

Because People in power are Stupid: wingedkat: Because People in power are Stupid: wingedkat:
...

You said something fundamentally stupid, so I objectified you as someone who would put a fundamentally stupid answer on a math test... possibly because you are 'living the dream' of having people who don't understand math teach it to you.

But this objection that it doesn't really apply to you is moot because (as earlier stated) I don't really care about you or want to know that you are an AP Political Science major *.

* Or something

Here's some more

[edge.ebaumsworld.com image 400x216]


Huh. Those are pretty clever, actually.

Based on your profile, I was expecting some sort of pointed sexist attack I wasn't seeing. Now I'm just disappointed, because you are actually just not very good at this. Don't worry, practice makes perfect!