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Primary school maths is sufficient for most day-to-day activities for most people


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I don't usually watch Utube- my connection is often too slow

But I loved those two! Thanks

I often feel on hypography "Why won't you talk to me!"

 

 

I think your axe grinds more toward the teacher than toward the subject, but that's just an interpolation of mine based on what you've shown me as a human being through your posts here on the big H.

Partly, but not entirely.

I had consistently abominable math teachers Except for my last and then it was too late.

One teacher we called "Mr. Magoo" very thick, coke-bottle glasses. He would go around the class ticking the same homework 40 times as we passed it back from one desk to another. Only one kid needed to do something (and we a had a goody-two-shoos who did the homework too. (true story))

 

So if maths is so important and wonderful why is it taught so poorly?

I have had to teach 18-20 year olds (long term unemployed) how to give change out of a $10 note. A skill they should have been taught, by slack math teachers, at 12.

 

I am told higher maths is like a "religious experience" so why don't we teach it?

 

I have never had to use calculus, trigonometry 'cos' 'sine' tables and other silly words.

 

I got into Algebra though,

I liked algebra and geometry too. They were great puzzles.

But add, subtract, multiply or divide
is all that is needed by most adults - unless their profession demands it. Now, in fact you don't even need that, all you need is $2 Chinese calculator.

 

I am all for learning useless information in order to broaden a person's education, but I just don't believe maths does it at all well.

Kids are lied too about the importance and centrality of maths in their future lives. Maths just has better propaganda and PR than most other subjects.

 

 

If you want to "streach their brains" teach kids to sing in tune or play an instrument well. One of the most demading things a human can do.

Most high school graduates in Oz would not know anything much about government or civics. I think the politicians like voters like that.

 

There is far too much emphasis on maths in our schools to the detriment of other subjects. It holds unjustified 'pride of place' in the curricular but is "mostly useless" to paraphrase someone (Douglas Adams?)

 

(Am I turning into a Grumpy Old Man?)

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and     As an astrophysicist I am offended, math is very usefull in many useless carrers :beer:

There was some quote mistagging in the post I'm quoting. I've done my best to untangle it.     Both economists and actuaries use calculus.     Yes and no. To paraphrase Sagan, setting up a societ

:confused:

...

So if maths is so important and wonderful why is it taught so poorly?

I have had to teach 18-20 year olds (long term unemployed) how to give change out of a $10 note. A skill they should have been taught, by slack math teachers, at 12.

...

There is far too much emphasis on maths in our schools to the detriment of other subjects. It holds unjustified 'pride of place' in the curricular but is "mostly useless" to paraphrase someone (Douglas Adams?)

 

(Am I turning into a Grumpy Old Man?)

 

Last first: You have shown the first signs of GOMS (Grumpy Old Man Syndrome), but you have a far tick to go before admittance to our executive washroom. (Too much old, not enough grumpy. :shrug: )

 

Anyway, bless your heart & sorry about your crappy experience with math education. Shame on McGoo of Oz & his ilk for sullying the pride of place mathematics deserves. :cup: You have brought up some interesting points & you got me thinking we could start a thread wherin people submit original, short, everyday problems that a knowledge of some higher math is helpful in solving. (With the solution included of course.)

 

Whatcha think? :) :)

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Last first: You have shown the first signs of GOMS (Grumpy Old Man Syndrome), but you have a far tick to go before admittance to our executive washroom. (Too much old, not enough grumpy. :cup: )

we could start a thread wherin people submit original, short, everyday problems that a knowledge of some higher math is helpful in solving. (With the solution included of course.)

 

Whatcha think? :) :)

 

I'm game.

 

What do you mean too much old?:shrug:

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  • 4 weeks later...

So now I discover they could have just measured my fingers and then let me go play in the garden with the other retards during math lessons!!

Idiots!

 

GeneticArchaeology.com - Math and Language Abilities Linked to Finger Length (5/24/2007)

Math and Language Abilities Linked to Finger Length (5/24/2007)

-Great Britain

 

Tags:

intelligence, humans

 

Photo Courtesy: University of Bath

The results of numeracy and literacy tests for seven-year-old children can be predicted by measuring the length of their fingers, shows new research.

 

In a study to be published in the British Journal of Psychology, scientists compared the finger lengths of 75 children with their Standardised Assessment Test (SAT) scores.

 

They found a clear link between a child's performance in numeracy and literacy tests and the relative lengths of their index (pointing) and ring fingers.

 

Scientists believe that the link is caused by different levels of the hormones testosterone and oestrogen in the womb – and the effect they have on both brain development and finger length.

 

"Testosterone has been argued to promote development of the areas of the brain which are often associated with spatial and mathematical skills," said Dr Mark Brosnan, Head of the Department of Psychology at the University of Bath, who led the study.

 

I could have used these, from stumble, too:)

Top 10 Excuses for Not Turning in Math Homework

 

10. It's Isaac Newton's birthday.

9. I couldn't decide whether i is the square root of -1 or i are the square root of -1.

8. I accidently divided by 0 and my paper burst into flames.

7. It's stuck inside a Klein bottle.

6. I could only get arbitrarily close to my textbook.

5. I had too much pi and got sick.

4. Someone already published it, so I didn't bother to write it up.

3. A four-dimensional dog ate it.

2. I have a solar calculator and it was cloudy.

1. There wasn't enough room to write it in the margin.

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I think mathematics education is an absolute mess in most western countries. We have kids that go through eleven years of schooling and can't fill out a tax return, can't work out the total for their shopping bill and can't split a bill. It is these skills in mathematics (and logical thinking!) that are so sorely missed by so many.

 

While I can't imagine a life without higher maths (and I've barely scratched the surface, having not even finished high school yet), I am very well aware of what Michael is talking about. We're stuck in an old-school rut (excuse the pun) consisting of material meant for rote memorisation, but teachers don't have the power to force kids to learn the material. A reform is needed (in the Australian system, at least - I can't comment on the situation overseas) where the maths that is taught is more applicable to kids' daily dealings and hopefully more engaging to boot.

 

Mind you, it's a lot easier said than done.

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Well the Chasers just did a street poll on 9/11 in New York

Can you give the exact date of 9/11?

No

Can you give the month of 9/11?

No

How many people were killed

A: 30,000

A:3 million

Hard to believe but fun to watch, it may be pod cast on their site (Chasers ABC TV)

 

I love this

Monkeys as statisticians

 

Washington: Rhesus monkeys can be good statisticians: they can accurately sum a series of probabilistic clues to find which behaviour can fetch them a reward, says a study.

 

Their reasoning is reflected in the firing rate of individual neurons in their brains, researchers from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the University of Washington

The Hindu : International : Monkeys as statisticians

and this via stumble

City of Los Angeles High School Mathematics Proficiency Exam

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For anyone who is interested in seeing the show that Michael is talking about, this is the link to the episode download page. It's very good of the ABC to offer these. :alienhead:

 

And when I tried the link...

We're sorry, this video podcast is made available for use by persons located in Australia only. If you are not located in Australia, you are not authorised to use this podcast.

 

:rotfl:

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And when I tried the link...
We're sorry, this video podcast is made available for use by persons located in Australia only. If you are not located in Australia, you are not authorised to use this podcast.
You can use a public proxy server located in Australia to get around this. Here’s a tutorial on how: FreeProxyLists.Com. Here’s one of many lists of public proxy servers that includes some Australian ones: Public Proxy Servers Page 1.

 

Use proxies responsibly, or governments may take steps to illegalize them.

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Another nail in the coffin of an over-rated, over-resourced, badly & slovenly taught subject

Want to be a computer scientist? Forget maths

By Stuart Corner

Thursday, 05 July 2007

 

A new book seeks to demolish the concept that computer science is rooted in mathematics and, in particular that the notion of the algorithm is fundamental to computer science.

 

In particular, he says the notion of the algorithm, "has been largely ineffective as a paradigm for computer science." Fant argues that, because mathematicians, notably John Von Neumann and Alan Turing, were intimately involved with the early development of digital electronic computers in the 1940s

iTWire - Want to be a computer scientist? Forget maths

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It sounds to me as little more than one man stirring the pot in a bid to garner some interest for his latest book.

 

While it is true that the majority of low-level (in terms of skill and application, not computer terms) programmers will never need to write their own algorithm, it's absolutely essential that they have an understanding of Big-O notation and the mathematics behind it. Without this vital knowledge, programmers will only ever accidentally stumble upon correct solutions to simple problems.

 

Computer scientists - on the other hand - are not low-level code-monkeys and will always need a solid grasp on mathematical fundamentals if they are ever to make a useful contribution to the field.

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As the itwire article and some other describe Karl Fant’s “Computer Science Reconsidered: The Invocation Model of Process Expression” appears to be making a claim with which many people with an academic background in math and a professional one in computer programming (including I) would agree: that there exists a troubling gap between the formal methods of the mathematics of computing (in which, ultimately, any program is equivalent to a single integer), and the practical techniques effective in writing useful computer programs. Rather than suggesting that Computer Science should avoid the use of math, Fant appear to be suggesting merely what many computer scientists and mathematicians suspect: that CS is, in the large, using the wrong math, and that a better math needs to be developed if computing is to approach the full practical potential offered by current and future computing hardware. Fant then proceeds to engage in a bit of 20th century historic speculation that the reason for this “false start” is that the first people to build and program computers were brilliant mathematicians (ie: John von Neuman; Alan Turing), so naturally “seeded” the emerging academic discipline with mathematical terms and “flavor” – a reasonable, if by no means certain, speculation.

 

While it’s obvious to me that the need Fant describes exists, and based on examples such as the publisher’s free first chapter offering, that he’s knowledgeable of and thoughtful about the history of ideas of computing, math, science, and philosophy, it’s not obvious to me that Fant’s rethinking of CS – “the invocation model of process expression” – is, as its publishers and promoters claim groundbreaking, revolutionary, or, ultimately, an improvement.

 

From other reviews, such asDavid Duncan’s amazon.com review (the first, and as of this writing, only review. I’m guessing this David Duncan is the writer and journalists, not the guy famous for shredding lots of Enron document), my suspicion that Fant’s understanding of the problem exceeds his understanding of a solution is reinforced. I expect, thus, that, as Duncan’s review describes it, Fant’s book is “[like] a mix of Copernicus and Tesla - lots of wild new ideas, ocassionally stunning insights and many sparks”.

 

From the little I’ve read (chapter 1), I have a concern that Fant’s objections to the algorithm as a fundamental CS concept may be based on an overly narrow, misrepresenting definition. Nonetheless, I’d very much like to read the book, but, as is so often the case with Wiley, find it outrageously priced at US$90 for 250 pages, and apparently completely unavailable in electronic form.

 

:bump: Why is it that professed revolutionaries are so often so old-fashioned in their approaches to publishing? :bounce:

Another nail in the coffin of an over-rated, over-resourced, badly & slovenly taught subject
I wouldn’t begin digging that grave yet. As long as there’s a desire for technology such as robots and video games, there will remain a need for at least engineering math, and as long as free though is permitted, for math of every kind.

 

As with most academic disciplines, being over or under-rated is largely irrelevant to Math and the people who like it.

 

As for being over-resourced, this claim puzzles me. Unlike disciplines such as Physics, with its penchant for huge, expensive particle colliders, Math appears to me to require little in the way of money, materials, and staff. As the old joke goes “all we need are paper, pencils, and erasers.” (you may recall the punchline: “We philosophers don’t even need the erasers!”) :turtle:

 

You’ll get no disagreement from me about Math being badly taught. This seems, however, a failing of the training and support of teachers, rather than of the subject.

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More on math teachers and the psychology of the subject & the damage it does

Christine Ingleton

The University of Adelaide

Australia

Kerry O'Regan

University of South Australia

 

Abstract

 

It seems paradoxical that mathematics is constructed as an objective, emotion-free discipline, yet mathematics engenders strong negative emotions among many learners. Emotions play a significant part in the learning process. In relation to the learning of mathematics, the focus in the literature is on the emotion of anxiety. This has largely been investigated from the perspective of psychology, with the use of psychometric tests, particularly the MARS (Mathematics Anxiety Rating Scale). The focus of this social-constructionist study is on the interactions that construct both emotion and learning in a social setting.

In exploring the experiences of prospective and current teachers at primary, secondary and tertiary levels at two South Australian universities, strong emotions were found to pervade mathematics learning in experiences from early primary schooling to tertiary level.

In some mathematics classrooms, public shaming for being wrong has been a common form of socialisation and control, diminishing confidence and arousing fear.

We conclude that the interrelationships between pride and shame, and success and failure, in mathematics classrooms (and others) are associated with levels of threat and confidence that dispose students to act in certain ways towards mathematics.

Mathematics is a subject of some contradictions

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As for being over-resourced, this claim puzzles me.

I meant in terms of teachers.

It takes english teacher 30m-1 hour or more to mark an English assignment in detail.

It takes math teachers 4 minutes; then they are off to the pub.

 

When pressed on this issue, students elaborated that you need to know basic Maths in life for such things as filling in tax forms, for banking or for shopping.

These tasks, however, seldom require any Mathematical training above the acquisition of basic numeracy skills, so it is difficult to understand what they think they will find in Senior Mathematics to help them to cope with these general tasks

. . .

It is with the same unfounded certainty that students' state that Maths is essential for getting a job, seeming to only be able to relate this to adding up prices of goods or services.

. . .

"some programs targeting girls have indirectly given students the message that 'masculine' subjects are superior, by urging girls to study traditionally masculine subjects such as maths and science while ignoring boys' lack of interest in the humanities and the arts."

.. . .

It is with the same unfounded certainty that students' state that Maths is essential for getting a job, seeming to only be able to relate this to adding up prices of goods or services.

;)

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