April 3rd, 2014, 10:55 PM  #11  
Math Team Joined: Mar 2012 From: India, West Bengal Posts: 3,871 Thanks: 86 Math Focus: Number Theory  Quote:
Quote:
 
April 4th, 2014, 04:48 AM  #12  
Global Moderator Joined: Nov 2006 From: UTC 5 Posts: 16,046 Thanks: 938 Math Focus: Number theory, computational mathematics, combinatorics, FOM, symbolic logic, TCS, algorithms  Quote:
I agree that Hilbert spaces have many applications. i did study functional analysis for a bit (but I'd be hardup to tell you anything of value now!).  
April 4th, 2014, 11:37 PM  #13 
Newbie Joined: Mar 2014 From: Manchester, United Kingdom Posts: 11 Thanks: 4 Math Focus: Number Theory 
We can always extend the OP's question and ask, 'What is the point of learning music, art, literature, foreign languages, history, ...?' Many people (perhaps most) will not use any of these topics in their lives. My answer would be that these things are enriching. The same people who ask the point of mathematics are the same people who don't like education, in particular science education. Education rescues us from the smallminded. 
April 5th, 2014, 02:56 AM  #14 
Math Team Joined: Apr 2012 Posts: 1,579 Thanks: 22 
Brings to mind a premise for a skit. Judgment day comes. Everyone who ever lived assembles before the supreme being. The supreme being tells them. "My message kept getting garbled. What I meant to say was that to get into heaven, you have to pass an entrance exam." And then he hands everyone a math test. The point is that people who think that they know what "really matters" often have no basis for their belief that this or that really matters and the more they try to justify what they do and believe with ultimate pay offs, the less likely they are to have a clue what they are talking about. It's obviously true of religion, but is more generally true of grand philosophies. Getting boatloads of people killed during and in the aftermath of a revolution. all in the name of installing an economic and political system that ends up sucking weasels anyway is something we've seen far too much of in history. 
June 24th, 2014, 08:44 PM  #15  
Banned Camp Joined: Feb 2013 Posts: 224 Thanks: 6  Quote:
Sounds like you don't know the answer and are fishing for the answer. HOW do you KNOW you have the PERFECT answer? IF you have the PERFECT answer, why don't you tell us, bless us with your PERFECTION. This must be the oldest trick in the book.  
June 24th, 2014, 09:35 PM  #16 
Math Team Joined: Oct 2011 From: Ottawa Ontario, Canada Posts: 14,343 Thanks: 1024 
Pipe down L_Q; you're off in La_La_Lq Land again Read his original post again: only asking for opinions; nothing serious behind his use of "answer". 
June 24th, 2014, 10:35 PM  #17 
Banned Camp Joined: Feb 2013 Posts: 224 Thanks: 6 
The question is badly stated. The Misconception About the Need for Learning Mathematics What is the misconception? Is the need the misconception? or the not need the misconception? And what is the perspective is the person asking? Is he (or she) a student or a teacher? Nevertheless I can ignore all that and reduce the question: "Why do we need to learn this?" and I will tell you my answer. I'm only a high school graduate. I work as an administrative assistant. Nothing to do with math. The only thing that I have to do with math is my origami hobby. I look at math as an art, like any other art, like ballet. Let me give you an example of the art I do. This model I made, I call it "Splitting the Tab". It is conceived here. and is made from this. now that is just the final diagram. The thinking process to get there would require all that knowledge you learned in high school especially Euclidean geometric proof and trigonometry and elementary functions. I show it and give it away to the people at work. And it is impressive to the people at work. That's the beauty of art. It is IMPRESSIVE. That is its primary function. That's why Pharaohs build pyramids and stuffs. Here's the real function of art to me. I learned it in a movie "Love Actually". A guy wants to buy a girl a sweater for Christmas, or something like that. And she said to him, "I don't want what I need, I want what I want. Something pretty." Beauty and sophistication is something that we want, especially women, men are more practical, by necessity. You make money by cultivating something people WANT. If you think about it, your real needs are very few. Our WANTS are endless. When I go to the grocery store, I know what I need, and they can be found in the first and last isle. The first isle has fruits and vegetables. The last isle is refrigerated and has meat and milk. That's it. That's all I buy, that's all I need. Everything else in the isles between comes in a box and is made in a factory (I used to work in croissant factory, I know). Between the first and last isle is junk food that people WANT! That's my answer to the question, "Why do we need to learn this?" For me that's the wrong question. I learn it so I can cultivate something people want, something that I have that they don't have. Last edited by long_quach; June 24th, 2014 at 10:40 PM. 

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