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May 23rd, 2014, 08:46 AM  #1 
Senior Member Joined: May 2014 From: Allentown PA USA Posts: 110 Thanks: 6 Math Focus: dynamical systen theory  Some somewhat idle chatter
The general public seems to be intimidated by the words " applied mathematics." If they would sit down and think about it, counting on one's fingers is applied math. How can one manage daytoday trips to the supermarket without notions of percentages and decimals? Another thing concerning math education. For those of us who have gone on to advanced mathematics, the approach is what matters, not the answer. I remember distinctly that there was one guy I know who took a business math course at PSU. On his final he was exasperated at this one problem. So, he scribbled in any answer, and it was the right one! Other than that, I don't remember a thing. Well, that's all I have to say for now. Good bye! Sincerely yours Carl Mesaros 
May 23rd, 2014, 08:51 AM  #2 
Math Team Joined: Dec 2013 From: Colombia Posts: 7,654 Thanks: 2632 Math Focus: Mainly analysis and algebra  I couldn't agree more. In fact, I'd go further and say that mathematics is the approach and the answer is engineering. To me, applied mathematics (and physics, chemistry, etc.) is the approach applied to realworld problems with the aim of understanding the processes. The answers are never of great consequence, although in applied mathematics the direction you take your research might be influenced by experimental data from the real world, but that's observation rather than anything else. 