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May 23rd, 2014, 08:46 AM   #1
Senior Member
Joined: May 2014
From: Allentown PA USA

Posts: 111
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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 day-to-day 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
Carl James Mesaros is offline  
May 23rd, 2014, 08:51 AM   #2
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Joined: Dec 2013
From: Colombia

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Math Focus: Mainly analysis and algebra
Originally Posted by Carl James Mesaros View Post
the approach is what matters, not
the answer
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 real-world 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.
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