As we tear into the third year of covid nonsense I found myself wondering. What math do you use?
I studied EE and math was part of the art arcane but I never used higher math in my whole life. I had to use geometry once to figure a launcher super-elevation that the missile launcher already knew. I simply had to calculate it for the required missile firing plan. That was it. 60 years and no math beyond high school geometry. Not even trig.
I'm beginning to think it was all a scam.
Quite right. 30 years in the USN, never needed the math I had to take in school. Even celestial nav was pretty much punching tables.ReplyDelete
It was all there in the HO and such. Simple addition and subtraction to reduce a sight to a line of position.Delete
I'll admit. I did want to do the real math of sight reduction because it was really spherical trig but the Navy stopped doing it and I wasn't the Navigator and couldn't find anybody to help try it. Swinging a sextant and taking the exact time took two and they didn't work for me and I couldn't see bringing a machinist mate or fire controlman to the bridge to help with that stuff even if the Nav allowed me to pull a sextant out of the drawer. Too much reading of things like Tinkerbell or Dove when I was young. That would have stressed the math I had but I was good with it.Delete
Never needed anything more advanced than simple geometry and basic algebra in my 66 years. Did a lot of electrical and electronics work too. Calculus made my head want to explode. "Imaginary numbers" never made a bit of sense to me.ReplyDelete
I use calculus, trig etc pretty regularly as a medical physicist. (Kind of like a pharmacist just with radiation instead of medicine)ReplyDelete
I, too, was an EE undergrad (finished with the BSEE!) and there was some out-there math involved.
Later in life I was in grad school in nuclear engineering, and there's a lot more math out there even than what I had seen as an EE. My committee said I had to learn a bunch of topology and "higher math" that went beyond that, and it was truly out there in the ozone. So much so, that you can't even draw diagrams of what's going on because 3D space is just a special case of multi-dimensional shit. (spent several hours with a math professor at this point once trying to learn the number line between zero and one, not kidding it would make your brain bleed. Way way way way beyond the splitting differences and how close can you get to zero etc.)
To be fair, I have never ever ever used that stuff and it was just to bad that my committee thought that stuff might be useful to the problem I was working on. My only consolation was that I could tell it was giving the math professor worse heartburn trying to teach me the stuff than I was getting trying to learn it.
learned the hard way that I could never get to zero because zero didn't exist. I believe the process did permanent damage to my brain because now I am stupid as a post. so I retired.Delete
(Don McCollor)...Long ago, I took a course in "Differential Geometry' - a joining of analytic geometry and differential equations. Not useful in later life, but a spark to enjoy the beauty of mathematics...ReplyDelete
Most of us ended up taking more math than we ever needed to use (for me that limit was Bessel functions and other applied differential equations) but it's excellent training in thinking logically. I don't regret it one bit.ReplyDelete
I'm a calibration tech. When creating an uncertainty budget, you play with some mathematics. Nothing more complicated than algebra, but that isn't basic math, & not everybody can perform even simple algebraic operations.ReplyDelete
When I graduated high school in 1983, algebra was an elective, not a requirement.
In high school I suffered through algebra, geometry, a bit of trig, etc., bitching the whole time that 'nobody EVER uses this stuff'.ReplyDelete
Then one day I'm at a substation in Mississippi looking at a paper with the settings for a device that monitors high voltage transmission lines, and all of a sudden I'm up to my eyeballs in polar to cartesian conversions, real and imaginary numbers, logarithms.
It all came flooding back to me, and I said a little prayer of thanksgiving for Mr. Dyer and his efforts when I was in high school.
That's there in dealing with electrical power. There was a little blast, too about Base 10 to base 8, hexadecimal and binary that came in very handy when I dealt with digital communications for electrical power system protection.