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David Semitekol

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Where do you use math in your profession?

One of the most difficult challenges that math teachers face today is motivating their students. This becomes more difficult when faced with the all famous question: "What am I going to use this for?"

Help me with some real world examples of modern day math. Please let me know your profession and what type of math you use to share with our students.

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Thank you everyone so much for the contributions! They are great and I wasn't expecting such a turn out. My goal is to gain enough examples and to use them at the start of each lecture. I'm hoping that these examples in the beginning of class will spark the student's interest for the reaming of the lecture and to show that that we really do use math.

There is a difference between having to learn something and wanting to learn something. When we have to learn it we just try to get through it. When we want to learn it, this is when we make breakthroughs. Stimulate the interest in students so that they want to learn math and we increase our probability in someone discovering the next breakthrough.

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    Feb 22 2012: The sad truth might read as...
    Algebra will be enough mathematics to get one through the day (in America anyway).

    All of that calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, discrete math, etc? Unnecessary!

    The purpose of taking a math course is to qualify to take the next math course. Yikes.
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      Feb 23 2012: As you might find out while reading many comments from different people in this conversation, even it may not be clear at first, the matematics is in my opinion quite useful in many ways of our life. Of course it depends on the way you live your life. Truth is that for lots of people the basic algebra is everything they have ever needed. On the other hand when you imagine all things you use every day such as your cellphone, iPad, any kind of electronics in general, the Internet, the computer unit in your car controlling the engine, system of distributing electricity to your house - behind all these thing you would find mathematics. There are lots of people worldwide who use more difficult methods of mathematics than basic algebra in their occupation. So if you have a feeling that mathematics is useless for you (besides basic algebra) you might be right, but the statement that calculus and other methods in mathematics is useless in general is in my opinion completely wrong and I (and as I believe - many others) simply cannot agree with it.

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