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    Article is a piece of crap. Normally I can at least sympathise with the 'Comment is Free' articles in the good ol' Grauniad, but this just highlights someone who really doesn't understand how maths works, or how a lot of it is applicable in every day situations. Sure, you will most likely never use circle theorems after finishing your GCSEs, but I use a lot of the way of thinking taught to me by studying maths in everyday situations. Without at least some knowledge of how probability works, for instance, one will be repeatedly fooled by many common fallacies (especially e.g. survivorship bias). My guess is this guy thinks he hasn't benefited hugely from learning maths just because he doesn't use trigonometry in his day-to-day life without thinking more about it.
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    While we're bashing Jenkins, here's a fun one from the past:

    Can you sort the spoof anti-science quotes from the real ones?

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/...-spoof-science
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    I've moved this to educational debate because I think it's more fitting there than maths study help.
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    (Original post by Marxist)
    Bloody leftards.
    Username checks out
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    (Original post by Zacken)
    How'd you enjoy it?
    I really liked it, mate.
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    (Original post by Mathemagicien)
    I really doubt that; even if it were true, many will have lost a few years studying other stuff, like Edward Witten. And losing a few good mathematicians is unacceptable.
    I see what you mean. For example, a friend I know, much older than me, studied Medicine first and realised it was a huge mistake later on. I actually know several people like this who love Maths - everything about it - who end up doing Law/Accounting/Medicine. It's really frustrating, but there's not much you can do.
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    I don't think we are fixated on maths. In fact it is certainly not taboo to admit in public that you are hopeless at maths - can you imagine how people would react if you admitted you were essentially illiterate?

    To be honest, I can think of exceptionally few people that use above GCSE-level maths in their jobs or as part of adult life. That doesn't make it useless. Otherwise virtually all other subjects - English, social sciences, etc. - would be useless too. A lot of the value in teaching maths is, as clichéd as it sounds, as a mental exercise, in teaching logic and how to think and approach problems.

    The alternative is that we just shut down schooling above 11 and replace it with on-the-job learning. Because you can't pick on maths not being needed by most people but not virtually every other subject too.
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    English is far more important than Maths in my opinion. Are you doing Maths while reading this post? No. But English... Yes.
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    (Original post by romansholiday)
    English is far more important than Maths in my opinion. Are you doing Maths while reading this post? No. But English... Yes.
    Ironically I am, glanced at this post mid-question


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    (Original post by romansholiday)
    English is far more important than Maths in my opinion. Are you doing Maths while reading this post? No. But English... Yes.
    Your computer is doing maths so that you can read this question.
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    (Original post by Smack)
    Your computer is doing maths so that you can read this question.
    What are YOU doing? You're reading. Did I mention anything about a computer in my original post?
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    (Original post by romansholiday)
    English is far more important than Maths in my opinion. Are you doing Maths while reading this post? No. But English... Yes.
    Only the English that I learn from hearing others talk, and from reading books; I'm not using any knowledge of those 'synonyms' and other English language terms that we are taught in schools.

    Nor am I using Latin, Law, Philosophy, Art, History, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Ecology, Economics, Business Studies...
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    I kind of agree, I find a lot of maths isn't really necessary to most people. Like multiplication, fractions, percentages etc is pretty every day.

    But I think a lot of the things I use in A level will probably be wasted on me.
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    The problem with maths is the same as all other school subjects. We are taught a very old set curriculum intended to filter out those who are good at passing exams from those who aren't. What we should be doing is teaching people basic life skills and important knowledge, and keep teaching them those things until they can do them. Once they can do them then they can move on to elective subjects they might want to pursue after compulsory schooling. Arithmetic is essential, common money calculations such as percentages and fractions are very important, as is basic statistics and probability (not so much the calculations, but representation and how to interpret things like graphs). Algebra, geometry, and everything beyond are totally unnecessary for people who do not intend to pursue numerate university degrees such as maths, physics and engineering.
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    (Original post by romansholiday)
    English is far more important than Maths in my opinion. Are you doing Maths while reading this post? No. But English... Yes.
    You should read the article Zacken linked. There is a good quote by G.H Hardy: "A mathematician, like a painter or poet, is a maker of patterns. If his patterns are more permanent than theirs, it is because they are made with idea". And another G.H Hardy quote: "Archimedes will be remembered when Aeschylus is forgotten, because languages die and mathematical ideas do not. "Immortality" may be a silly word, but probably a mathematician has the best chance of whatever it may mean. "
    Mathematics is a language to describe, explain and predict the world we live in.
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    (Original post by TorpidPhil)
    I don't really disagree with any of it.

    Most a-level maths is useless. Pure maths at degree level too has very few practical applications insofar as societal development goes.
    you could apply that same argument to literally any academic discipline. 'Most a-level english is useless. english at degree level too has very few practical applications insofar as societal development goes.'

    the reason why people study difficult but useless content is to get them into university. furthermore, studying useless a-levels also develops reasoning ability to help them later on in life.
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    (Original post by Raees_Sharif)
    you could apply that same argument to literally any academic discipline. 'Most a-level english is useless. english at degree level too has very few practical applications insofar as societal development goes.'

    the reason why people study difficult but useless content is to get them into university. furthermore, studying useless a-levels also develops reasoning ability to help them later on in life.
    Maths at a-level does not develop reasoning ability. It's mostly rote learning.
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    (Original post by TorpidPhil)
    Maths at a-level does not develop reasoning ability. It's mostly rote learning.
    for the average student, maths a-level is quite difficult. for most people here, it's childs play. furthermore, i conjecture that someone who can algorithmically follow the steps to say, integrate by parts, has better reasoning ability than someone who has never solved a quadratic equation. my point is even if you don't apply the knowledge in real life or in practical situations; studying these useless a-levels develops your minds ability to comprehend the complexities in real life or practical situations.
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    (Original post by Raees_Sharif)
    for the average student, maths a-level is quite difficult. for most people here, it's childs play. furthermore, i conjecture that someone who can algorithmically follow the steps to say, integrate by parts, has better reasoning ability than someone who has never solved a quadratic equation. my point is even if you don't apply the knowledge in real life or in practical situations; studying these useless a-levels develops your minds ability to comprehend the complexities in real life or practical situations.
    Given the threads on TSR I think that's entirely unfounded.
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    (Original post by Raees_Sharif)
    for the average student, maths a-level is quite difficult. for most people here, it's childs play. furthermore, i conjecture that someone who can algorithmically follow the steps to say, integrate by parts, has better reasoning ability than someone who has never solved a quadratic equation. my point is even if you don't apply the knowledge in real life or in practical situations; studying these useless a-levels develops your minds ability to comprehend the complexities in real life or practical situations.
    Is it though? Don't like 40% get A or A* or something crazy lol. Maths A level is way too easy.
 
 
 
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