The Sufferings of Math

Warning: Unless you are particularly interested in math, education reform, or something of that nature, you might not enjoy this particular reading. It is a little long and I don’t expect many people to read through it. However, I thought it necessary to post since so many friends thought it an interesting topic. To make the reading more fun, I’ve posted some Simpsons pictures along the way (apparently they reference math all the time). As usual, I’d love some feedback. 

The Sufferings of Math

           It would be too easy to suggest that if most college students could live without math, they would. Though not a favorite course to many, the benefits for learning basic principles, building upon those principles, and challenging the brain to give solutions can be easily seen. While it is healthy to challenge the brain, these “exercises” are often assigned far past their initial usefulness and far into exhaustion. The problem isn’t the math itself but the obsession with it, not the usefulness, but the focus. Will students actually use the math they are studying, or will they easily forget it as soon as they stop applying it? If so, is it all for nothing? Since the breach of our modern college system, these reoccurring questions have been inflicting suffering to almost as many students as there are degrees. To find a true usefulness of math, I suggest that we stop solving for x, and start asking why. When we do, the society of math will have answer to the cold fact that there really is no long-term benefit for the students invested in these higher-level classes. That really, most post college jobs only require basic math principles. Instead of having students endure through the current math system, the concentration of college math should be better tailored to the end result of the student’s degree, the job field. (more…)