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I don't waaaannnntt tooooo

Posted September 18th, 2012 at 05:27 PM by Lornami


Problem 82/114 for this week's homework

I know I'm lucky in the fact that I have to just take ONE math class in college that just rehashes all the math you learn in high school

BUT IT SUCKED IN HIGH SCHOOL AND STILL SUCKS NOW
Too much converting damn fractions.

My brain hurts, I ordered pizza so I think I'll just take a break for a moment.
So, how's all the college kids doing?
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  1. Old Comment
    Taro Tanaka's Avatar
    I'm feeling pretty grateful right now. The only homework for college algebra I get is practice problems I never do. And not only that, but I've got a cool teacher who actually teaches me in a way I actually DO understand! And to top it off, I'm only graded on 5 exams and a final exam, with the lowest grade being dropped. >:3

    Fun fact: basics are useless. By the time we finish our basics, that information will be obelete and we'd have wasted two years of education.
    Posted September 18th, 2012 at 07:10 PM by Taro Tanaka Taro Tanaka is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Overlord Drakow's Avatar
    Basics are useless . . .

    AAAAAAAAAAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA!

    Foolish human! The fundamentals are so vitally important in Mathematics for without a solid basic foundation, you have no hope in hell for doing the more advanced stuff.
    Posted September 19th, 2012 at 01:56 AM by Overlord Drakow Overlord Drakow is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Kura's Avatar
    Just ask Drakow to do it!

    And my brain hurts from looking at this too ._.
    Posted September 19th, 2012 at 04:21 AM by Kura Kura is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Cherrim's Avatar
    I get that fundamentals are important--and you should definitely know how to do all these things--but I think that many practise problems is overkill. I've had a calculator that can handle operations on fractions and spit them back to you in their most simplified form for years so it's not just like everyone is slow to adopt technology and is getting used to the fact that people can afford calculators nowadays. A decent one is $10-15, a great one is $25. So long as you know what to punch into the calculator to get the right answer, I feel like that's sufficient.

    Obviously, if you're going into something math-intensive, you're going to need to know how to do things in your head quickly at times, or know things inside-out... but generally? Everyone carries a calculator around with them 24/7 if they have a phone. This sort of thing just isn't important to memorize anymore. :/ A handful of questions to show you understand the material is more than enough and anything more is pointless busywork.
    Posted September 19th, 2012 at 10:03 AM by Cherrim Cherrim is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Oryx's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lightning View Comment
    I get that fundamentals are important--and you should definitely know how to do all these things--but I think that many practise problems is overkill. I've had a calculator that can handle operations on fractions and spit them back to you in their most simplified form for years so it's not just like everyone is slow to adopt technology and is getting used to the fact that people can afford calculators nowadays. A decent one is $10-15, a great one is $25. So long as you know what to punch into the calculator to get the right answer, I feel like that's sufficient.

    Obviously, if you're going into something math-intensive, you're going to need to know how to do things in your head quickly at times, or know things inside-out... but generally? Everyone carries a calculator around with them 24/7 if they have a phone. This sort of thing just isn't important to memorize anymore. :/ A handful of questions to show you understand the material is more than enough and anything more is pointless busywork.
    Dude a great calculator is ~100 dollars if not more. I've had a TI-83+ required for calculus for years, and that's on amazon for 94 bucks. >_o It's ridiculous. But I agree that a lot of math, while helpful as a thinking exercise pretty much, won't be relevant in the real world because you can look up/punch in whatever thing you need to know. There's no real-world situation where you can't just reach for a calculator.

    Same with memorizing formulas and things like the periodic table in other classes. You will never be in a situation where you will have to have this memorized in work, even if you work as a chemist. D:<
    Posted September 19th, 2012 at 11:36 AM by Oryx Oryx is offline
  6. Old Comment
    Overlord Drakow's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lightning View Comment
    I get that fundamentals are important--and you should definitely know how to do all these things--but I think that many practise problems is overkill. I've had a calculator that can handle operations on fractions and spit them back to you in their most simplified form for years so it's not just like everyone is slow to adopt technology and is getting used to the fact that people can afford calculators nowadays. A decent one is $10-15, a great one is $25. So long as you know what to punch into the calculator to get the right answer, I feel like that's sufficient.

    Obviously, if you're going into something math-intensive, you're going to need to know how to do things in your head quickly at times, or know things inside-out... but generally? Everyone carries a calculator around with them 24/7 if they have a phone. This sort of thing just isn't important to memorize anymore. :/ A handful of questions to show you understand the material is more than enough and anything more is pointless busywork.
    Oh yeah, I forgot the Americans and Canadians get to take hardcore scientific calculators into their exams, lmao.

    Erica my dear, allow me to break it down for you. Why do you think schools get you to do similar problems over and over? Well, let me ask you this to get your mind rolling. Why do I practice the same punches and kicks each time I take a karate lesson? Why do I practice the same songs on the piano each time I go to play?

    To develop muscle memory. Repetition builds this memory, even to the point where certain actions can become second nature. This applies to both physical muscles and 'mental' muscles. Yes you can argue that for most people, it's not needed to be able to do these exercises mentally or particularly quickly, but would it not be ideal to be able to do so? Wouldn't everyone want to be able to do these things quickly and (almost) effortlessly anyway?
    Posted September 19th, 2012 at 11:45 AM by Overlord Drakow Overlord Drakow is offline
  7. Old Comment
    Lornami's Avatar
    Woeoeojjosfdjs that started some discussion!

    Uhhhh so just in a general reply, for background interests I'm in art school, so I don't need advanced math. And I actually just found my old graphing calculator for the test today and it's got functions to find this stuff!

    Here's the thing though. I get how to do it. It's not hard for me. I remembered how to do it again after the four practice problems she gave us in the lecture. Things I didn't remember, maybe 5 questions have got it stuck into my brain.

    Also about the amount of questions. We have 10 weeks, 20 classes. These problems are three sets of questions over a variety of subjects. So it's not like I'm doing the same thing 20 times, EXCEPT finding the LCD because for some reason 90% of these questions even in normal problem use stupid fractions, so don't worry about that. I was just tired because I couldn't get to them the first week and I had sat down through 80+ questions.

    This was more me whining. But it's very valid, I remember in school when we're assigned 50+ problems on one thing. Muscle memory, yeah. But seriously why cram all that into your brain when you don't want to. I guess it's because for me I get the concept really easy. It's not going to go away once I understand the concept.

    It really confuses some people when I ask WHY does a math property work.
    My mother took math in her college this summer, and she explained changing mixed numbers into improper fractions to me because it was part of the problem she was working on and I had forgotten how to do them. (I really don't remember ever learning it really.)

    "You times this number by the bottom number, then add the top to it."
    "Why?"
    "That's how it works."
    "No but why, how does that work?"
    "It just does."

    It was later that I realized I reverse this process all the time when cooking. My taco seasoning requires 2/3 cups of water per lb. I cook 5lbs, so that I just added the top numbers till I got 10/3, and every 3/3 is 1 so, that 3 1/3 cups of water. So to change that back, you would add 3/3 how many full numbers you have (the number times the bottom) and add it with how many parts you already had (top number).

    That got storytelly. BUT ANYWAYS, what I'm saying it that I'm all for learning the basics. But actually learning it, not just memorizing 'how to calculate' by doing it again and again and again and again and again. I just hate that. I want to understand it, because when I understand it I can usually figure out what to do.
    Posted September 19th, 2012 at 01:52 PM by Lornami Lornami is offline
  8. Old Comment
    Esper's Avatar
    5/64, right? It's good to know multiplication tables and all that foundational stuff, but if you don't know how to apply it then may as well not bother learning it.
    Posted September 19th, 2012 at 02:40 PM by Esper Esper is offline
  9. Old Comment
    Mentally, I got 1/16. Good? =D
    Posted September 19th, 2012 at 03:42 PM by Dakota Dakota is offline
  10. Old Comment
    Overlord Drakow's Avatar
    I did it mentally and got 5/64

    That's my Scarfy!
    Posted September 20th, 2012 at 05:09 AM by Overlord Drakow Overlord Drakow is offline
  11. Old Comment
    Cherrim's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Toujours View Comment
    Dude a great calculator is ~100 dollars if not more. I've had a TI-83+ required for calculus for years, and that's on amazon for 94 bucks. >_o It's ridiculous. But I agree that a lot of math, while helpful as a thinking exercise pretty much, won't be relevant in the real world because you can look up/punch in whatever thing you need to know. There's no real-world situation where you can't just reach for a calculator.

    Same with memorizing formulas and things like the periodic table in other classes. You will never be in a situation where you will have to have this memorized in work, even if you work as a chemist. D:<
    What do most people need graphing calculators for?? o_O; I literally haven't touched mine since high school and I got my roommate's colour graphing calculator last year and haven't had a chance to use it. It's either so advanced you don't need any of the features on it or it's so basic it won't handle the graphing you need when you move on to more advanced courses. :P I will note it did me quite well in high school calculus and it is nice to check a graph real quick to know where your equation is headed but I haven't found one useful in a very long time, especially once I got access to Maple or MATLAB.

    My $30 calculator is a Casio fx-991MS. It handles everything I throw at it and even this is too advanced to be allowed in any of my exams in university. (The approved calculators have no permanent memory and no helpful functions like solving equations.) It's also sooo much lighter than a TI-8* so it's just excellent for keeping in your purse or carrying with you everywhere. (This is the part where I find out I'm the only person who regularly carries a scientific calculator in her purse. :s)
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Drakow View Comment
    Oh yeah, I forgot the Americans and Canadians get to take hardcore scientific calculators into their exams, lmao.

    Erica my dear, allow me to break it down for you. Why do you think schools get you to do similar problems over and over? Well, let me ask you this to get your mind rolling. Why do I practice the same punches and kicks each time I take a karate lesson? Why do I practice the same songs on the piano each time I go to play?

    To develop muscle memory. Repetition builds this memory, even to the point where certain actions can become second nature. This applies to both physical muscles and 'mental' muscles. Yes you can argue that for most people, it's not needed to be able to do these exercises mentally or particularly quickly, but would it not be ideal to be able to do so? Wouldn't everyone want to be able to do these things quickly and (almost) effortlessly anyway?
    We don't, haha. I was never allowed any calculator in my math exams and in my CS/Stats exams, when a calculator is allowed, it has to be a pretty basic one. As I said above, nothing with permanent memory for variables or solving algorithms. I usually don't even need to use them, but we're allowed to have them if we need 'em which sort of pushes my "you will never need to have these things memorized" view.

    I'm all for memorizing the basics. But I still think that many practise problems at this point is kind of overkill. o_O; They should be there if you feel you need them (and we need to start teaching people to actually do extra work if they feel they aren't getting things) and anything required should be challenging instead of just mindless application of the same thing. Because then you aren't really thinking, you're just following instructions. And I get that a lot of people need that to learn but... I dunno. It's always seemed kind of pointless to me.

    For a lot of people, these things are really pointless. It's sometimes hard for me to get my head around the idea that some people don't want to do even addition or subtraction in their head because it's so much slower than using a calculator [for them] and, yes, they could fix that by just practising and doing it over and over until they're much faster but... why? It'd be like me learning the periodic table, to take Toujours's example. I might be able to recognize references a lot easier and all that but I'd never really use it (although this is a bad example because mental math is useful for pretty much everyone whereas the periodic table is kind of useless outside of the sciences :P). Honestly, I don't even use fractions much at all though. I don't think that people generally multiply fractions or need to deal with them that much so this much emphasis on them when calculators will work just fine seems overkill. I don't think they come up enough for people to need to be efficient and mental-mathing them. And if they need paper to do the multiplication or division? Might as well just cut that out and use a calculator.
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lornami View Comment
    That got storytelly. BUT ANYWAYS, what I'm saying it that I'm all for learning the basics. But actually learning it, not just memorizing 'how to calculate' by doing it again and again and again and again and again. I just hate that. I want to understand it, because when I understand it I can usually figure out what to do.
    Yes yes yes! This is kind of the worst part about the North American school system, at least. There is just so much emphasis on memorizing formulas and algorithms and finite examples (like times tables, though I'm not really against this one since it is useful) that they never really teach the theory behind things. And it's not even like theory is that difficult at basic levels. I wish they showed more kinds of examples than just writing a question on the board and telling you how to solve it. I really like Vihart's videos for this very reason because she explains some fairly complicated math with... doodles. And they make sense. It's just another way for someone to visualize something and come to an understanding rather than just bombarding them with practise problems and hoping they figure out how it works from repetition. I'm a firm believer that anyone who knows why something works will be able to figure out how it works on their own. And if you know the why and how, it's probably faster to just use a calculator for the calculation. Nothing wrong with that so long as you know what to punch in.
    Posted September 21st, 2012 at 07:31 AM by Cherrim Cherrim is offline
 

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