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Making Math Real

One of the main complaints that students have when struggling with their math homework is that they don't understand why they need to learn this in the first place.  After all, how often do we actually use calculus or trigonometry in our daily lives?
 
I always make an effort to correct this false assumption in my students.  Everything that we learn in math connects to reality in often unexpected ways.  For this reason, I like to find out what it is that interests my student, or what their career goals are, so that I may show them how the math connects.
 
Take the example of logarithms.  For the student with an ear for music, I can explain how logarithmic scales describe the relationships between musical tones, and true understanding of musical theory requires an understanding of this field of math.  For the student who plans to go into the medical field, logarithms can be used to help model the levels of medications in a patient's system.  Even if your only interest is in making money, logarithms are a valuable tool (especially when combined with statistics) for making predictions of investment markets.
 
The point is that every tool in math has its use.  Even imaginary numbers are useful in electronics and other areas.  If you never use math in your life, you aren't doing it right.
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Anthony B.

Math, Stats, Calculus, APA Tutor

1250+ hours
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