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TaleSpinner

Getting to Know Each Other, October 2018

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2 hours ago, TaleSpinner said:

Oct 16: Do you use algebra or other advanced mathematics in your life and, if so, what for?

 

I guess so?

 

I can't think of a specific instance where I have written out an equation, and explicitly "solved" it, but the basic concepts of algebra, geometry, calculus, and basic probability are more or less standard tools for thinking and reasoning for me.

 

II think the last time I came close to doing a stand alone math problem was in a terrain project where I wanted to work out the measurements I would need for a specific size of hexagon. Given a flat-to-flat distance, computing the length of the flat sides, and the corner-to-corner distance uses geometry, and I would call the application of "given this measurement, and a known formula, compute this other value" an algebraic statement. (Applying the Pythagorean theorem)

 

Professionally, I am pretty much expected to understand what computer scientists refer to as "Big O" notation, which is to say, "Given an algorithm, you should be able to figure out the shape of its performance curve". (i.e. as the amount of data I feed in goes up, how does the time to do the computation change?) On the one hand, this is another algebraic thing, since the "big O" curves involved are often familiar n, n2, n3, etc. kind of expressions. On the other hand, thinking about the difference between "What happens when n = 2 vs. n = 1,000,000,000" quickly starts to look like basic calculus (i.e. how is the slope of the curve changing over time - second derivative.)

 

I haven't had to *prove* the performance characteristic of an algorithm since college, but thinking in those terms comes naturally now. At a certain point, mathematics is not about solving equations, and computing numbers; it's a language for describing certain concepts very precisely.

 

Disclaimer: Papa Klarg was a math professor before retiring. I did not enjoy math classes in school, but you can be darned sure I took them.

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2 hours ago, TaleSpinner said:

Oct 16: Do you use algebra or other advanced mathematics in your life and, if so, what for?

 

I notice a lot of people saying "NO! NEVER!", but I have to ask:

 

If I owe you $11, and I give you a $20 bill, how much change do you owe me?

 

If you arrive at "$9" without using a calculator, you are, fundamentally, solving the equation: "x + 11 = 20, solve for x" in your head. Very basic algebra is baked into the arithmetic we are told to think of as "math" in elementary school, even though it is really just a structured way to think about numbers.

 

Sure there are much more complicated applications, but that's just detail.

Edited by klarg1
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2 hours ago, TaleSpinner said:

Oct 16: Do you use algebra or other advanced mathematics in your life and, if so, what for?

Algebra, sure. The way they taught math when I was a kid, I never really learned trig or calc. Stunted my science classes like crazy, so I dropped out of biochemistry when I got to college.

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2 hours ago, TaleSpinner said:

Oct 16: Do you use algebra or other advanced mathematics in your life and, if so, what for?

Geometry and Statistics more than algebra. Although the algebraic thinking/solving is just second nature (like several other responders have noted).

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2 hours ago, TaleSpinner said:

Oct 16: Do you use algebra or other advanced mathematics in your life and, if so, what for?

 

Not really but a lot of basic math, accounting and geometry.

 

51 minutes ago, kristof65 said:

I probably use math more in my hobbies (specifically geometry) than anywhere else. 

 

Pretty sure this is true of me too. For awhile I was really involved in dissecting and analyzing the points values from a few different games. Then I realised that for a lot of games it's like they said on Who's Line is it Anyways, "the points are all made up and don't matter anyhow." The main game I was involved in had a few people continually complaining and trying to tweak the formula. Every time I checked things I found out that their changes would have meant a difference of 2-3 minis on the table in a game involving a hundred or so. So I ended up just sticking with the original formula because it was "relatively simple".

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On 10/12/2018 at 8:19 AM, TaleSpinner said:

Oct 12, 13, 14: Weekend Quest

  • What does your work station/studio look like? Take a picture this weekend and show us.
  • If it is messy, for extra credit, clean it up after taking the picture and take/post an after picture. :)

My current workspace usually centers on my drafting desk or easel. My hobby desk is out of frame to the left in the first pic. Not by much, it's a tiny space!

 

070818.jpg

Desk_v3.jpg

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2 hours ago, TaleSpinner said:

Oct 16: Do you use algebra or other advanced mathematics in your life and, if so, what for?

I would say yes.  Not daily but I work for a company that produces a business management software, and I do a lot of the coding for the reports and those use a lot of algebra.  but in my case, it's more making sure the formula are set up right so the data feeds to the right place and comes out the other end.  Sometimes financing functions, but very rarely.

 

I do have to use lots of boolean algebra too, which is way different and they don't teach in grade school very well (or at all when I went through)

 

Now, outside of that... eh?  sometimes for gardening when I have to back-of-the-envelope figure square or cubic feet of material I need.  

 

 

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7 minutes ago, klarg1 said:

 

I notice a lot of people saying "NO! NEVER!", but I have to ask:

 

If I owe you $11, and I give you a $20 bill, how much change do you owe me?

 

If you arrive at "$9" without using a calculator, you are, fundamentally, solving the equation: "x + 11 = 20, solve for x" in your head. Very basic algebra is baked into the arithmetic we are told to think of as "math" in elementary school, even though it is really just a structured way to think about numbers.

 

Sure there are much more complicated applications, but that's just detail.

 

Never thought of it this way but it makes sense. Been so long since I took a formal algebra class I might be forgetting what it really is. I was really good in maths in high school but kind of tanked in calculus and physics in university. There was a big step up between the two levels and I was missing a bunch that the profs seemed to think we already knew. I majored in beer and whiskey and wasn't exactly a model student then either.

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3 minutes ago, klarg1 said:

 

I notice a lot of people saying "NO! NEVER!", but I have to ask:

 

If I owe you $11, and I give you a $20 bill, how much change do you owe me?

 

If you arrive at "$9" without using a calculator, you are, fundamentally, solving the equation: "x + 11 = 20, solve for x" in your head. Very basic algebra is baked into the arithmetic we are told to think of as "math" in elementary school, even though it is really just a structured way to think about numbers.

 

Sure there are much more complicated applications, but that's just detail.

What if I just take the money and run?

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21 minutes ago, klarg1 said:

At a certain point, mathematics is not about solving equations, and computing numbers; it's a language for describing certain concepts very precisely.

This is a very good point, and really describes my use of math professionally these days. 

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2 hours ago, TaleSpinner said:

Oct 16: Do you use algebra or other advanced mathematics in your life and, if so, what for?

 

For me I would say basic algebra with a dash of statistics. I working in forecasting and inventory control but most of the math is done by our computer system. The most math intensive part is double checking the orders in excel and even then I have formulas set up to do most of the work. Sometimes I have to determine a past inventory using the current inventory, past sales, and deliveries. That can get a little complicated but it really is just basic addition and subtraction, the confusing part is knowing what numbers to use. 

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14 minutes ago, klarg1 said:

 

I notice a lot of people saying "NO! NEVER!", but I have to ask:

 

If I owe you $11, and I give you a $20 bill, how much change do you owe me?

 

If you arrive at "$9" without using a calculator, you are, fundamentally, solving the equation: "x + 11 = 20, solve for x" in your head. Very basic algebra is baked into the arithmetic we are told to think of as "math" in elementary school, even though it is really just a structured way to think about numbers.

 

Sure there are much more complicated applications, but that's just detail.

NO! I use magic to arrive at my conclusion! ò.ó

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16 minutes ago, klarg1 said:

 

I notice a lot of people saying "NO! NEVER!", but I have to ask:

 

If I owe you $11, and I give you a $20 bill, how much change do you owe me?

 

If you arrive at "$9" without using a calculator, you are, fundamentally, solving the equation: "x + 11 = 20, solve for x" in your head. Very basic algebra is baked into the arithmetic we are told to think of as "math" in elementary school, even though it is really just a structured way to think about numbers.

 

Sure there are much more complicated applications, but that's just detail.

 

I think you may have a point.  A lot of basic math (up to and including Algebra, but maybe not calculus) isn't so much about the equations, but how the math teaches you to think.  

 

Then again, counting change seems to be a disappearing skill these days.  Very seldom do I work with a cashier any more who actually counts it back to me. so many times they struggle to gather the money from the drawer and then just hand it to me. And so many big stores now have the coin dispensers so the cashier doesn't HAVE to do that....

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4 minutes ago, redambrosia said:

NO! I use magic to arrive at my conclusion! ò.ó

 

I've worked for people like that. Mostly they made the wages they owed me disappear with a wave of their hands. There's one that still runs around telling people I owe him money. I did hundreds of hours of work for him and got stiffed and yet I owe him money? :upside:

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30 minutes ago, klarg1 said:

If I owe you $11, and I give you a $20 bill, how much change do you owe me?

 

If you arrive at "$9" without using a calculator, you are, fundamentally, solving the equation: "x + 11 = 20

This is beyond the abilities of the standard issue kid crewing any drive thru window...

 

 

11 minutes ago, Cygnwulf said:

Then again, counting change seems to be a disappearing skill these days.  Very seldom do I work with a cashier any more who actually counts it back to me.

Count it back...!  ::D: :lol:

 

...it’s been years since I have seen that. 

 

~~~~

 

Rote memorization can solve the $20 dollar bill problem. Just memorize some number pairs. 

 

18...1

17...2

16...3

15...4    

14...5

13...6

12...7

11...8

10...9

 

~~~~

 

The fun begins at the McD’s drive up if one gives the mathematically inept kid at the window a twenty and some loose change. On a bill that is $11.31, Pay with a twenty, plus six cents (because you want to even the coinage off to Quarters...) and see what happens. 

Edited by TGP
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