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  #16  
Old 11-15-2011, 12:00 PM
MysticCat MysticCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agzg View Post
Also, game designers use math A LOT, and A LOT of algebra - so if he likes video games, that might be a way to relate. People who write computer programs use all sorts of math, including algebra.
Very true. He loves video games, so his teacher tried this one. The answer he got was "I don't care how they come up with them. I just like to play them." Oy.

(Meanwhile, mom and I have added our own style of motivation. No video games at all on school days -- the "old" rule was no more than one hour of "screen time" on school days -- unless and until we, his teacher and his tutor see improvement. He doesn't have to start making As all of a sudden, but we have to see that he's trying his best.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by agzg View Post
Something as simple as figuring out what you need to tip (total times .2 equals x) is a good example of algebra. . . . .Also, baking! How do you double or halve a recipe?
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Originally Posted by ree-Xi View Post
From figuring out tips (divide by ten then add half to get to 15%), . . . . to adjusting recipes for fewer or more servings than the original calls for, to estimating project timelines, to figuring out how far it is from point A to point B, or reading a "to scale" map, I absolutely use math on a regular basis.
Right, but these are all basic math -- for the most part standard addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. He has that stuff down. He gets how he'll use that kind of math throughout his life. He doesn't get how he'll use algebra -- e.g., linear equations, to use what they're working on now -- in everyday life.


There's some good food for thought here. Thanks, everyone and keep them coming.
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Last edited by MysticCat; 11-15-2011 at 12:02 PM.
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  #17  
Old 11-15-2011, 12:04 PM
agzg agzg is offline
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Converting the standard system of measurement to the metric system?

Linear equations are the lead-in to geometry - but you have to understand how to solve it before you can move on to harder geometry concepts - which plays into figuring out square footage of houses, how much paint you'll need to paint all the walls in a room, how many tiles you need to tile a kitchen... just cook up some home improvement projects! I'd love to say "we need to re-floor the kitchen because our kid is studying linear equations."
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  #18  
Old 11-15-2011, 12:05 PM
knight_shadow knight_shadow is offline
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http://www.thefutureschannel.com/algebra_real_world.php

http://www.google.com/#hl=en&source=...w=1229&bih=823

http://www.google.com/#hl=en&source=...w=1229&bih=823
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  #19  
Old 11-15-2011, 12:06 PM
agzg agzg is offline
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He'll use a lot of linear equations in the future if he studies economics (some four year colleges require everyone to take at least one econ course). Understanding them now will help him.

Last edited by agzg; 11-15-2011 at 01:48 PM.
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  #20  
Old 11-15-2011, 12:19 PM
BraveMaroon BraveMaroon is offline
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Honestly he may never use the linear equations and so forth, but unfortunately, that's not the point.


The point of most of the classes you take is the process you use to learn the material and not the material itself.


Much like at least half the meetings I attend aren't directly relevant to my job, but because I am asked to be there, I go.

It's a life skill.
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  #21  
Old 11-15-2011, 12:38 PM
MysticCat MysticCat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agzg View Post
He'll use a lot of linear equations in the future if he studies economics (which everyone has to on some level if they go to a four year college).
Really? I never studied economics in any form at all, and I don't get the sense that I'm unusual in that.

BTW, I had to take one math course in college. I picked the easiest one I could find.

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Originally Posted by agzg View Post
Linear equations are the lead-in to geometry - but you have to understand how to solve it before you can move on to harder geometry concepts - which plays into figuring out square footage of houses, how much paint you'll need to paint all the walls in a room, how many tiles you need to tile a kitchen... just cook up some home improvement projects! I'd love to say "we need to re-floor the kitchen because our kid is studying linear equations."
Okay, I'll be honest here. I do all of these things all of the time, and I don't see any connection at all with linear equations (y=mx+b or the other forms). All I need to figure out square footage is a tape measure; I don't need to know the slope of the line or how it graphs on a plane.

Am I missing something? Are my pathetic understandings of algebra showing?


Quote:
Originally Posted by BraveMaroon View Post
Honestly he may never use the linear equations and so forth, but unfortunately, that's not the point.

The point of most of the classes you take is the process you use to learn the material and not the material itself.

Much like at least half the meetings I attend aren't directly relevant to my job, but because I am asked to be there, I go.

It's a life skill.
Yeah, I think that's the bottom-line answer. Unfortunately, for an Aspergian, that frequently isn't a good enough answer. It's a common Asperger's trait -- the need to understand and buy into the value of something before expending any energy on it.

Thanks for the links, k_s.
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  #22  
Old 11-15-2011, 12:52 PM
agzg agzg is offline
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Originally Posted by MysticCat View Post
Really? I never studied economics in any form at all, and I don't get the sense that I'm unusual in that.

BTW, I had to take one math course in college. I picked the easiest one I could find.

Okay, I'll be honest here. I do all of these things all of the time, and I don't see any connection at all with linear equations (y=mx+b or the other forms). All I need to figure out square footage is a tape measure; I don't need to know the slope of the line or how it graphs on a plane.

Am I missing something? Are my pathetic understandings of algebra showing?
Econ's becoming more and more common. I had to take three for my major in undegrad, but every major had to take at least two. I had to take the additional International Economics. I also had to take three in grad school, and surprisingly enough, it was the same three I had to take in undergrad but at a higher level (Micro, Macro, International). My major in undergrad was Foreign Language (International Government) and my major in grad school was "Badass."

Since linear equations are a lead-in for geometry, that's where you're using it to get floor space. Plus, if he goes into construction, contractors use it all the time, especially for designing entrances to buildings, etc.

It sounds kindof random, but figuring out slope goes into things like handicap ramps, etc. - which you can point out to him every time he comes across one. If the slope is all jacked up, it's not of much use to a person in a wheelchair. Even stairs are designed using slope.

The graph on the plane is just to conceptualize the concept in a context where it's not immediately apparent. And for things like statistical analysis, economic understanding, etc. where it's ideas instead of physical space.

Also, I know respiratory therapists use things like linear equations to figure out how much of one treatment a person should get, and I believe there's an equivalent for radiologists. Which seems random but I've become intimately familiar with both a Rad Tech associate's degree and a Respiratory Care associates degree and they use/do a shit ton of graphing.

You also need it for graphic design careers.

Last edited by agzg; 11-15-2011 at 12:55 PM.
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  #23  
Old 11-15-2011, 12:56 PM
knight_shadow knight_shadow is offline
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At my alma mater, Econ was reserved for business students.
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  #24  
Old 11-15-2011, 01:01 PM
agzg agzg is offline
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I've edited my statement. This is a first I've heard of folks with recent 4 year degrees that didn't have to take any econ (usually I see people say "I only had to take micro/macro/basic").
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  #25  
Old 11-15-2011, 01:29 PM
Splash Splash is offline
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Is he planning on making money ever? Supply/demand
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  #26  
Old 11-15-2011, 01:30 PM
thetygerlily thetygerlily is offline
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From my perspective, K-12 taught me how to learn (or at least fake it for tests), a liberal arts education taught me how to think more critically, and my on the job training helped me figure out where I belong. However, I had to figure it out by myself with a lot of luck and good grace on the part of others.

I never use complicated formulas, I do not particularly enjoy math, and my husband is an accountant (which means I get a free pass in the math world). However- the concepts of problem solving do come in handy. Whether they are math related or other things- solving for "X" is a good capability to master. Do you need a full year of algebra (plus geometry, trig, and maybe even calculus) for that? No. Are there better real world applications to learn that skill? Yes, but how to approach that would be a deeper discussion. Ultimately, I took math because they told me to and because I needed it to go to college. I didn't know why I needed to go to college yet at that point, I just knew it was what came after high school. If he had any idea what he wanted to do professionally, you could bring it in that way... but he's probably too young and hasn't seen enough of the world yet to know what's out there.


Tangent: I wish that when schools or teachers or parents or whomever talked about potential career paths, there was a way to focus on how to identify each child's strengths and capitalize on them. That way they could also explore the lesser known fields/positions. The personality tests we took in school always had the same 50 or so professions: doctor, lawyer, accountant, actor, mechanic, etc.

As an example, I was the annoying child that always asked why. Why does this happen that way, why does it work like that, why does this word come before that one, why is this person shy and that one's a bully, how do they know when to turn the lights red/yellow/green... and so on. My strength? Pure, unfiltered curiosity about the world and people around me. If I had more of a mind for math (or perhaps if I had learned it in a different method), I could have been well suited to be an engineer. However, I somehow wound up being essentially a business owner of an application used by call center agents. My job is to ask why constantly. Why do you need this feature, why do you need the agent to enter this information, what are you going to do with the information collected, how will this impact the agent's overall experience, etc. It's a great fit. Did I ever hear about this type of role in school? No. Had I ever heard of Six Sigma (and the Five Whys )? No. Is this the right profession for me, at least for now? Absolutely.
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  #27  
Old 11-15-2011, 01:30 PM
TonyB06 TonyB06 is offline
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As a parent of two kids who excell in math, I've kept the sentiment to myself, but I also wonder why higher level math is needed to the degree it's taught in school.

After all, I've never written a check for $200 over X.
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  #28  
Old 11-15-2011, 01:37 PM
KSig RC KSig RC is offline
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MC, you may not use by-rote algebra every day, but I'm certain you use the same sort of logic every day - it's very much related to the "lawyer brain" (solving for unknowns/inconsistencies).

Essentially, any time you're solving for an unknown, you're using algebraic thinking - and that's a skill he will want to have, even if it's just wondering how much he can spend on two different items while still making budget for the month, or how to determine his 401(k) match sweet spot.

These aren't sexy reasons, but they do show that the reason why algebra is hard (it requires you to attack a problem in reverse, essentially) is the same as its benefit: an angle to attack problems that you didn't have before.
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  #29  
Old 11-15-2011, 01:43 PM
DeltaBetaBaby DeltaBetaBaby is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agzg View Post
I've edited my statement. This is a first I've heard of folks with recent 4 year degrees that didn't have to take any econ (usually I see people say "I only had to take micro/macro/basic").
I just found out that most business majors don't have to take calculus, and I am still digesting this new information. I can't really understand how you'd take econ without it.
\hijack


As for linear algebra, is he into sports at all? The guys who make predictions (and take bets!) use algebra. Virtually any forecasting application builds on algebra, so is there something that interests him, and lends itself to that type of demo?

Also, virtually all of the best-paying college majors these days require math to at least integral calculus, so that's something to keep in mind.

ETA: link

Last edited by DeltaBetaBaby; 11-15-2011 at 01:50 PM.
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  #30  
Old 11-15-2011, 03:14 PM
knight_shadow knight_shadow is offline
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I just found out that most business majors don't have to take calculus, and I am still digesting this new information. I can't really understand how you'd take econ without it.
\hijack
My school had "business algebra" and "business calculus," but if you took the regular ones, they sufficed.
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