Advanced Math is an Unequivocal Waste of Energy to Learn

Unless you are going to be a teacher or involved in a field that will utilize higher levels of math (i.e engineering and whatever else applicable and relevant), learning advanced math is an utterly, unequivocal waste of time.

I’m turning 25-years-old this year and I just returned to college in 2014. Before 2015, I hadn’t taken a math class in about a decade. The teachers I had in high school were rather poor quality instructors.

I want to be a physical therapist. Outside of basic math involving addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, some algebra and a very, very basic knowledge of physics, why should learning any other form of math be necessary?

Please let me know. I’m waiting.

“It’s to increase your critical thinking ability?”

Uh… huh?

All math is, is the process of following instructions. It’s nothing more than being able to bend over the bed and take it. If you can remember how to follow instructions on how to complete a math problem, you’ve won.

Critical thinking my ass!

Wanna know something that is actually conducive to improving your critical thinking skills?

How about a debate and/or a creative writing class? That sounds lovely. You get to exercise your mind. Critical thinking is everywhere in those two facets.

It seems oh so pointless to me that I have to take a regular math class (by ‘regular’, I have no fucking idea at the moment, as I will subsequently find out in the fall, I suppose), pre-calculus and then calculus. What is the point of yours truly learning calculus? I will never use it in my entire life. Never, ever.

I could be taking anatomy classes, something that is actually conducive to the career path I’d like to go into.

But no.

For the time being, I’ll be wasting hours upon hours of my life learning a math I’ll forget within months of completing.

What a waste of time.

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4 thoughts on “Advanced Math is an Unequivocal Waste of Energy to Learn

  1. Fact is, in mathematics you’re either 100% or 0% right. Never 35%, or anywhere in-between, as in public speaking or creative writing. When I’m sitting in any kind of English class I know there are a definite set of rules to the language, but the professors rarely enforce them entirely or know them for themselves. It’s largely opinion-based, not logical.

    In mathematics it’s absolutely _essential_ that one carry out the proper reasoning and logic to solve a problem. That’s the key. It’s not about adding or multiplying, it’s about the ideas, the relations and properties of the “stuff” you’re working with, the problem solving.

    Actually, adding and multiplying is quite boring. Anyone taking basic math has a very naive understanding of what math is. It’s usually when one gets to Calculus and beyond that the ideas star to flow, and you understand where/why/how things are the way they are, and then you have more questions than the instructor has answers.

    Your entire inferred definition of “advanced math” as “anything beyond algebra” is quite wrong. Most in the field (or related fields) would argue that “advanced math” is more-so anything beyond the Calculus sequence.

    You sound like my dad as he was required to take algebra to complete his B.A. in music. Being a math major I’m somewhat biased, but honestly don’t see what the big deal is as basic adding/multiplying isn’t that hard. Also, if I as a math major had to take courses like Music of World Cultures and multiple writing/English courses, I don’t quite understand the problem with taking _one_ algebra-related course.

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    1. Great comment (and thank you for commenting, by the way)!

      We are on two ends of the spectrum (extreme sides).

      Here’s the kicker. It isn’t one algebra related course. I wish that were the case. I’m having to go through some developmental math modules (I don’t know if I mentioned it in the post, because I haven’t looked at it since I wrote it, but I’m 25 and just returned to college last year). Before 2015, I hadn’t really had a true math class since the year 2006. What’s the point of doing polynomials and things like radical expressions? It’s been a drag, but for whatever reason, I have to truck on. Going forward, I know I’ll be delving into pre-calculus, calculus and what have you. I dread it. I can understand needing to take physics in the future (as someone who’s wanting to go into physical therapy), but chemistry is wearing me out.

      Speaking of chemistry, I never took it in high school. This past fall was my first brush with it. After watching a horde of YouTube videos, I pushed myself through it and came out with a B. This semester is making the last one look like a preschool course. All the math involved in driving up a wall, but again, it’s required to be taken.

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  2. No problem, I was between classes and came across your post (and couldn’t help but reply I guess). My bad if I sounded a little “hostile” 😛 I just reread my comment. My blood pressure usually spikes after Physics because I’m trying to wrap my head around the sparse notation and trust intuition over logic.

    Polynomials and radical expressions are the basis of more complex topics that you’ll see starting in Calculus I. In Calculus you’ll utilize both, plus trigonometric functions, and be introduced to a variety of new theorems with important consequences in Physics (and thus Chemistry). Then you’ll generalize and re-learn, generalize and re-learn, until you’ve captured a boatload of concepts from different perspectives. The most beautiful aspect of the applications is that the same equations that govern one system may apply to a totally different one as well.

    I rather disliked Chemistry as I felt it was little more than a different approach to Physics, and vastly heavier on the intuition (and memorization). A while ago I read a book about the early 20th century and how Physics ‘attempted’ to absorb Chemistry. Naturally it was a disaster, and the two remain distinct. But the overlap is still quite interesting, and the arguments are understandable considering the monumental technologies/ideas upon which much of society (and the economy) is supported today.

    Altogether, you have a good argument; but, like most topics, it may be viewed from six different ways.

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