**#1**Jul 28th, 2005

It would have been better, except for Math, math sucks.

I'm happy now.

I don't suppose anybody else gives a darn, but I just had to announce this to the world. Or the country at least.

I think I managed to get into the University of Victoria, I just got my provinical exam marks back and I got a 77.25 percent average in math, english, chemistry and biology and my understanding is that they were going to let me in if I got 75 percent, so I made it.

It would have been better, except for Math, math sucks.

I'm happy now.

I don't suppose anybody else gives a darn, but I just had to announce this to the world. Or the country at least.

It would have been better, except for Math, math sucks.

I'm happy now.

I don't suppose anybody else gives a darn, but I just had to announce this to the world. Or the country at least.

I think maybe you mean, you guys suck at math.

Andygal ... Congrats!!! You'll be here in Victoria then? Cool! We'll all have to get together to celebrate.

I might be, I still might go to college here in Vancouver, I have to decide whether to risk moving out on my own, it's a big, scary step.

I might be, I still might go to college here in Vancouver, I have to decide whether to risk moving out on my own, it's a big, scary step.

I was over there a few months ago, went touristing got a look at the UVic campus. I liked it a lot, the city, and the campus are more compact then Vancouver and the UBC campus, the UBC campus is so big you have to bus across it to get anywhere, that's why I wanted to go to UVic, I'd be lost in a huge place like UBC, too many people.

congrats. It brings joy to hear of one embarking on a new journey. Remember to challenge yourself in your studies and challenge the assumptions in the texts and at the lecturn. Hopefully you will at least bump into math in the defining aspect of your discipline. Mathematics is the music of the spheres. It is a Way to uncovering the mysteries of the Universe.

Congrads andygal...no surprise there tho Hey if you go to UVIC and need a part time job, I gots connections with the barista's at starbucks, in my back pocket in fact, most of them go to UVIC, I can always use another barasita in my back pocket :P mmmmmmmm a grande ice coffee...sound good right about now... Again congraduations andygal

I was over there a few months ago, went touristing got a look at the UVic campus. I liked it a lot, the city, and the campus are more compact then Vancouver and the UBC campus

As far as whether to "flee the nest" - that's one I would leave up to you. My first son did one year at Caribou College, and then went to UVic.... his second year was great, by the third he was offered a job he couldnt turn down (has since gone on to even better things). So even though he didnt actually finish his degree, it carried enough weight that doors opened.

Second son stayed at home until close to completing his BizAdmin at Caribou, but they had "degree-granting" status by then.... he finished his degree by sharing a nearby townhouse with 2 or 3 other folks.... that can work too - just be sure to pick 'em right!

(ps: apparently the "student-food" program sucks at UVic.... the food is crummy, and if you don't eat there often enough, you are wasting your money.)

Congrats Andygal, I'm thinking about heading out there myself for law school next year, UVic is a smaller campus, more like the one that I just graduated from

I love it when I hear things like this. Congratulations. All the best.

I remember when I went to university. I didn't actually enroll, I just skipped high school and sat in on latin and philosophy classes while waiting for my friends to go to the Lazy Owl. I learned many things sitting in the bar on the U of R campus.

Congrats!! It's always an amazing feeling to accomplish something you've tried for.

**Quote:** Originally Posted by **Dexter Sinister**
Hey Dex, I think you've hit the nail on the head here. I mean, why on earth wouldn't someone like math? It was always my favourite, and I toyed with the idea of taking a masters in Mathematics....

Silly people. Math is fascinating!

I think maybe you mean, you guys suck at math.

Silly people. Math is fascinating!

Silly people. Math is fascinating!

I wonder, for instance, how many people understand that every electrical and electronic device that makes their lives easier and more interesting is made possible by the insights into the nature of the electromagnetic field provided by Maxwell's equations, which incidentally were also the very first unified field theory.

It's one thing, and quite understandable, to not have a talent for math, it's quite another to use that as a reason to scorn it. So I'm a little sensitive about comments like "math sucks," and was frankly surprised to see such a remark from Reverend Blair. Rev, you seem to have a good general understanding of matters scientific, judging from your comments about evolution I've seen; I'd expect a remark like that from scientific illiterates, not from you.

I saw a show on Maxwell and his unification of electromagnetics....very interesting. I'm a bit math challenged myself, and prefer to let the Dexter types of this world work out the nitty gritty aspects of it.

Right on, and it's very useful too. A good part of my professional life has been based on my understanding and use of it. Fast Fourier transforms, digital filtering and signal processing, contouring and mapping software... All made possible by mathematics.

I've also always shot pool. People who don't shoot pool insist that it's all geometry. People who do shoot pool will tell you that to be good enough to win more money than you lose, you need to have a working grasp of magic.

I wonder, for instance, how many people understand that every electrical and electronic device that makes their lives easier and more interesting is made possible by the insights into the nature of the electromagnetic field provided by Maxwell's equations, which incidentally were also the very first unified field theory.

It's one thing, and quite understandable, to not have a talent for math, it's quite another to use that as a reason to scorn it. So I'm a little sensitive about comments like "math sucks," and was frankly surprised to see such a remark from Reverend Blair. Rev, you seem to have a good general understanding of matters scientific, judging from your comments about evolution I've seen; I'd expect a remark like that from scientific illiterates, not from you.

When you combine that with the tendency of many math teachers to lack the ability to understand our inability to understand what the hell they are talking about, you get this equation

It isn't that we don't know that math is important or that we think we can do without it, we know all too well that we can't do without it. The result is that, for us, math sucks.

... the tendency of many math teachers to lack the ability to understand our inability to understand what the hell they are talking about...The result is that, for us, math sucks.

You realize, though, that you've implicitly agreed the real problem is that you suck at math?

You realize, though, that you've implicitly agreed the real problem is that you suck at math?

To some degree, I grieve for you Rev, and for every other person who thinks math sucks or who sucks at math (same thing, really). It's a fascinating and wonderful subject, one of the greatest inventions of human intelligence, but bad teachers and bad experiences poison it for too many. And it's really not that difficult if it's properly explained. It's a logical whole and the basics are readily available to anyone with a three-digit IQ. I see now that I was really fortunate in high school to be blessed with some very gifted teachers who gave me the basics, and the confidence and the techniques necessary to make sense of the harder stuff I encountered in university. Roses upon their heads...

How easy is it really? Well, here's the basics of calculus: There are two unfamiliar symbols in calculus, a lower case d and an upper case elongated S that I can't quite reproduce in the character set available here, so I'll just use S. The d means "a little bit of," and the S means "the sum of." So, the characters dx or dy mean a little bit of x or a little bit of y, whatever x or y may be, doesn't matter. Thus Sdx means the sum of all the little bits of x, which obviously must add up to x. So now we know that Sdx=x, which in essence is the fundamental theorem of calculus. How hard was that? All the little bits of something add up to all of it. Could anything be more obvious? But the teachers--and the mathematicians--surround it with jargon and formalism, none of which is really necessary to understand the heart of it. The heart of it, in fact, is intuitively obvious if it's explained clearly and stripped of its mathematician's formalism.

And by the way Andygal, congratulations on your achievement. I meant to put that in my first post in this thread, but I got distracted by the notion that math sucks. It doesn't. Some math teachers suck, which leads their unfortunate students to think math sucks, but they're wrong. They'll drill you with pointless repetition of exercises, and whoever thought that was a good way to teach anything ought to be shot and pissed on from a great height. You'll either get it with one example, or you won't get it at all, which means the teacher hasn't taught it well.

How easy is it really? Well, here's the basics of calculus: There are two unfamiliar symbols in calculus, a lower case d and an upper case elongated S that I can't quite reproduce in the character set available here, so I'll just use S. The d means "a little bit of," and the S means "the sum of." So, the characters dx or dy mean a little bit of x or a little bit of y, whatever x or y may be, doesn't matter. Thus Sdx means the sum of all the little bits of x, which obviously must add up to x. So now we know that Sdx=x, which in essence is the fundamental theorem of calculus. How hard was that? All the little bits of something add up to all of it. Could anything be more obvious? But the teachers--and the mathematicians--surround it with jargon and formalism, none of which is really necessary to understand the heart of it. The heart of it, in fact, is intuitively obvious if it's explained clearly and stripped of its mathematician's formalism.

And by the way Andygal, congratulations on your achievement. I meant to put that in my first post in this thread, but I got distracted by the notion that math sucks. It doesn't. Some math teachers suck, which leads their unfortunate students to think math sucks, but they're wrong. They'll drill you with pointless repetition of exercises, and whoever thought that was a good way to teach anything ought to be shot and pissed on from a great height. You'll either get it with one example, or you won't get it at all, which means the teacher hasn't taught it well.

It's always a good thing when anyone gets more education, so congrats.

Congratulations. May this be only 1 of many accomplishments to come.

Hey...maybe andygal will be the next governer general of canada I wouldn't be surprised, I have read her posts Now if only little ricky would get his ass back here, I think he would gouda for andygal.

Hey bevvy check your email, I sent you something so cool

Hey bevvy check your email, I sent you something so cool

Dexter, when I was in high school, we were lucky to have a teacher who really could teach. She introduced integral calculus by explaining that, if you want to find the area under a curve, you divide it up into little strips, and find the area of each one. Then you add them all up. And we went from there. And it was so plain, so simple, so logical, that it all made perfect sense.

That said, in my University life, my mark in every single math course was one step below the previous; they went A+, then A, A-, B+, B...then I didn't have to take any more. Multidimensional matrices got me. Or maybe it was the nights drinking.....I dunno which.

That said, in my University life, my mark in every single math course was one step below the previous; they went A+, then A, A-, B+, B...then I didn't have to take any more. Multidimensional matrices got me. Or maybe it was the nights drinking.....I dunno which.

I think what loses people in university is that math is taught by mathematicians, who like a rigorous formalism that renders it pretty much incomprehensible to anyone but another serious mathematician. There's a crucial theorem, for instance, called the Theorem of the Mean, which in formal mathematical terms is a mind bender of a statement* full of conditional clauses, but in plain English all it says is that given any two points on a wiggly but smooth line (i.e. no breaks or sharp corners in it), there's at least one other point on the line in between them where the slope of the line matches the slope of a straight line between the original two points. That's not really saying much more than that there must be a third point between any two other points, which is so blindingly obvious you might legitimately wonder why anyone would need to prove it.

*for the purists: suppose that f(x) is continuous on a closed interval [a,b] and that the first derivative of f(x), call it f'(x), exists for all x in the interval. Then there is a value of x in [a,b] such that f'(x) = (f(b) - f(a))/(b-a)

*for the purists: suppose that f(x) is continuous on a closed interval [a,b] and that the first derivative of f(x), call it f'(x), exists for all x in the interval. Then there is a value of x in [a,b] such that f'(x) = (f(b) - f(a))/(b-a)