[LMB] Apologies was...OT: Fun
mathews55 at msn.com
Sat Apr 4 17:12:04 BST 2009
> From: howard at brazee.net
> To: lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk
> Date: Sat, 4 Apr 2009 08:45:29 -0600
> Subject: Re: [LMB] Apologies was...OT: Fun
> One thing I think education is poorer off for - and that is the death
> of the slide rule. Trying to teach the slide rule would get teachers
> laughed out of the class room, but in order to learn to use the slide
> rule, one learns the parts of math that for the most of us - is all of
> the math we ever use as adults:
> 1. We learn proportion & inverse proportion. That is used not only
> in math but in other concepts as well - A is to B as C is to D.
> And it is how we figure out simple word problems such as
> figuring out mileage.
> 2. We learn significant digits. Sometimes we even vote on bad
> science because we have no idea what is really significant.
> 3. We learn to estimate results. Slide rules don't tell us where
> the decimal point is. So we have to use common sense to find what
> the answer is to the nearest power of 10. We don't just accept a
> ridiculous answer because that's what the calculator says.
> How many adults need more math (not arithmetic) than that in real life?
Can't speak for arithmetic, but anyone who has ever either sewed, gardened, painted a wall, or put in floor covering knows you also need simple plane geometry.
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