Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thursday Thirteen #14: Reasons to Like Math

I was born on the 14th so it seems only fitting that my first Thursday Thirteen should be the fourteenth in the series. If you hadn't already guessed from the title, this is an all-Nicholas production. So without further ado, here's why you should love math.

1. Math is a wonderful thing and Jack Black says so. (Unfortunately YouTube won't let you see it but you can still hear it.)

2. Nothing impresses people at parties like a bit of math. Trust me, deriving the quadratic formula makes you the coolest kid at any party.

3. When you love math, Newton can be your homeboy too.

4. You can make cool analogies that make ridiculously large numbers more meaningful. For example, light travels at 186,000 miles per second but that's so fast it's pretty meaningless. However what if I told you that in the time it takes a computer today to add two numbers (half a nanosecond) light travels 6 inches?

5. Taking math classes leads to making more money. From
According to the book Overcoming Math Anxiety, a professor at National University estimates that starting salaries across all industries increase by $2,000 for every math class someone has taken after the ninth grade.
...Unless your getting PhD in physics, in which case the effect wears off after your 10th math class or so.

6. You can properly use the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch.

7. Chicks dig trig.

8. You can use math to make a computer that can play Jeopardy - and win. From the New York Times:
For the last three years, I.B.M. scientists have been developing what they expect will be the world’s most advanced “question answering” machine, able to understand a question posed in everyday human elocution — “natural language,” as computer scientists call it — and respond with a precise, factual answer. In other words, it must do more than what search engines like Google and Bing do, which is merely point to a document where you might find the answer. It has to pluck out the correct answer itself. Technologists have long regarded this sort of artificial intelligence as a holy grail, because it would allow machines to converse more naturally with people, letting us ask questions instead of typing keywords.
Click here for a short video explaining how cool this thing really is.

9. You can avoid being fooled by hillbillies.

10. Math has answers. Philosophers wonder about unanswerable questions - for example Kierkegaard questioned whether true faith was compatible with human reason and contended that to embrace God one must become a "knight of the absurd". Compare that with "what's 7 x 5?"

11. Using math you can actually understand the national deficit.

12. You'll be able to see complex looking stuff like this
and know that it's simply means a sphere.

13. Without math you'll never be the very model of a modern major general.

You've just got to have those cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse.


Rachel said...

I admit, I have never seen you do math stuff at parties, but I wouldn't stop you if I did!

And chicks totally dig least the hot ones do!

Finally, "[he] is so smart S-M-R-T!"

Jenni said...

SMRT indeed. I very much enjoyed the national deficit clip. And the hillbillies!