General Question

ShipwrecksInSand's avatar

Do you really need Algebra 1 and Geometry after High School and College?

Asked by ShipwrecksInSand (173 points ) April 11th, 2010

I was just wondering..im not going in to a field that requires much math..Will i ever use these crazy formulas and equation theories? for anything?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

22 Answers

Yetanotheruser's avatar

I use algebra and geometry in my everyday life when one would least expect it. These formulae were so ingrained by having years of high school and college level math that I don’t necessarily realize that I am using algebra or geometry. I am just performing everyday calculations.
Edit: I do not work in a math-related field!

filmfann's avatar

Absolutely. You will end up using it regardless of career, or if you even have a career.

Leanne1986's avatar

I may sometimes use it without realising but, to my knowledge, I haven’t used it much at all since leaving school. I’m sure the maths folk amongst us would be able to give examples of when we do use it without realising though. If there is anyone that can do this I would be very interested to hear!

squidcake's avatar

As much as I hate math, you need it. Learning all of those equations seems pointless but it helps in just generally improving your skills of logic.
I had a hard time accepting this as well.

philosopher's avatar

It depends on what you want to be in life.
Engineers do.
Not everyone does. All knowledge has some value.
I don’t like Mathematics.
My Husband excels at all Mathematics. He makes it too easy for me.

essieness's avatar

I’m nearly 29 and I can safely say I’ve never had the need to use it after college.

tinyfaery's avatar

I too would like some everyday examples of using algebra or geometry. I can’t say I use them, at all.

hiphiphopflipflapflop's avatar

Part of the point of teaching such subjects in school is that (if taught properly) you’d pick up some logic and critical reasoning (unfortunately we tend to just get by with the cookbook approach).

If English was taught for strictly utilitarian reasons, why would they assign Shakespeare, Melville or Hemingway? Basic mathematics is just as much a part of our cultural heritage – even moreso, I’d say, given its universality.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I use the all the time. Learn it.

loser's avatar

Absolutely!

laureth's avatar

I knit. I’ve used algebra and geometry to formulate knitting patterns that need to be a certain size or use a certain stitch repeat. It’s also helpful to me when plotting the size of the garden, especially when I want to figure out what garden size would hold the optimal number of plants. Heck, I’ve even used the Pythagorean Theorem to figure out the length of decorative chain necessary to hang a fruit basket from the kitchen ceiling.

If someone has never used this kind of math after their school career, chances are they’re not solving too many everyday-life problems like this. In a way, I feel sorry for his or her life being so boring. ;)

Math: even if you don’t use it any more, the ability to think sequentially and break down problems stays with you forever.

semblance's avatar

I have found both subjects useful, and trigonometry as well.

tinyfaery's avatar

@laureth That is extremely judgmental. I feel so sorry for you.

jerv's avatar

I use algebra all the time. Why do you think I don’t get raped by credit card/loan offers? They count on people not being able to do the math and see what a raw deal they’re getting!

That, and I work in manufacturing which requires a bit of math and some geometry. And I do my own car work. And I have a household budget. And I occasionally build things.

All of those things require strong math skills, yet many kids today can’t even count out correct change at the McDonalds register.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Do you NEED it? No

Does it make life about 8 million times easier? Fuckin A it does.

MissAnthrope's avatar

I think the Geometry I learned would be handy to remember.. it just was so long ago that I’ve pretty much forgotten it all. Algebra, I just used recently to help my 10-year-old sister figure out how much gas each leg of a hypothetical road trip would use if the car got 25 miles per gallon. You could figure that out other ways, but the algebra made it a hell of a lot easier.

lilikoi's avatar

They have been useful to me.

They are not crazy – everything about math is extraordinarily logical. At your level, math isn’t very theoretical either but actually quite practical.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

The skills you learn in those classes will be useful in solving problems involving money, cooking, home repairs and many other things. Lacking those skills will make your life harder and make you feel stupid for not knowing these things. Anything you can learn will make your life more complete!

laureth's avatar

@tinyfaery – I would feel the same regret for a person unable to read, because they would miss out on a lot, such as literature and news. While people don’t need literature and news to function after high school, I suppose, I feel that they would miss out on a lot, as well as be handicapped in life to a certain extent. I know my life would be the poorer for it, and I do try to empathize with others that way. Personally, I don’t fluently speak several languages, and I do regret what I miss out on, not knowing them. Same idea. I’m sorry if you feel it’s judgmental.

mattbrowne's avatar

Suppose after college you get invited to a party and there are 50 people in the room. Someone proposes a game, or more precisely a bet, and tells you that the following week Friday it’s his birthday. He offers you $100 dollars if no one else in the room got his or her birthday on the very same day. Otherwise you have to give him $20. Sounds like a good deal, right? So would you take the bet? What is the likelihood of at least 2 out of 50 people to have their birthday on the same day?

kyanblue's avatar

I’m going to go with @hiphiphopflipflapflop‘s line of reasoning—maybe it won’t be relevant ten years down the road to be able to prove two lines on a piece of paper are congruent, or being able to graph parabolas, but the important part is not so much the formula as the mindset of how to solve problems.

And there are some very practical applications. You will want to know how to analyze graphs so when you read the newspaper you can understand the statistics being presented. If you want to figure out how much money you need to save per year on your salary to be able to retire by 60 you can hire someone to do it, or you can sit down and calculate it yourself. Using algebra. What if you decide to take care of some of the remodeling in your house yourself, and need to go buy paint for a 16-by-20’ room, and you want to know how much you’ll need?

Honestly, maybe you don’t really need math if you can get other people to do all the thinking for you. But most people don’t have that luxury. I wouldn’t want it. I am planning on going into a STEM career, though, so I am totally biased in favour of math.

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther