homeGeek CultureWebstoreeCards!Forums!Joy of Tech!AY2K!webcam

The Geek Culture Forums


Post New Topic  New Poll  Post A Reply
my profile | directory login | | search | faq | forum home
  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» The Geek Culture Forums   » News, Reviews, Views!   » Our stupid lives   » Algebra!

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Algebra!
Colonel Panic
BlabberMouth, the Next Generation
Member # 1200

Icon 1 posted October 23, 2007 21:07      Profile for Colonel Panic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Boy, this is difficult to admit.

More than 35 years after my first college algebra class, and 27 years after college graduation, I'm back taking algebra again.

I got a "B" in it the first time.

Imagine admitting that in a geek forum!

Freakin' GPA killer, anyway.

I had some obligations to attend to, which explains some of the gap between enrolling in college and graduation, but I did graduate after a while and even managed to get some greek letters added to the diploma.

Unfortunately along the way I lost some direction on the path to my true geek and simply quit mathematics. Outside of economics, finance, and marketing statistics, mathematics fell by the wayside.

A lesson to young geeks is that even that education never prepared me for my life's work. I blame that boomerang turn on one of Western Glacier Melt's more infamous/famous alums' oddball affection for my peculiar sense of humor. (Google and you shall find curious ones).

Anyway, I've come to the age where I can afford to indulge my inner geek.

Three exams into the class I have a 98% going. Woo-hoo!

I study very hard and get the theory, but keeping track of minus signs is killing me. I'm not a big fan, either, of numbers that are not perfect squares, nor am I really keen on fractions with denominators too far above 121.

Most of the reason for the arithmetic stigma goes back to the days when a simple calculator cost a month's wages and real geeks went without. I think only Mo-Man understands that.

That is not the worst of it, either. Some of the young co-eds believe "carbon dating" is being seen after class with a fossil like me!

Ha-ha-ha!

My goal is an "A" in calculus. That, and the young, smart-mouth sophomore who sits two rows over.

Colonel "dirty-old-polynomial-factoring-man" Panic

--------------------
Free! Free at last!

Posts: 1809 | From: Glacier Melt, USA | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
hal9000
Geek
Member # 9896

Icon 11 posted October 23, 2007 21:28      Profile for hal9000   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hey I remember the frist TI hand held digital Caculator. the batties lasted a whole 3 hours.

oh did i mention my firt program on punch cards ran, and its sum was what i had perdicted on the slide rule.

ooh and i had to learn how to us an abacuss in math class.
and typing class was on a manual typewriter.

those were the days.

--------------------
P.E.B.K.A.C. if you can fix this, you can fix anything.

Posts: 183 | From: VA under a bridge living in a van. | Registered: Jul 2007  |  IP: Logged
nerdwithnofriends
Uber Geek
Member # 3773

Icon 1 posted October 23, 2007 23:08      Profile for nerdwithnofriends     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Calculus is easy. Algebra is, like you said, not conceptually difficult. It's just the rote mechanics of mathematics.

The only thing you'll ever mess up in calculus is your algebra. The concepts are intuitive, and take no effort to learn.

--------------------
"The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain or in the petals of a flower." - Robert M. Pirsig

Posts: 948 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
TheMoMan
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
Member # 1659

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted October 24, 2007 03:02      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Colonel Panic ___________________________ If you need I still have a couple of slip sticks around. My Fave a P&E Dual base 10 & e about a foot long and 2&1/2 inches wide. There must be at least ten scale per side on that sucker.

Hint learn the theory not the howto. then you will always be able to get to the solution, maybe not the fastest way but get there. The only idenity proof in trig that means any thing is Tan=Sin/Cosine all the rest are derived.

--------------------
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5836 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
quantumfluff
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
Member # 450

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted October 24, 2007 08:01      Profile for quantumfluff     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I too have some slide rules around from high school. We were allowed calculators by junior year, but we would still bring the stick into a chemistry test in case the calculator failed (as they often did)
Posts: 2901 | From: 5 to 15 meters above sea level | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged
Xanthine

Solid Nitrozanium SuperFan!
Member # 736

Member Rated:
5
Icon 14 posted October 24, 2007 09:57      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Algebra is the backbone of math, from counting change to the freaky-ass shit most people let their computers handle while they drink coffee. I had a few students when I was a biochem TA claim that calculus made them forget how to do algebra and that's why they no longer understood how to solve for an unknown (*headdesk*). I found a polite way to tell these students that this was the most pathetic thing I'd ever heard of.

quote:
Originally posted by nerdwithnofriends:
The only thing you'll ever mess up in calculus is your algebra. The concepts are intuitive, and take no effort to learn.

Really? I didn't find that to be the case for me. I had to bust ass to keep up, and I was in the calc sequence for the slow. Endless drilling was how I got through it. I even had to do extra problems, beyond the class homework, just to nail things down.

Then again, I was also fighting off a math-phobia at the time. After three semesters, I more or less got over it. Then I took p-chem and discovered there are far, far worse things out there than mathematics. After that, my old fear was officially dead and buried.

I still, however, vomit in my mouth a little bit when I pick up that text book (but, alas, every now and then I still need it).

--------------------
And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

Posts: 7670 | From: the lab | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
spungo
BlabberMouth, a Blabber Odyssey
Member # 1089

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted October 24, 2007 11:27      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
...always remember: Algebra is like pleasuring oneself -- online resources may help, but you still have to do it by hand.

--------------------
Shameless plug. (Please forgive me.)

Posts: 6529 | From: Noba Scoba | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
nerdwithnofriends
Uber Geek
Member # 3773

Icon 1 posted October 24, 2007 11:30      Profile for nerdwithnofriends     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:

quote:
Originally posted by nerdwithnofriends:
The only thing you'll ever mess up in calculus is your algebra. The concepts are intuitive, and take no effort to learn.

Really? I didn't find that to be the case for me. I had to bust ass to keep up, and I was in the calc sequence for the slow. Endless drilling was how I got through it. I even had to do extra problems, beyond the class homework, just to nail things down.

Then again, I was also fighting off a math-phobia at the time. After three semesters, I more or less got over it. Then I took p-chem and discovered there are far, far worse things out there than mathematics. After that, my old fear was officially dead and buried.

I still, however, vomit in my mouth a little bit when I pick up that text book (but, alas, every now and then I still need it). [/QB]

Just to clarify, I'm not saying that memorizing a table of integrals is easy; but the general concept of bumping something up or down a dimension (if you are working with units) and finding how much a rate produces over time just seems to jive with me.

Now, right now I'm taking Differential Equations. It's actually hard, because it's just memorizing different techniques for solving problems- and I'm not very good with rote memorization.

--------------------
"The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain or in the petals of a flower." - Robert M. Pirsig

Posts: 948 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
Ugh, MightyClub
BlabberMouth, the Next Generation
Member # 3112

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted October 24, 2007 12:02      Profile for Ugh, MightyClub     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I thought I loved DiffEq, but alas, DiffEq did not love me. I managed 7 points out of 150 on the first midterm. The pain an disappointment was so much that I lost my love of all mathematics for many years.

--------------------
Ugh!

Posts: 1739 | From: Ithaca, NY | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Colonel Panic
BlabberMouth, the Next Generation
Member # 1200

Icon 1 posted October 24, 2007 16:30      Profile for Colonel Panic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by nerdwithnofriends:

... the general concept of bumping something up or down a dimension (if you are working with units) and finding how much a rate produces over time just seems to jive with me.

Nerd,

[Applause] [Applause] [Applause] [Applause]

I think that's exactly what Spungo was writing about in his post.

Boy, I can't wait to tell the smart-mouthed sophomore girl about this!

Colonel Panic

--------------------
Free! Free at last!

Posts: 1809 | From: Glacier Melt, USA | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged


All times are Eastern Time  
Post New Topic  New Poll  Post A Reply Close Topic    Move Topic    Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:

Contact Us | Geek Culture Home Page

2015 Geek Culture

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.4.0



homeGeek CultureWebstoreeCards!Forums!Joy of Tech!AY2K!webcam