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"nice" numbers in math

darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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9/30/2012 11:25:35 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Here's one thing that really annoys me about how math is taught in high school. Whenever you solve a problem, there's an easy way to know whether you got the answer right or not. Its because it usually comes out to a nice whole number. Or at the very least a rational number.

However, this doesn't occur at all in the real world at all. Most solutions to a problem aren't a whole number or rational number.

Its just a really bad method of teaching because it doesn't prepare you for real world solutions to problems.
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baggins
Posts: 855
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10/2/2012 1:43:34 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/30/2012 11:25:35 PM, darkkermit wrote:
Here's one thing that really annoys me about how math is taught in high school. Whenever you solve a problem, there's an easy way to know whether you got the answer right or not. Its because it usually comes out to a nice whole number. Or at the very least a rational number.

However, this doesn't occur at all in the real world at all. Most solutions to a problem aren't a whole number or rational number.

Its just a really bad method of teaching because it doesn't prepare you for real world solutions to problems.

Simple answers allow focus on concepts rather than calculations. That is the reason behind having simple answers.

No doubt what is taught at high school is a very simplified form of real world. Exposing high school students to all complexities is not desirable. As it is, lots of teenagers find maths to be tough.
The Holy Quran 29:19-20

See they not how Allah originates creation, then repeats it: truly that is easy for Allah.

Say: "Travel through the earth and see how Allah did originate creation; so will Allah produce a later creation: for Allah has power over all things.
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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10/2/2012 2:04:35 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 10/2/2012 1:43:34 PM, baggins wrote:
At 9/30/2012 11:25:35 PM, darkkermit wrote:
Here's one thing that really annoys me about how math is taught in high school. Whenever you solve a problem, there's an easy way to know whether you got the answer right or not. Its because it usually comes out to a nice whole number. Or at the very least a rational number.

However, this doesn't occur at all in the real world at all. Most solutions to a problem aren't a whole number or rational number.

Its just a really bad method of teaching because it doesn't prepare you for real world solutions to problems.

Simple answers allow focus on concepts rather than calculations. That is the reason behind having simple answers.

No doubt what is taught at high school is a very simplified form of real world. Exposing high school students to all complexities is not desirable. As it is, lots of teenagers find maths to be tough.

But the whole point of high school is to prepare people for the real world. If high school is just a very simplified form of the real world, how on earth can one expect them to make it in the real world.
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lewis20
Posts: 5,093
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10/2/2012 2:13:30 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 10/2/2012 2:04:35 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 10/2/2012 1:43:34 PM, baggins wrote:
At 9/30/2012 11:25:35 PM, darkkermit wrote:
Here's one thing that really annoys me about how math is taught in high school. Whenever you solve a problem, there's an easy way to know whether you got the answer right or not. Its because it usually comes out to a nice whole number. Or at the very least a rational number.

However, this doesn't occur at all in the real world at all. Most solutions to a problem aren't a whole number or rational number.

Its just a really bad method of teaching because it doesn't prepare you for real world solutions to problems.

Simple answers allow focus on concepts rather than calculations. That is the reason behind having simple answers.

No doubt what is taught at high school is a very simplified form of real world. Exposing high school students to all complexities is not desirable. As it is, lots of teenagers find maths to be tough.

But the whole point of high school is to prepare people for the real world. If high school is just a very simplified form of the real world, how on earth can one expect them to make it in the real world.

Is it? I think just about anyone who's going into a field that involves mathematics has to get a degree and advanced college math courses never have nice numbers.

Face it, a lot of jobs that only require a high school education don't expect their employees to do a lot of math.
"If you are a racist I will attack you with the north"- Abraham Lincoln

"Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material" - Leviticus 19 19

"War is a racket" - Smedley Butler
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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10/2/2012 2:15:31 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 10/2/2012 2:13:30 PM, lewis20 wrote:
At 10/2/2012 2:04:35 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 10/2/2012 1:43:34 PM, baggins wrote:
At 9/30/2012 11:25:35 PM, darkkermit wrote:
Here's one thing that really annoys me about how math is taught in high school. Whenever you solve a problem, there's an easy way to know whether you got the answer right or not. Its because it usually comes out to a nice whole number. Or at the very least a rational number.

However, this doesn't occur at all in the real world at all. Most solutions to a problem aren't a whole number or rational number.

Its just a really bad method of teaching because it doesn't prepare you for real world solutions to problems.

Simple answers allow focus on concepts rather than calculations. That is the reason behind having simple answers.

No doubt what is taught at high school is a very simplified form of real world. Exposing high school students to all complexities is not desirable. As it is, lots of teenagers find maths to be tough.

But the whole point of high school is to prepare people for the real world. If high school is just a very simplified form of the real world, how on earth can one expect them to make it in the real world.

Is it? I think just about anyone who's going into a field that involves mathematics has to get a degree and advanced college math courses never have nice numbers.

Face it, a lot of jobs that only require a high school education don't expect their employees to do a lot of math.

Some still require basic math though. Last job I worked at had people with only a high school diploma doing algebra.
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darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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10/2/2012 2:18:20 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 10/2/2012 2:13:30 PM, lewis20 wrote:
At 10/2/2012 2:04:35 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 10/2/2012 1:43:34 PM, baggins wrote:
At 9/30/2012 11:25:35 PM, darkkermit wrote:
Here's one thing that really annoys me about how math is taught in high school. Whenever you solve a problem, there's an easy way to know whether you got the answer right or not. Its because it usually comes out to a nice whole number. Or at the very least a rational number.

However, this doesn't occur at all in the real world at all. Most solutions to a problem aren't a whole number or rational number.

Its just a really bad method of teaching because it doesn't prepare you for real world solutions to problems.

Simple answers allow focus on concepts rather than calculations. That is the reason behind having simple answers.

No doubt what is taught at high school is a very simplified form of real world. Exposing high school students to all complexities is not desirable. As it is, lots of teenagers find maths to be tough.

But the whole point of high school is to prepare people for the real world. If high school is just a very simplified form of the real world, how on earth can one expect them to make it in the real world.

Is it? I think just about anyone who's going into a field that involves mathematics has to get a degree and advanced college math courses never have nice numbers.

Face it, a lot of jobs that only require a high school education don't expect their employees to do a lot of math.

Also, if most people aren't expected to do math in the first place why the hell do they teach it? Seems like a waste of resources.
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lewis20
Posts: 5,093
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10/2/2012 2:27:23 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 10/2/2012 2:18:20 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 10/2/2012 2:13:30 PM, lewis20 wrote:
At 10/2/2012 2:04:35 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 10/2/2012 1:43:34 PM, baggins wrote:
At 9/30/2012 11:25:35 PM, darkkermit wrote:
Here's one thing that really annoys me about how math is taught in high school. Whenever you solve a problem, there's an easy way to know whether you got the answer right or not. Its because it usually comes out to a nice whole number. Or at the very least a rational number.

However, this doesn't occur at all in the real world at all. Most solutions to a problem aren't a whole number or rational number.

Its just a really bad method of teaching because it doesn't prepare you for real world solutions to problems.

Simple answers allow focus on concepts rather than calculations. That is the reason behind having simple answers.

No doubt what is taught at high school is a very simplified form of real world. Exposing high school students to all complexities is not desirable. As it is, lots of teenagers find maths to be tough.

But the whole point of high school is to prepare people for the real world. If high school is just a very simplified form of the real world, how on earth can one expect them to make it in the real world.

Is it? I think just about anyone who's going into a field that involves mathematics has to get a degree and advanced college math courses never have nice numbers.

Face it, a lot of jobs that only require a high school education don't expect their employees to do a lot of math.

Also, if most people aren't expected to do math in the first place why the hell do they teach it? Seems like a waste of resources.

Now that I agree with, some kids will learn up to calc 3 while in high school, others won't even make it to pre-calc.
"If you are a racist I will attack you with the north"- Abraham Lincoln

"Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material" - Leviticus 19 19

"War is a racket" - Smedley Butler
AlwaysMoreThanYou
Posts: 2,900
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10/2/2012 2:28:23 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 9/30/2012 11:25:35 PM, darkkermit wrote:
Here's one thing that really annoys me about how math is taught in high school. Whenever you solve a problem, there's an easy way to know whether you got the answer right or not. Its because it usually comes out to a nice whole number. Or at the very least a rational number.

However, this doesn't occur at all in the real world at all. Most solutions to a problem aren't a whole number or rational number.

Its just a really bad method of teaching because it doesn't prepare you for real world solutions to problems.

I don't know what high school you went to, but neither of the high schools I attended made a habit of having answers come out to be either whole or rational.

We usually had to round irrational numbers to a specified number of places.

What you're describing sounds more like elementary school.
'When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.' - John 16:13
Logic_on_rails
Posts: 2,445
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10/2/2012 3:52:57 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Teaching with 'nice' numbers may have a certain benefit in picking up the basic idea behind something. Following that, after a few easier practice questions, numbers most certainly ought to start getting a bit irritating, and the solutions then begin to reinforce other processes taught (regarding surds and the like in particular, easy stuff, but practice...) .

I don't know how it is in the US, but actually look at your textbook's difficulty. There are 3 textbooks for my course at my school. There's one textbook that's ... painfully easy. The one we use can sometimes push us quite a bit though - one of my teachers spent 20 minutes on a probability question once that we were meant to do! Basically, textbooks differ greatly in the difficulty of their questions.
"Tis not in mortals to command success
But we"ll do more, Sempronius, we"ll deserve it
baggins
Posts: 855
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10/2/2012 4:46:24 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 10/2/2012 2:15:31 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 10/2/2012 2:13:30 PM, lewis20 wrote:
At 10/2/2012 2:04:35 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 10/2/2012 1:43:34 PM, baggins wrote:
At 9/30/2012 11:25:35 PM, darkkermit wrote:
Here's one thing that really annoys me about how math is taught in high school. Whenever you solve a problem, there's an easy way to know whether you got the answer right or not. Its because it usually comes out to a nice whole number. Or at the very least a rational number.

However, this doesn't occur at all in the real world at all. Most solutions to a problem aren't a whole number or rational number.

Its just a really bad method of teaching because it doesn't prepare you for real world solutions to problems.

Simple answers allow focus on concepts rather than calculations. That is the reason behind having simple answers.

No doubt what is taught at high school is a very simplified form of real world. Exposing high school students to all complexities is not desirable. As it is, lots of teenagers find maths to be tough.

But the whole point of high school is to prepare people for the real world. If high school is just a very simplified form of the real world, how on earth can one expect them to make it in the real world.

Is it? I think just about anyone who's going into a field that involves mathematics has to get a degree and advanced college math courses never have nice numbers.

Face it, a lot of jobs that only require a high school education don't expect their employees to do a lot of math.

Some still require basic math though. Last job I worked at had people with only a high school diploma doing algebra.

Then they need to learn to it better on the job. This happens with all jobs at all levels. The only focus of high school education cannot be to prepare students for a particular type of entry level job immediately after high school.
The Holy Quran 29:19-20

See they not how Allah originates creation, then repeats it: truly that is easy for Allah.

Say: "Travel through the earth and see how Allah did originate creation; so will Allah produce a later creation: for Allah has power over all things.
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Posts: 18,324
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10/4/2012 10:25:29 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I disagree with having "nice numbers" at all at least past middle school. The primary motivation I see for having nice numbers in elementary/middle school is so that students can get a sense of fulfillment that they reached the right answer. If a number "feels" right, it probably is right and it serves as a method to check answers.