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  1. #1

    Default Math phobia, why?

    Are you afraid of crunching numbers, or symbols?

    Are you intimidated when you see matrices or differential or integrals?

    Are you intimidated by any sort of math? If so, why?

    It seems like a lot of rather intelligent people are intimidated by mathematics. Some say they hate it, or it's boring, or that they are too lazy to understand it. But why?

    What is weird is that people who claim to believe statistics are important often have little understanding of why the stats are meaningful in the way they are, and therefore miss apply them (because the hand-book approach is very lacking). The basic math behind statistic is simple, so why not take the time to learn it?

    What is more strange still, is that people who claim to "love math" are often intimidated by the actual use of it. What's up with that? Why is that?

    Is it a fear of making mistakes? Because we all make plenty of spelling a nd grammatical errors when writing, but that doesn't stop us from writing.

    I would just like to know. Why the math phobia?

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

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  3. #3
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    I currently dislike my math class (hurrah Pre-Calculus) because it's being complicated and annoying. It usually upsets me when i can't figure it out and have to redo the problem several times with different tactics. Like in math we're currently doing identities, sin(x), tan(x), cos(x), etc. Certain things equal certain things of certain things, it's like... eek!

    Math is everywhere... it's evil... lol.
    ? YoursTruly
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  4. #4

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    ^Why do you say this?

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  5. #5
    Was E.laur Laurie's Avatar
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    I love math but Ive forgotten most of the higher math I learned in college. Helping my kids with their homework is a blast and a half though

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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    ^Why do you say this?
    ???

    Math for me usually came easy before Pre-Calc came along. I suppose it's because of real and imagined and this=that. I try to understand it in a "how is this useful?" way rather than... "This makes sense." My dad always tells me not to understand it, and just do it... i'm trying, i have a B in the class... but i hate how i don't find use for the math problems outside of class.

    Hope that makes sense...
    ? YoursTruly
    INFP


    If all the world's a stage, I want to operate the trap door.
    -- Paul Beatty

  7. #7
    a scream in a vortex nanook's Avatar
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    for me, it's like asking why i don't blow myself. it hurts my back.

    the negative attitude is just a response to a negative society that does not allow people to have their personal selection of lines of intelligence and leave it at that. i understand, that they tried to teach me math, but why did they have to give me grades? it's the same with sports....

    math is as evil as the local school system.

    i am relatively confident that, if i went to school today (15 years later) i could be as good at math as those who liked it back then. because by now, my left hand is about as good, as their right hand used to be. (and my right hand is god :p )

    but today, i am even more driven and not that interested in games without purpose (in the context of my live). so i won't go to school again. i would rather learn another language. or learn memory tricks.

  8. #8
    a scream in a vortex nanook's Avatar
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    i have heard that some intuitives or autists or savants understand math in a way that is very different from the pseudo visual way that is taught in school, where you have numbers on papers and deal with them according to their position on the paper. i am curious and have a little tiny bit of hope that i might stumble on such an intuitive approach some day. i would like to play with the Chinese machines some day. i have tried to play around with visualizations of numbers. sort of find my personal number synesthesia. just to see, if my associations bring up numbers, that might relate to the previous ones. i have tried to see, if i can find a connection. an operator. no success so far. i might try again in a few months. i just have a tight schedule. *g* i need to think about my own stuff, you know.

    i know (do I?) that mental arithmetic is a different topic from "math" .... i don't really even know what the latter is. i guess the most complicated thing that i understand is the "rule of three". so i can do it somewhat intuitively.
    i might remember how to divide a big number, but that's no real understanding, just paper/number pushing work.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by YoursTruly View Post
    ???

    Math for me usually came easy before Pre-Calc came along. I suppose it's because of real and imagined and this=that. I try to understand it in a "how is this useful?" way rather than... "This makes sense." My dad always tells me not to understand it, and just do it... i'm trying, i have a B in the class... but i hate how i don't find use for the math problems outside of class.

    Hope that makes sense...
    Frankly, I think your dad gave you horrible advice about math.

    You should be thinking about how it is useful. The answers you come up with are limited only by your imagination.

    Mathematics has proven to be the most fruitful human endeavor in all of history. It is absolutely the most useful field of study. Our advances in all the sciences would not have been possible without it. The latests advances in engineering would most definitely be impossible without differential equations alone.

    Quote Originally Posted by nanook View Post
    math is as evil as the local school system.
    Then so is any subject you disliked as a kid. Don't blame math itself.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  10. #10
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    Are you afraid of crunching numbers, or symbols?

    Are you intimidated when you see matrices or differential or integrals?

    Are you intimidated by any sort of math? If so, why?

    It seems like a lot of rather intelligent people are intimidated by mathematics. Some say they hate it, or it's boring, or that they are too lazy to understand it. But why?

    What is weird is that people who claim to believe statistics are important often have little understanding of why the stats are meaningful in the way they are, and therefore miss apply them (because the hand-book approach is very lacking). The basic math behind statistic is simple, so why not take the time to learn it?

    What is more strange still, is that people who claim to "love math" are often intimidated by the actual use of it. What's up with that? Why is that?

    Is it a fear of making mistakes? Because we all make plenty of spelling a nd grammatical errors when writing, but that doesn't stop us from writing.

    I would just like to know. Why the math phobia?
    I'm not sure if you could consider me an intelligent person, but I'm somewhat afraid of math. I think it's mostly because of my math teacher early on. She gave me a problem that was accidentally written 3-6 or something, and I answered 0-3. She insisted that there were no numbers less than zero or something, and that convinced me for a long time that math didn't make any sense.

    Later on, in some (but not all) Algebra classes, I was frustrated because I was expected to "show my work," and find the answer in a particular way, when I saw several ways I could find the answer, and often tended to find the answer in a way that wasn't easy to show in a step-by-step manner. This frustrated me because I couldn't understand why this particular method and showing my work was so important.

    So basically... I don't like math because the people who teach it always ask me to do it in ways that don't make any sense to me. They don't explain why I'm doing anything, they just say that this is how you do it. And I'm not very good at understanding the how without the why. I tend to botch it badly or follow it blindly, never seeing its connection to anything else when it's presented that way.

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