“I disagree that algebra doesn’t do anything for our lives.”
Evelyn Lamb, math PhD and Scientific American writer, on the WNYC radio program the Takeaway. She’s responding to political science professor Andrew Hacker. In The New York Times, he suggests that, although all students should attain what he calls quantitative literacy, most do not need the rigors of an algebra class.
But “it’s in all sorts of fields, not just STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math). But, also, real estate agents use algebra and geometry every day. Anyone in finance. Budgeting in your own home. Understanding loan terms and mortgages. All of these are applications of algebra.”
Lamb also noted that another mathematical discipline comes in handy when she sews: “There is topology—the number of holes in your garment matters, or else you can’t put on your pants.”
[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]
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