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BYU students answer question "When will I use math?"

Tuesday, September 15, 2009 - 3:08pm

Via MAA News, a new website put out by math undergrads at BYU shows just what math is good for. Pretty, cool, and pretty cool.

Tyler Jarvis, head of the department, blogs:

Luckily math is not just about memorizing formulas and rules. It is about solving new problems and thinking about the world in deep ways. It is about seeing what different things have in common and how to use what you learned on one problem to solve something that looks completely different.

Hear, hear. Not only is math beautiful, it pays. Mathematicians have high quality of life and make pretty good money (slightly less in academia). To any student who ponders a math major, I say do it. There's hardly anything you can't do with it. You can even be a hall-of-fame basketball player!

My Opinion

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 02:43
Parking (not verified)

Jordan was a BB major too, I hope he doesn't use Maths in BB.n if he does he is genius..:P

It's nice to have you back,

Thu, 09/17/2009 - 12:11
Bret Benesh (not verified)

It's nice to have you back, Matt. There was quite a bit of radio silence for a while there.

So I have a big problem with that website, but only with the picture that you posted. Michael Jordan was NOT a math major. He was a geography major. I think that he thought about being a math major for while when he was a freshman, but he switched out. I can't go around saying that I was a chemical engineering major, can I? That's what I thought when I was a freshman, but then I changed to math.

This is slightly more than me just being an up-tight basketball geek. I think that it is important to be honest with people, especially if you are in the process of persuading them to do something (like be a mathematician). Spouting half-truths is a good way to lose trust and interest, and, frankly, we don't NEED Michael Jordan to be a math major.

One last comment, this time only because I am an up-tight basketball geek: Michael Jordan was NOT cut from his high school basketball team. There was a rule that said only upperclassmen could be on varsity, and so he didn't play on varsity until he was old enough. This is different from "being cut."