giovedì 1 settembre 2016

Il mito della matematica

  • Math professor David Edwards
  • The math myth is the myth that the future of the American economy is dependent upon the masses having higher mathematics skills.
  • Vivek Wadhwa has described how there's no shortage of scientists and engineers. 
  • Math Myth Conjecture: If one restricts one's attention to the hardest cases, namely, graduates of top engineering schools such as MIT,  RPI,  Cal. Tech., Georgia Tech., etc., then the percent of such individuals holding engineering as opposed to management, financial or other positions, and using more than Excel and eighth grade level mathematics (arithmetic, a little bit of algebra, a little bit of statistics, and a little bit of programming) is less than 25% and possibly less than 10%
  • Acceptance of the conjecture should have revolutionary educational implications . In particular, it undermines the legitimacy of requiring highermathematics of all students. Such mathematics is actually needed by only a minute fraction of the workforce.
  • Argument against is the one I always hear around the mathematics department: mathematics helps you to think clearly. I have a very low opinion of this self-serving nonsense. In sports there is the concept of the specificity of skillsif you want to improve your racquetball game, don't practice squash! I believe the same holds true for intellectual skills...