Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Algebra DOES have a use

Last night, my oldest took me and his little brother out to dinner, it was tasty food and great conversation. When the little one mentioned algebra, linear equations, y-intercept, slope, (don't remember why), my oldest exclaimed, "Oh yeah, you need that. I use all of that all the time in programming."
I remember working at the newspaper, taking ads from businesses seeking new employees. One woman wanted to be sure to emphasize that all applicants MUST have a thorough knowledge of higher math, the job was for a surveying company. She was disgusted by so many people applying who had no clue, she had to put them through remedial classes just to get them to starting level.

Wow. Just now I'm trying to imagine how an equation could be NON-linear, the way numbers work, it seems unlikely. My brain has frozen I guess, time to look in D's pre-algebra book and refresh my memory!