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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:

What would Jason Lezak do?

Monday, August 11, 2008 - 3:47pm

(From L) US swimmers Garrett Weber-Gale, Jason Lezak, Michael Phelps and Cullen Jones celebrate after winning the men's 4X100m freestyle relay swimming final at the National Aquatics Center in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games on August 11, 2008. The United States stunned France in an epic men's 4x100m freestyle relay final Monday to keep Michael Phelps's dream of eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics alive. AFP PHOTO / DDP / MICHAEL KAPPELER (Photo credit should read MICHAEL KAPPELER/AFP/Getty Images)

I've been reading Steven Krantz's book How to Teach Mathematics lately, looking for some words of wisdom. One item has resurfaced during these Olympics.

All learning of significant knowledge requires considerable effort on the part of the learner. This fact has not changed since Euclid told Ptolemy (over 2000 years ago) that "There is no royal road to geometry."...

Go to any athletic facility and you will see young people spending hours perfecting their free throw or their skate board technique or their butterfly stroke. They don't hire tutors to achieve these goals...An eighteen-year-old understands clearly when an athletic coach says, "No pain, no gain." However, the same concept makes little sense to him in the context of mathematics or another deep academic subject.