Notices
Results 1 to 40 of 40
Like Tree40Likes
  • 1 Post By sir ir r aj
  • 1 Post By Muto-kun
  • 1 Post By adelady
  • 1 Post By Pong
  • 1 Post By Harold14370
  • 3 Post By Markus Hanke
  • 2 Post By TridentBlue
  • 1 Post By Implicate Order
  • 3 Post By John Galt
  • 2 Post By wegs
  • 1 Post By PhDemon
  • 2 Post By PhDemon
  • 3 Post By Markus Hanke
  • 1 Post By Pong
  • 1 Post By Markus Hanke
  • 1 Post By Implicate Order
  • 2 Post By TridentBlue
  • 1 Post By Implicate Order
  • 3 Post By adelady
  • 1 Post By TridentBlue
  • 1 Post By adelady
  • 1 Post By pyoko
  • 1 Post By Implicate Order
  • 1 Post By adelady
  • 1 Post By Implicate Order
  • 2 Post By adelady
  • 1 Post By Beer w/Straw

Thread: How do you think in science?

  1. #1 How do you think in science? 
    precious sir ir r aj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    668
    How do you think in science?


    It is interesting I have heard people thinking in mathematics, artistic way (example is our member sculptor) etc.


    When I encounter a scientific concept/info/fact/theory I analyse and think on it in following order.


    My scientific thought process

    - First I understand it fully (Not in a perfect way, just how much my capacity is). Both matter and manner associated with concept / fact etc. are understood by me. (Literature from internet and some text books etc. included)

    - When I grasp essence of it than I interpret it in my own way by finding its possibilities, opposites and intermediates.

    - Then I make crosses with other sciences , like the concept of Physics in biology, or concept of mathematics on the universe.

    I am addicted to this way of thinking. If I don't grasp an "idea" (formed after this thought process) I share here and ask the opinion of respected and senior members.

    I want to know if it is healthy way to think in science?


    (Share, how you people think in science)


    TridentBlue likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    somewhere in europe
    Posts
    14
    for me its conceptual....basing off of concepts about physics or actually anything that seems to be consistent


    sir ir r aj likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    city of wine and roses
    Posts
    6,222
    I never try to interpret anything from my own thinking/ knowledge/ logic. I know that it's simply not possible for me to know enough about all the possibilities and data and standard equations and concepts for any and every item that might or might not look interesting.

    What I do is make a quick judgement. Is this consistent with or different from what I previously thought about the topic? Is my interest in the topic strong enough to bother with following up all the complicated, possibly tedious, details? There are a few, very few, areas where I will track down everything I can to improve my understanding. Most others I might bookmark something that looks worth a follow up if more stuff along the same lines comes up later. For the rest, I just leave it to those with more knowledge, more interest or more commitment.
    sir ir r aj likes this.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    5,328
    First question I ask, "Is this what I would like to believe?"

    If yes then next question, "Is this what people would like to believe?"

    If both yes then I'm very skeptical, and motivated: I try to prove it wrong, by reason and/or research. I grope for alternate explanations. Still every "feel good" finding I've been forced to accept retains a little suspicion flag.

    This kind of thinking is somewhat contrary to occam's razor.
    sir ir r aj likes this.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    8,795
    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post
    I want to know if it is healthy way to think in science?
    I suppose it depends on what your objective is. Maybe you are just doing it for amusement, in which case your approach is good enough, I suppose. But you just flit and flutter around the surface of any topics. If you really want to understand things in any depth you will need to take a more rigorous approach, such as by taking classes in school.
    sir ir r aj likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Moderator Moderator Markus Hanke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    7,302
    If possible I would try and understand where it fits within an overall context, and I would try to understand the general principle involved. Only then would I go and learn the finer details. Also, I think it is essential to consult and compare several sources so as to look at the new concept from several different points of view.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Forum Junior TridentBlue's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    207
    This is actually a great question, I'm really enjoying reading all the responses.

    For me it has to start with a question, then I try to define the domain of what the answer might be. Then I try to rule out - or rule in - larger and larger sections of that domain, to get it down to one answer.

    The second thing, which Mr. Hanke mentioned in the post above, is different points of view, different lenses. If the known parts of what I'm studying, are for lack of a better word - isomorphic - to so some part of a different but wholy known thing, then I look to the known thing for inspiration of what the missing pieces of knowledge in the unknown thing might be. This is a way more intuitive, hard to explain process. Its like you're looking for an accurate metaphor of the thing you're studying, in something else, hoping the metaphor will extend to give you more information.
    sculptor and sir ir r aj like this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    precious sir ir r aj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    668
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post
    I want to know if it is healthy way to think in science?
    I suppose it depends on what your objective is. Maybe you are just doing it for amusement, in which case your approach is good enough, I suppose. But you just flit and flutter around the surface of any topics. If you really want to understand things in any depth you will need to take a more rigorous approach, such as by taking classes in school.
    Thank you. I am interested in astronomy and cosmology. I want to explore the mysteries of universe. Can you suggest any book?

    I am 28 , so I think my age of of schooling is over (I am masters in Social Sciences). (I am employed , with a good pay, as a lecturer in a government college. I teach Economics to 12th grade)

    It is my interest in 'natural science' which keeps me alive. I have less interest in any social science.

    (If you ask me why did I do my Masters in social sciences if I liked natural sciences, then I will say "It is a long story to tell and irrelevant here")
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    Forum Masters Degree Implicate Order's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    27.4679° S, 153.0278° E
    Posts
    610
    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post
    Thank you. I am interested in astronomy and cosmology. I want to explore the mysteries of universe. Can you suggest any book?
    Martin Rees, a cosmologist and astrophysicist who also holds the position of Britain's Asronomer Royal has written a number of good reads on cosmology that is pitched towards a lay enthusiast. Whether you agree of disagree with the things he says, he offers a good account of the standard comsological model.

    1. Just Six numbers - 6 constants that shape the universe - This is the one I most enjoyed. Gives a very good *mainstream* background
    2. Before the Beginning - Ok but he is a multiverser (not that there's anything wrong with them *looks around nervously*)
    3. Our Cosmic Habitat - Another mutiverse soaked book but an enjoyable read.

    In regards to books on Astronomy I am not much help here.

    :-))
    Last edited by Implicate Order; January 10th, 2014 at 08:19 AM. Reason: Oooops Martin Rees NOT Martin Reece
    sir ir r aj likes this.
    Quidquid latine dictum, altum videtur
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,168
    How do I think about science?

    Systematically

    Skeptically

    Searchingly
    sculptor, sir ir r aj and Stargate like this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    ...matter and pixie dust wegs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    2,006
    I find that it's more a matter of processing the information, and making it understandable for myself (in lay terms)...than it is how do I 'think' in science.
    sir ir r aj and Stargate like this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  13. #12  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    1,839
    Quote Originally Posted by wegs View Post
    I find that it's more a matter of processing the information, and making it understandable for myself (in lay terms)...than it is how do I 'think' in science.
    I also try to grasp the concept and turn the information around until I it makes sense to me in lay mans terms. I then look for a graspable concept as evidence in my body and follow the trail by asking questions, reading, experimenting. The reason I look for evidence in my body is that I have no other way of knowing if I am right.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  14. #13  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK
    Posts
    5,088
    I then look for a graspable concept as evidence in my body...
    And this is why you spout unscientific guff all over the forum
    Reply With Quote  
     

  15. #14  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    1,839
    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    I then look for a graspable concept as evidence in my body...
    And this is why you spout unscientific guff all over the forum
    I know you are an outrageous bully, but now you are becoming an outrageous idiot, I am talking about me, not you, this is what I do. I am hoping English is your language, if it is not I will try to explain it specially for you, although English is not my preferred language.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  16. #15  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK
    Posts
    5,088
    Pointing out nonsense is not bullying.

    "I then look for a graspable concept as evidence in my body... " is not science or scientific thinking, if this is what you do your "evidence" and conclusions will be unscientific guff as I said in my post. Looking at any post you have made on a matter of science on this forum confirms your conclusions and opinions are unscientific guff (in fact you have been suspended before for posting unscientific guff) so you really have no leg to stand on.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  17. #16  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    1,839
    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    Pointing out nonsense is not bullying.

    "I then look for a graspable concept as evidence in my body... " is not science or scientific thinking, if this is what you do your "evidence" and conclusions will be unscientific guff as I said in my post. Looking at any post you have made on a matter of science on this forum confirms your conclusions and opinions are unscientific guff (in fact you have been suspended before for posting unscientific guff) so you really have no leg to stand on.
    I have my own legs to stand on, they are strong and able be in your space, Ha ha. I do not know about you but in my world I do what works for me. As it seems I live in your world and you cannot understand that it is your stupidity and ignorance that has not comprehended that. Science does not mean a thing to me if I cannot understand it my way, I do not care how complicated it will, and can get. If science is not understood by the masses it will be used as a weapon of mass destruction.

    You are always chasing someone as if you are hiding behind some secret, maybe you have a gap in your knowledge base that no one has found out yet. You could chose to not address me, but you cannot resist, why not?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  18. #17  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK
    Posts
    5,088
    Just more nonsense. Do you even try to make sense?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  19. #18  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    1,839
    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    Just more nonsense. Do you even try to make sense?
    Why don't you try to answer my questions, I am beginning to sense you cannot answer them.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  20. #19  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK
    Posts
    5,088
    The only question you asked in your nonsense is:

    You could chose to not address me, but you cannot resist, why not?
    My answer, because this is a educational forum for matters of science, not your unsupported, illogical, unscientific rubbish. Leaving rubbish unchallenged to pollute the forum is a disservice to casual readers who might want to learn something. Do you not think it impolite to reply to a question about scientific thinking with illogical nonsense that is the complete opposite?

    Now this argument is off topic so I'll leave it there, after the last few posts I think it's clear to any casual reader just how scientific your nonsense is.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  21. #20  
    precious sir ir r aj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    668
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    How do I think about science?

    Systematically

    how? It is interesting to know .

    Skeptically
    how exactly?

    Searchingly
    how?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  22. #21  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    1,839
    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    The only question you asked in your nonsense is:

    You could chose to not address me, but you cannot resist, why not?
    My answer, because this is a educational forum for matters of science, not your unsupported, illogical, unscientific rubbish. Leaving rubbish unchallenged to pollute the forum is a disservice to casual readers who might want to learn something. Do you not think it impolite to reply to a question about scientific thinking with illogical nonsense that is the complete opposite?

    Now this argument is off topic so I'll leave it there, after the last few posts I think it's clear to any casual reader just how scientific your nonsense is.
    OK I am sure the readers are realizing what a bully you are. You do not want to discuss, you want to fulfill your daily quantum of selfish, bulling, behavior, so you can feel good about yourself. OK Mr. Demon, I will leave it there too, have a good day.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  23. #22  
    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK
    Posts
    5,088
    ...
    Last edited by PhDemon; January 10th, 2014 at 11:49 AM. Reason: added to sig
    Reply With Quote  
     

  24. #23  
    precious sir ir r aj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    668
    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    If possible I would try and understand where it fits within an overall context, and I would try to understand the general principle involved. Only then would I go and learn the finer details. Also, I think it is essential to consult and compare several sources so as to look at the new concept from several different points of view.
    Thank you sir, for the reply
    I know that you only reply to serious questions and always try to be concise.
    How I understood your this reply:
    -You get an idea, try to fit it in a broader category like life, universe, nature etc.

    -then find the scientific rules governing that idea.
    (what rules govern life are different from rules governing non-life. sometime same rules are applicable on both like gravity. But only lifed matter can breathe and do many other unique things.)
    ( Rules applicable on galaxy are definitely applicable on our solar system then on earth then on atoms than on electrons.........)
    (You move from up to down while keep breaking idea to make it more relevant. Am I wrong?)

    -Then you find literature associated with that idea on internet or in books or in your notes. In which different view points of people are associated. Thats fine tuning.

    -Then you make conclusion.

    I dont know if I have analysed properly.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  25. #24  
    Moderator Moderator Markus Hanke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    7,302
    Quote Originally Posted by sir ir r aj View Post
    I dont know if I have analysed properly.
    I think you got the gist of it, yes
    Starting with the BIG PICTURE might sound counterintuitive, but it works for me. If I have something complicated to digest, like a maths textbook, I will first read it in its entirety without bothering to understand the details, to get the overall context. I will then go back and read it again, and this time I will focus on the details and exercises - knowing where those details fit in a bigger context, and how they are connected to other things, makes it much easier for me to learn and master them. It is also important to write things down in your own words, so every time I go through a textbook I will write the essential bits of information in a notebook; this helps me remember, and serves as a quick reference later if I need to go back and find stuff. I am currently doing that with Misner/Thorne/Wheeler "Gravitation" - a 1400 page opus magnum, and not exactly light evening reading either. I also find it helpful to make visual models of things, but one must remember that this is not always possible, and sometimes even undesirable.

    This works for me, but ultimately everyone must find their own way of learning.
    adelady, Ascended and sir ir r aj like this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  26. #25  
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    5,328
    Stargate raised something ...unintentionally... that should moderate all our thoughts in science, even before we decide what should interest us. Looking to ourselves. Because our lenses are imperfect, self-examination is necessary to cancel distortions.

    I think we've all read papers where the sex, nationality, and other alignments of the authors were obvious.
    sir ir r aj likes this.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
    Reply With Quote  
     

  27. #26  
    Moderator Moderator Markus Hanke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Ireland
    Posts
    7,302
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong View Post
    I think we've all read papers where the sex, nationality, and other alignments of the authors were obvious.
    That is ( unfortunately ) true, which is also a reason why I always consult more than one source when coming across a new concept.
    sir ir r aj likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  28. #27  
    Forum Masters Degree Implicate Order's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    27.4679° S, 153.0278° E
    Posts
    610
    How do I think in Science?

    .........*begins levitation*

    It is an evolving thing whereby the pieces of the puzzle (scientific facts and other thinkers perspectives across all disciplines) are grouped, sorted and pieced together to provide a progressively more and more cohesive understanding to me (my knowledge and understanding).

    I force myself to not accept things in my mindset until I can confidently use and apply these facts to the cohesive body of knowledge I hold. It would be like a mathematician who knows when and what forumula to apply in a range of different circumstances versus those mathematicians that know the formulas but are uncertain in which instances to use them.

    You need to be able to use your knowledge base to query beyond what others have told you. That way you can confidently progress with a degree of certainty in your mind that you are on a coherent path. In other words, you need to test yourself periodically by going off line and away from your books and commence conversations with others to test your understanding. Identify any loose holes and then return to the books and google and work out how to fill those gaps....then again....then again. Eventually you will become proud of your knowledge, but *puffs on opiate* "use it wisely for it is a gift grasshopper".

    EDIT Be very aware that it is essential to keep an open mind in collecting your facts. There is nothing worse (and we probably all have experienced this) when you reach a culmination point in your knowledge base and come up against a brick wall. That is a sign that you have to back-track to a branch higher up in the canopy of facts and take another route. With a biased mindset you will find that you do not have many branches available in your tree and it is very lean and the entire tree may be sick, so keep it healthy and do not disregard anything due to emotive reasons eg. like popular appeal. It may be valuable to you at a later date.

    Bottom line is that you need to firstly interrogate and work with your facts in order to understand them. The world of science is so full of facts that unless you take some time and effort to piece these facts together and then apply them to your knowledge base, then it is easy to be fooled by these facts and ultimately find it was all a waste of time.

    You may have noticed but many of the strands of science are converging in on physics. There is a very good reason for that considering we live in the same universe. So it is essential to draw on all the disciplines and do not necessarily be blinded by mathematics, but rather be blinded by what the maths is interpreted to say when applied in this universe. It is an incredibly powerful weapon at Science's disposal but must be wielded in the hands of a very capable mathematician.

    This process I am talking about is referred to as critical thinking. A tool all of us have at our disposal. We don't need to necessarily have maths to use it, but *sobs* if you have it, then more power to you.

    .........*collapses in heap on floor with the realisation that levitation may be just another fact of no substance. For another day perhaps* :-))

    PS For what it is worth I think your way of thinking sir ir r aj in your opening post is very healthy :-))
    Last edited by Implicate Order; January 12th, 2014 at 06:23 AM.
    TridentBlue likes this.
    Quidquid latine dictum, altum videtur
    Reply With Quote  
     

  29. #28  
    Forum Junior TridentBlue's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    207
    Quote Originally Posted by Implicate Order View Post
    How do I think in Science?

    You may have noticed but many of the strands of science are converging in on physics. There is a very good reason for that considering we live in the same universe. So it is essential to draw on all the disciplines and do not necessarily be blinded by mathematics, but rather be blinded by what the maths is interpreted to say when applied in this universe. It is an incredibly powerful weapon at Science's disposal but must be wielded in the hands of a very capable mathematician.
    This is a really thought provoking line. First, I do notice the convergence of fields into physics. (cutting edge computer science, which I'm into is all about quantum computers nowadays) I wish I had studied it. You last line there, about the power of math: gets at a social problem I've been seeing, where math seems really empowering to too few people. I agree with your point, there are people who really OWN math, they get what they need out of it, but many others can be blinded by a false interpretation about what it means, accepted as dogma, rather than cultivating a playful creativity with their scientific inquiries. I wonder if there isn't some way we get more people empowered without necessarily requiring them to be super genii...
    Reply With Quote  
     

  30. #29  
    Forum Masters Degree Implicate Order's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    27.4679° S, 153.0278° E
    Posts
    610
    Quote Originally Posted by TridentBlue View Post

    This is a really thought provoking line. First, I do notice the convergence of fields into physics. (cutting edge computer science, which I'm into is all about quantum computers nowadays) I wish I had studied it. You last line there, about the power of math: gets at a social problem I've been seeing, where math seems really empowering to too few people. I agree with your point, there are people who really OWN math, they get what they need out of it, but many others can be blinded by a false interpretation about what it means, accepted as dogma, rather than cultivating a playful creativity with their scientific inquiries. I wonder if there isn't some way we get more people empowered without necessarily requiring them to be super genii...
    The convergence is across the board and I am also seeing an inevitable convergence towards the sacred lands of philosophy. As clever as we may think we are now, I am more and more being blown away by the debates and arguments from the philosophers of the past for their insight. This in my mind displays the power of thought alone and given we are products of our universe, I am becoming more convinced that if we can maintain coherent thought, we can give the maths a challenge.

    Maths to me is a tool. I personally do not see the elegance in a formula for example as this to me runs counter to life's complexity that I am part of every day. Where a mathematician sees elegance in symmetries, I see elegance in order amongst chaos. As you can see I am no mathematician. I can see beauty in a landscape, a person, an insect and an artwork, but that to me is the beauty of emergent complexity. The power of maths is in modelling simple systems. Add a bit of complexity to that system and the maths can quickly become intractable. The complexity of maths to me is a direct result of trying to develop simplification approaches to fathom this complexity but heirein lies the problem. We have only tapped the surface with our maths in dealing with simple systems. We are looking for simplifications to try and make sense of a complex world. In this sense Occams Razor does no favours for me and leads us down the path of simplification.

    :-))
    Last edited by Implicate Order; January 12th, 2014 at 06:14 AM.
    sir ir r aj likes this.
    Quidquid latine dictum, altum videtur
    Reply With Quote  
     

  31. #30  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    city of wine and roses
    Posts
    6,222
    The link between maths and understanding science?

    I wonder if there isn't some way we get more people empowered without necessarily requiring them to be super genii...
    My own view is that far too many people have too little grasp on just how big truly big numbers are. And are equally unable to comprehend just how infinitesimally small things are.

    Apart from that, most people should get a better grip on ratios, percentages and, for those who intend to do real science or other evidence-based research, a proper grounding in statistics. My own feeling is that there are far too many people who delight in the complexities of physics equations who avoid statistics because they have real problems in dealing with stuff that is, sometimes, quite counter-intuitive.

    I like the old Eames powers of 10 film for a good overview of the comprehending size issue. the powers of 10 on Vimeo
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
    Reply With Quote  
     

  32. #31  
    Forum Junior TridentBlue's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    207
    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    The link between maths and understanding science?

    I wonder if there isn't some way we get more people empowered without necessarily requiring them to be super genii...
    My own view is that far too many people have too little grasp on just how big truly big numbers are. And are equally unable to comprehend just how infinitesimally small things are.

    Apart from that, most people should get a better grip on ratios, percentages and, for those who intend to do real science or other evidence-based research, a proper grounding in statistics. My own feeling is that there are far too many people who delight in the complexities of physics equations who avoid statistics because they have real problems in dealing with stuff that is, sometimes, quite counter-intuitive.

    I like the old Eames powers of 10 film for a good overview of the comprehending size issue. the powers of 10 on Vimeo
    That's a good point. You see the lack of understanding ratios and size differences all the time, with priorities. News stories are a good example: one US murder will run on the news for weeks, during which hundreds of other murders will occur (according to the statistics) that get little or no reporting. People put political priorities on things which, by the numbers, have almost no bearing on their lives, while joining in bipartisan hand-waving at huge issues that effect all of us.

    I for one didn't care a lick for math, until I started programming enough to have it be important, and learned about discrete math when I went back to school for it. It was the application that made me finally understand its important. I feel like if it could be taught more with applications, maybe more people would embrace it?
    sir ir r aj likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  33. #32  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    city of wine and roses
    Posts
    6,222
    Yup. I remember talking to my doctor about my HRT prescription.

    You could see her face start to fall when I mentioned the recently released studies showing increased risks of heart attack (? stroke? too long ago for me to remember). She relaxed a bit when I said it was stupid. Yes, the risk was doubled - but who cares when the risk was less than 1% in the first place. People get all purple in the face about some risks "doubling", when they should be more concerned about other more substantial risks increasing by 10% or less.
    sir ir r aj likes this.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
    Reply With Quote  
     

  34. #33  
    Forum Professor pyoko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,094
    Potato.
    sir ir r aj likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  35. #34  
    Forum Masters Degree Implicate Order's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    27.4679° S, 153.0278° E
    Posts
    610
    Quote Originally Posted by TridentBlue View Post
    I for one didn't care a lick for math, until I started programming enough to have it be important, and learned about discrete math when I went back to school for it. It was the application that made me finally understand its important. I feel like if it could be taught more with applications, maybe more people would embrace it?
    Same here. It was only after dabbling in funds management and trading systems where I truly started appreciating the value of mathematics. It's interesting how your mindset changes when you recognise it's practical importance.

    Interestingly, as Adelady has mentioned, it was the statistical nature of maths that appealed to me then. Now however in this hobby of science I can appreciate why this mathematical appreciation extends beyond statistics as it is such a concise way of explaininng very complex counter-intuitive notions. It embarrases me how what may take 10 paragraphs to achieve in text can be explained in a simple equation, and then that equation (through further extension) be used to explain the universe.....*gasps for air*. Maths is such an all encompassing tool that in any field it appears to have significance and value. In that sense it is unlike any other scientific field of endeavour as it cuts across every other discipline......however........and here it comes.......it is a tool we use to describe things and in my opinion only as valuable as the mind that uses it, hence to me.....it is actually the mind that matters. Make the mind coherent, link the pieces of those fact fragments in your head together correctly and I reckon the rest will flow. Use maths by all means to make the quest simpler, but ensure you get the mind coherent...... This I think also needs to be taught at schools.

    As you have said, the wonder of maths is rarely taught in the schools, rather its blind application. This unfortunately seems to be the case in teaching all languages as such. So much more interest can be drawn from understanding the 'reasons' why this language is so powerful. I think it just takes an inspirational teacher who can showcase how maths can be used in virtually any situation. In that way, kids would realise it's value and rather than relegate it to the dustbin because it appears too hard, realise the importance and relevance of it in their future lives. That way, they might have more of an incentive to invest a little time and effort into understanding the fundamentals of maths too allow for future application instead of burning a very solid bridge. :-))
    sir ir r aj likes this.
    Quidquid latine dictum, altum videtur
    Reply With Quote  
     

  36. #35  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    city of wine and roses
    Posts
    6,222
    That way, they might have more of an incentive to invest a little time and effort into understanding the fundamentals of maths too allow for future application instead of burning a very solid bridge.
    Being a pernickety kind of person, I often use the language analogy with students. Mainly because I am irritated beyond all reason by kids being taught - by schoolteachers who really should know better - that you can stick an = sign more or less anywhere at will, and it doesn't really matter what you write either side of it or if you leave it out entirely. Or it's perfectly OK to write a whole lot of symbol and number stuff in a stream-of-consciousness line across the page with = signs randomly dispersed.

    I insist that a simple equation is a complete sentence. And just like a sentence, it has to have an identifiable beginning, middle and end. Most important of all, just as words, phrases, clauses and sentences have meanings, so do mathematical symbols, numbers, expressions and equations.

    Sentences must make sense. Equations must make sense. If you don't do this for year 9 algebra, when are you going to learn?
    sir ir r aj likes this.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
    Reply With Quote  
     

  37. #36  
    Forum Masters Degree Implicate Order's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    27.4679° S, 153.0278° E
    Posts
    610
    Sits attentively in the classroom. I am ready for my maths lesson Adelady. I think perhaps you would be a good teacher.

    My best teacher (an English curriculum teacher) was regarded as a tyrant by the students but I owe so much to him with regards to ensuring the foundations were established correctly before moving on. I needed a stern hand to punch sense into me (metaphorically of course) :-))
    Last edited by Implicate Order; January 12th, 2014 at 07:56 PM.
    sir ir r aj likes this.
    Quidquid latine dictum, altum videtur
    Reply With Quote  
     

  38. #37  
    Moderator Moderator
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    city of wine and roses
    Posts
    6,222
    Oh, I'm not stern.

    It's easy to be both non-nonsense firm and cheerfully kind when you're dealing with 4 or fewer students than in a classroom. You can actually have a lot of fun with students who take a long time to learn my standard responses to various questions. Like - what did you write down? when they ask for help with a computer problem.

    I should have had a No writing, No help sign in the centre like one of those No shirt, No shoes, No service signs they have outside pubs.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
    Reply With Quote  
     

  39. #38  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    1,034
    Calculus and gravity is a very simplistic way "to think" in science.

    Or, I just like the example.
    sir ir r aj likes this.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  40. #39  
    precious sir ir r aj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    668
    Quote Originally Posted by Beer w/Straw View Post
    Calculus and gravity is a very simplistic way "to think" in science.

    Or, I just like the example.
    When you think in science you actually take help from calculus / gravity? How exactly. If you are thinking about eating Pizza, how will you describe it in gravity/Calculus!
    Which example are you talking about.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  41. #40  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    1,034
    Projectile motion and acceleration due to gravity

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkY1zYaFQp0

    T
    hrow a pizza?

    Maybe it's not the greatest link but, my internet is acting up.
    Reply With Quote  
     

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 2
    Last Post: December 31st, 2011, 02:42 PM
  2. Replies: 5
    Last Post: June 8th, 2011, 02:57 AM
  3. Replies: 0
    Last Post: July 16th, 2010, 05:18 PM
  4. Diff betwwen Operational science and Origins Science
    By weknowtheword in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: December 25th, 2006, 12:23 PM
  5. This Week in Science - Online Weekly Science Radio Show
    By Marshall Clark in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: July 14th, 2005, 03:07 PM
Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •