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Sorry, Nic. That was a rather random statement.  When I read the first
chapter of Keith Devlin's book (below) I was struck with the sense that
there is a mathematical connection to everything in the world, keeping
in mind that "mathematics" does not equal "algebra."  That's where that
comment came from.  Again, I recommend at least Chapter One of Keith's
book.  

Which brings us back to Teresa's original question.  There are some
very cool mathematical ideas that are great for liberal arts majors to
study.  (Personally, I'd like to see everyone take that kind of class.) 
Yes, Teresa, we offer such a course.  However, it does have a
pre-requisite of intermediate algebra.

Kathy

>>> "Nic Voge" <[log in to unmask]> 1/8/2007 4:35 PM >>>
Kathy,
What do you mean by "In truth, it's all mathematical"?
Thanks,
Nic

>By the way.  I love art, music, poetry, even sentence diagraming
(it's
>kind of mathematical). I even enjoy archeology and physical science
in
>smaller doses.  It is quite possible that my general education
provided
>the opportunity for me to develop those interests.
>
>In truth, it's all mathematical.  If you want to see how important
math
>really is, I recommend the PBS series Life by the Numbers and/or the
>companion book for the series by Keith Devlin.  Just read the first
>chapter.
>
>Cheers!
>Kathy
>
>>>>  "Laura Symons" <[log in to unmask]> 1/8/2007 11:03 AM >>>
>Kathryn's response was so cool! Now here's a rationale for taking any
>course in the curriculum:
>
>In a world where change is the only constant, the one true survival
>skill is the ability to adjust and adapt to the needs of the moment.
>That skill requires flexibility of point of view and the ability to
>apply different kinds of thinking in different situations.  College
>courses provide a rich array of different ways of thinking.
>Mathematicians approach the world very differently than
anthropologists,
>than historians, than artists, than writers and the list goes on
through
>the entire curriculum. Why take courses in subjects that are
difficult?
>To create new skills you probably would not go after on your own. To
>learn more about yourself. To do something you don't like to do. To
>learn to deal with fear, frustration, and may even anger in a
relatively
>low stakes setting.
>
>Happy New Year, all!
>
>Laura
>
>Laura Symons
>
>Coordinator of the Learning Center
>Piedmont  Virginia Community College
>501 College Drive
>Charlottesville, VA 22902-7589
>
>434 961 5310
>
>*The people who believe that something can't be done should get out
of
>the way of the person doing it.*
>
>Chinese Proverb
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals
>[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Kathryn VanWagoner
>Sent: Monday, January 08, 2007 12:11 PM
>To: [log in to unmask] 
>Subject: Re: Math for Liberal Arts Majors
>
>I am a math teacher and I'm split on the curriculum issue.  But I
have
>to respond to those (not just Kathy) who say "I've never used
algebra."
>
>My response is:  of course not, you don't know it.  If you know
>algebra
>you can use it.
>
>I spent a number of years as an at-home mom and used algebra many
>times
>(and not just when I was substitute teaching).  Some examples: I
>helped
>a neighbor figure out how much real whole milk to mix with powdered
>non-fat milk to come up with 2% milk that her family would drink (a
>mixture problem).  I used permutations when planning the seating
>arrangements for a church dinner. I helped a business owner calculate
>profits for inventory for which he was missing purchase records. I
>frequently handle landscape related questions -- still.  Sure, lots
of
>people get along without algebra, but just because you don't use it,
>doesn't mean it isn't useful.
>
>This common argument against algebra can be used for most general
>education subjects.  I can honestly say I have never diagramed a
>sentence in real life.  Nor have I had to analyze poetry.  I've never
>found a great need for critiquing art or music.  I've gotten along
>quite
>well in life without a solid understanding of photosynthesis or the
>parts of a cell or how a star is born or methods of archeological
>digging.  In fact, looking back, I think the most useful general
>education class I took was aerobics -- and skiing.
>
>We've developed a culture where being bad at math is socially
>acceptable.  We should be trying to change that paradigm, not nurture
>it.  I have a child who has writing anxiety that rivals any math
>anxiety
>that I've seen.  Should he be encouraged in his anxiety?  Or should
he
>be taught skills to overcome it? 
>
>The "math problem" is very complex and will not be simply solved by a
>change in curriculum.
>
>
>
>Kathryn Van Wagoner
>Math Lab Manager
>Utah Valley State College
>801-863-8411
>
>ad-van-tage   n.  A factor conducive to success.
>
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-- 

Knowledge emerges only through invention and reinvention,  through 
the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry men pursue in 
the world, with the world, and with each other. --Paolo Freire

Dominic (Nic) J. Voge
Study Strategies Program Coordinator
University of California, Berkeley
Student Learning Center
136 Cesar Chavez Student Center  #4260
Berkeley, CA 94720-4260

(510) 643-9278
[log in to unmask] 
http://slc.berkeley.edu 

FALL 2006 OFFICE HOURS:
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