Why learn algebra?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by JessopSmythe, Feb 21, 2004.

  1. JessopSmythe

    JessopSmythe Active Member

    You can use algebra to prove or disprove allsorts of theories. eg:

    Given that a=b,
    then a²=ab
    also, a²-b²=ab-b²
    and (a+b)(a-b)=b(a-b)
    therefore, (a+b)=b
    or (a+a)=a
    or, more simply, 2a=a
    which means that 2=1 :?
     
  2. Jo Elson

    Jo Elson Member

    And the point is.... there isn't one to doing algebra.
    I hated learning algebra and pythagoras's theorum, wot a load of monotonous rubbish. We used to have questions where you'd have a trianlge but only two of the sides lengths were given and you had to find t'other out, by knowing that the hypotenuse always equaled the other two or somethin
    A(2)=B(2)+C(2)
     
  3. Vickitorious

    Vickitorious Active Member

    I cant do it and I hate it! :evil: :x
     
  4. It's easy as he.. But vector arithmetication (dunno if it's called that in english) is 20x harder than algebra... Btw. pythagoras theorem says a^2+b^2=c^2
     
  5. johnmartin

    johnmartin Active Member

    except that (a-b)=0 meaning that you are dividing by zero to get the fourth line in your theorem. Division by zero would result in an undefined answer so the rest of your theorem falls down on this step.
     
  6. dyl

    dyl Active Member

    Haha! Can I refer you this thread: http://www.themouthpiece.com/viewtopic.php?t=5447
    :wink:
     
  7. lol geekness and cleverness is to different things, dyl :D
     
  8. Hilary Mateer

    Hilary Mateer Member

    Algebra is good fun - it was always my favourite subject at school.
    It comes in handy for solving puzzles.
    Do you need any other reasons for learning it
     
  9. BigHorn

    BigHorn Active Member

    I always loved algebra - probably because we had a good, entertaining maths teacher who always explained why it was useful in a practical sense. He always used to tell us the story about the Red Indian chief 'Python in the grass' who had three wives. Two of his wives sat on buffalo skin whilst his favourite wife, who he liked as much as the other two put together, sat on Hippo skin imported from Africa.
    i.e.
    The squaw on the hippopotumus is equal to the sum of the squaws on the other two hides.
     
  10. Jo Elson

    Jo Elson Member

    We were told Maths is like an onion because its got so many layers-which still makes us laugh and the fact that he used to put this one lad in her office and shut the door so he'd send suicide notes under the door to her, or if she sent him out he'd take the screws out the handle so it fell off-oh those were the days.
     
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  12. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    uh oh!
    Pythagoras boc alert methinks!!

    I always enjoyed algebra, until A-Level!!
     
  13. bruceg

    bruceg Active Member

    Hmmm... As with most theories there are defined ranges for when they hold true. In this case it's only true for a=b=0 and no other value.

    John reckoned it fell down at stage 4 but I think it's ok to manipulate the equations until the point of substituting values for the variables...

    Oh oh - self declared BOC alert :D
     
  14. bruceg

    bruceg Active Member

    :D :D :D
     
  15. drummergurl

    drummergurl Active Member

    trigonometry is worse than pythagoras!!! and the rest of wot ur conv is about is highly confusing
     
  16. ScrapingtheBottom

    ScrapingtheBottom Active Member

    I think the biggest nightmare out there is either Statistical Mechanics or Fluid Mechanics, but Complex non-linear algebra runs them close.
     
  17. bruceg

    bruceg Active Member

    I never really liked Fourier or Laplace transforms personally...
     
  18. Keppler

    Keppler Moderator Staff Member

    aaah Fourier Transforms...
    The basis of the Kepps/Bighorn Adjud-O-Matic...
    Have you built it yet, BH?
     
  19. bigmamabadger

    bigmamabadger Active Member

    I used to have a picture of a Fourier duck somewhere but I lost it.
    BMB
    xx
     
  20. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    No, don't think so - you're still dividing by 0, as 0 - 0 = 0. By the initial assumption (a=b, so a-b=0, independent of chosen values), John is right.

    Then I shouldn't go anywhere near Magnetohydrodynamics (which incorporates the standard treatment of magnetically confined plasmas). It doth rot the brain...

    Do I win the "How abstruse and obscure an Applied Mathematical concept can I casually mention to make myself look clever?" contest? :lol:

    Dave
     
  21. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    edit: Where did Janet's post go?!
     
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