A reader writes: Good morning from Nebraska. As a computer engineer I have definitely had my share of math classes. The classic question of “when am I ever going to need this?” doesn’t stop with Algebra. It continues well into the college curriculum. The best answer I ever got was from my discrete math professor. He … Continue reading How Much Math Do We Really Need? Ctd
Long-time math teacher Gary Rubinstein confesses that he would “gleefully chop at least 40 percent of the [math] topics that are currently taught from K to 12”: Two hundred years ago, students who finished high school learned about as much mathematical content as modern fifth graders learn today. And over the past 200 years, topics were … Continue reading How Much Math Do We Really Need?
Sean Trende created the above table to answer a question: “At any given number of days out, if a candidate has a lead of a certain size, how often does that candidate win?”: An example of how we would read this chart with respect to current polls: Assume that as we get polls from the North Carolina … Continue reading The Math On The Midterms
A reader responds to the email from the parent of two sons with sensory processing disorder: As a well-functioning but diagnosed older person on the autism spectrum, taking a walk is an annoying and frustrating event. I friggin’ notice everything. I have to force myself not to read every word in every ad, identify the make and … Continue reading Book Club: Sensing Too Much, Ctd
A reader responds to the Duck Dynasty uproar: So I had seen the headlines, a bit on the story in various places, and then your post – I completely agree with you. (I also assure you that as I bear, I was not unduly swayed by his massive beardage.) But as the day progressed, I heard Chris Mathews, … Continue reading A&E Cannot Bear Very Much Reality, Ctd
A reader writes: I found your post quite interesting. This was a concept that I was first introduced to by my philosophy professor in college. As a matter of fact, I was once again reminded of this concept when I recently read one of your posts titled “The Inevitability in Beauty,” and have been thinking about … Continue reading Would Math Exist Without Us? Ctd
[The modification to Romney's original plan was that he will now] cap the amount of deductions wealthy people can take. Basically this means that Romney’s plan would limit the amount of money rich people could save via the tax code at a finite level (he’s offered several possibilities: $17,000, $25,000, or $50,000). This is probably actually a very good idea, considering that rich people enjoy a whopping 80 percent of the savings from itemized deductions, but is it enough to pay for Romney’s $5 trillion cut?
No. Not even close.
In what should be a devastating moment for any campaign, a new report (pdf) from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center yesterday exposed the upshot of Romney's tax plan: "It is not mathematically possible to design a revenue-neutral plan that preserves current incentives for savings and investment and that does not result in a net tax … Continue reading Romney’s Impossible Math
Brad Plumer tries to drum up interest in Spain's extremely important and extremely boring bond yields, which hit 7 percent today. Why the bond numbers matter: The fact that it has to pay so much to borrow money means its debts will keep getting bigger and bigger and bigger. Which means it might not matter … Continue reading No One Told Me The Apocalypse Would Include Math
Jonathan Wai notices a double standard: I'll be the first to admit that my math skills are worse than when I was in the seventh grade. That's probably why I ended up as a psychologist rather than a mathematician. However, I don't think being willing to admit you are bad at math is limited to … Continue reading Why Is It OK To Suck At Math?