• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every person's position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

Plan to get more STEM students, get rid of math

MamboDervish

Looking Forward
DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
10,699
Reaction score
10,238
Location
The Big Apple
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Progressive

Airyaman

New Druid
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 4, 2018
Messages
19,831
Reaction score
17,483
Location
AL
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
Makes sense to me. I had no problem with calculus, but I know so many others who do. Alot of STEM subjects don't really require calculus in the end product. It appears the approach the article presents is to have certain math classes geared more towards what each actual major needs rather than just the regular calculus class.

I'll give an anecdotal. My son did not get my math brain. He took calculus three times and had to drop out each time because he simply could not do well in it while excelling in all of his other courses. However, most Computer Science degrees require Calculus. Instead, what would make sense is a a course or two of a type of math more geared to what a CS student actually needs, rather than the general calculus course.

Because he simply could not pass calculus, my son dropped out and is pursuing a different route to a CS career: certificates. He is doing much better in that.
 

Crovax

DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 15, 2014
Messages
19,094
Reaction score
11,188
Location
South Texas
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
Makes sense to me. I had no problem with calculus, but I know so many others who do. Alot of STEM subjects don't really require calculus in the end product. It appears the approach the article presents is to have certain math classes geared more towards what each actual major needs rather than just the regular calculus class.

I'll give an anecdotal. My son did not get my math brain. He took calculus three times and had to drop out each time because he simply could not do well in it while excelling in all of his other courses. However, most Computer Science degrees require Calculus. Instead, what would make sense is a a course or two of a type of math more geared to what a CS student actually needs, rather than the general calculus course.

Because he simply could not pass calculus, my son dropped out and is pursuing a different route to a CS career: certificates. He is doing much better in that.

The calculus class isn't just about knowing the formulas and applications of calculus, it shows if a student has the critical thinking skills to excel in all the paths of STEM.
 

Airyaman

New Druid
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 4, 2018
Messages
19,831
Reaction score
17,483
Location
AL
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
The calculus class isn't just about knowing the formulas and applications of calculus, it shows if a student has the critical thinking skills to excel in all the paths of STEM.
Horse hockey. You're doing exactly what the article is saying: using one math course to "weed out" students from a STEM path. Obviously, it should just be the STE components focused on here, but math courses that are designed specifically for each degree path makes much more sense that just having people take calculus.

My undergrad is in chemistry. I needed alot of calculus in Physical Chemistry, but not a single other chemistry course. I'd dare say alot of other STE degrees require even less calculus.
 

BlueTex

DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 15, 2019
Messages
40,064
Reaction score
30,233
Location
Texas
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Liberal
The calculus class isn't just about knowing the formulas and applications of calculus, it shows if a student has the critical thinking skills to excel in all the paths of STEM.

Discrete mathematics is much more relevant to computer science than calculus.
 

BlueTex

DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 15, 2019
Messages
40,064
Reaction score
30,233
Location
Texas
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Liberal
Horse hockey. You're doing exactly what the article is saying: using one math course to "weed out" students from a STEM path. Obviously, it should just be the STE components focused on here, but math courses that are designed specifically for each degree path makes much more sense that just having people take calculus.

My undergrad is in chemistry. I needed alot of calculus in Physical Chemistry, but not a single other chemistry course. I'd dare say alot of other STE degrees require even less calculus.

In my experience, the "weed out" course become a badge of honor for those that have STEM degrees and this limits a critical view into why there should be "weed out" courses. I felt the same way until I was actually working in my field. Some of the best "computer scientists" I worked with have degrees in music, etc. Much like most STEM fields, there is a huge difference between what someone doing research does (a small percentage of those in the field) and those that actually apply the field. There are thousands and thousands of programmers, system architects, etc. in the tech world who either have degrees other than computer science or in a lot of cases, no degree at all.
 

Gateman_Wen

Official disruptive influence
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 27, 2017
Messages
17,210
Reaction score
17,661
Location
Middle of it all
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other

Gateman_Wen

Official disruptive influence
Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Joined
Dec 27, 2017
Messages
17,210
Reaction score
17,661
Location
Middle of it all
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
Makes sense to me. I had no problem with calculus, but I know so many others who do. Alot of STEM subjects don't really require calculus in the end product. It appears the approach the article presents is to have certain math classes geared more towards what each actual major needs rather than just the regular calculus class.

I'll give an anecdotal. My son did not get my math brain. He took calculus three times and had to drop out each time because he simply could not do well in it while excelling in all of his other courses. However, most Computer Science degrees require Calculus. Instead, what would make sense is a a course or two of a type of math more geared to what a CS student actually needs, rather than the general calculus course.

Because he simply could not pass calculus, my son dropped out and is pursuing a different route to a CS career: certificates. He is doing much better in that.
My understanding is that no one except pure math researchers actually do long form calc or even trig or algebra anyway. It's usually a matter of setting up the problem for a machine.
 

psikeyhackr

DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 29, 2012
Messages
2,493
Reaction score
491
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
I wonder what would happen if they had the physics and engineering instructors teach the math. It is like the math teaches are off in some never-never land sometimes.
 

Luce

Weaponized Funk
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 31, 2020
Messages
26,882
Reaction score
17,418
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
If you don't understand calculus, you're not STEM.

It's just that simple.
 

Tlrmln

DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 17, 2019
Messages
16,615
Reaction score
6,679
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Independent
Makes sense to me. I had no problem with calculus, but I know so many others who do. Alot of STEM subjects don't really require calculus in the end product. It appears the approach the article presents is to have certain math classes geared more towards what each actual major needs rather than just the regular calculus class.

I'll give an anecdotal. My son did not get my math brain. He took calculus three times and had to drop out each time because he simply could not do well in it while excelling in all of his other courses. However, most Computer Science degrees require Calculus. Instead, what would make sense is a a course or two of a type of math more geared to what a CS student actually needs, rather than the general calculus course.

Because he simply could not pass calculus, my son dropped out and is pursuing a different route to a CS career: certificates. He is doing much better in that.

There may be a point here. From my experience a long time ago, there's a big focus on calculus as the "honors" conclusion of math education in high school, and as a default in college, but much less emphasis on statistics, which is often way more important to understand for certain scientific disciplines (not to mention for just understanding life in general).
 

Cynical

DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 13, 2019
Messages
722
Reaction score
200
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
The plan to create more STEM graduates is to get rid of the math that people can't understand. You can't make this stuff up.

The one approach noted in the article was to create a course Mathematics for Life Scientists. Seems practical to me. Here's a question, how many STEM professions are there & how many actually require high level math skills?
 

Cynical

DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 13, 2019
Messages
722
Reaction score
200
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Horse hockey. You're doing exactly what the article is saying: using one math course to "weed out" students from a STEM path. Obviously, it should just be the STE components focused on here, but math courses that are designed specifically for each degree path makes much more sense that just having people take calculus.

My undergrad is in chemistry. I needed alot of calculus in Physical Chemistry, but not a single other chemistry course. I'd dare say alot of other STE degrees require even less calculus.
Completely agree with you. Three of our top tech companies were created by college dropouts.
 

Cynical

DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 13, 2019
Messages
722
Reaction score
200
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
In my experience, the "weed out" course become a badge of honor for those that have STEM degrees and this limits a critical view into why there should be "weed out" courses. I felt the same way until I was actually working in my field. Some of the best "computer scientists" I worked with have degrees in music, etc. Much like most STEM fields, there is a huge difference between what someone doing research does (a small percentage of those in the field) and those that actually apply the field. There are thousands and thousands of programmers, system architects, etc. in the tech world who either have degrees other than computer science or in a lot of cases, no degree at all.
Well Michael Dell, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates all dropped out of college and did okay for themselves.
 

Crovax

DP Veteran
Joined
Feb 15, 2014
Messages
19,094
Reaction score
11,188
Location
South Texas
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
The one approach noted in the article was to create a course Mathematics for Life Scientists. Seems practical to me. Here's a question, how many STEM professions are there & how many actually require high level math skills?

Most of them, they might not require the formulas but they require the type of thinking skills required to slove them
 

Cynical

DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 13, 2019
Messages
722
Reaction score
200
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Most of them, they might not require the formulas but they require the type of thinking skills required to slove them
Can you state that as a fact? I worked in a STEM profession and most of the math (and coursework for that matter) was virtually useless. Now maybe others have different views but I would think there's plenty others who would share my sentiment.
 
Top Bottom