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Why Learn Math ?


  1. You develop your "lifelong learning" skills:  Asking others for help, looking stuff up, learning to deeply focus on tasks, being organized, etc.

  2. You develop your work ethic:  Not making excuses, not blaming others, not being lazy, being on time, not giving up so easily, etc.  This is more important for "success" than raw IQ.  There is no shortcut.

  3. You get better at learning complicated things.  You are less afraid of complex ideas and classes.

  4. You develop pride & confidence in your ability to understand complicated things.  This is not fake self-esteem, but one that is earned.  

  5. Certain careers in science, health, technology, and engineering require serious Math skills.  High school is just the start.

  6. Once high school is over, intelligent & motivated people are generally more interesting and happier. 

  7. Your SAT and grades determine the quality of the college you attend.  A mediocre college costs the same as a top ranked college.  Half the SAT is Math.  

  8. Your frontal lobe is not done developing until age 25-27.  The more things you learn before that age, the more things you can learn over your lifetime.

  9. 20% to 40% of college freshmen take remedial courses.  Do you want to retake high school courses in college, or do you want to take real college classes?  

  10. Because it's on the final exam... ;-)


Below is an excerpt of market trading ideas from a portfolio manager friend of mine.  It demonstrates something that many people overlook about higher Math.  It is a communication language that develops higher order literacy, not just a "rote skill".  If one does not know Calculus, then they will not be able to understand the sentence highlighted below. 


> I drew a picture of the GDP growth on a napkin but can't reproduce it here. Simply said, we all know the economy downshifted around Sept. 15 2008 around Lehman/AIG. Now as we lap that in a few weeks the YOY data will start to inflectand look dramatically better. We lapped the Bear Stearns fiasco in March and look at the following rally in March 09. The bears have been hanging their hats on deteriorating data points but come Sept. 15, the 2nd derivative will no longer be simply improving but in many cases the 1st derivative will be flat to positive. This doesn't help the shorts. I'm finding myself grappling to keep shorts on nowadays. I'm using GOOG as my biggest short.

The Second Derivative May Be Turning Positive

There Is Always the Second Derivative


Logic. Trains your mind. Trains your memory. Unraveling a Latin sentence is an excellent exercise in thought, a real intellectual puzzle, and a good introduction to logical thinking. Latin involves a similar process to that used in Euclid's geometric proofs, (Q.E.D., Quod Erat Demonstrandum=That which was to be demonstrated) or, to the thought process involved in trying to fix your car. You have to be able to SEE things and the connections between words and concepts.