Monday, September 18, 2006

I've got a protractor, Got a stapler now, it goes "Ka-ching"

There is a time in one's life at school, when confounded by some mathematical problem, one may have asked the question, "When will I use this in real life?". And indeed, for the most part, it is a rare thing that I find myself contemplating the integration of numbers of the application of Fourier transforms, and imaginary numbers.

But even more simply, the humble compass and protractor, whose inclusion in every school requirement list, baffled more than me. More often these things were used for puncturing ears rather than any mathematical application. And let's not even think about the use of a sextant!

I questioned all of these things, until this past weekend.

Often people question my work finding it curious, unique, and maybe, just a little sexy. Over a get-together last weekend with some girlfriends, I have occasion to happen upon the required text for a girlfriend's work and study. The title of this tome, "Blood Spatter Analysis", and with such an inviting title, I just had to delve in. I was greeted with colour photo after photo of traumatised corpses and crime scenes. My stomach is iron-clad, and it was so interesting, that I kept turning page after page. And then, lo and behold, there was the mother-load. Blood splashed up a wall, and there, intent and earnest, was the crime scene investigator with protractor in hand.

Happy mathematical days indeed!


kiki said...

i actually had a similar conversation about this with both my dad and my boss (at different times).

they both basically said the same thing - i was complaining about university not giving me any knowledge that i can use at work (engineering/commerce) and that i have to learn everything from scratch on-the-job
anyway, the point is this. University maths, school maths, all that boring theory that many people encounter, which is pretty irrelevent, is there for the purpose to teach you how to learn

if you can master fourier and laplace transforms, then you can solve many other problems?

that's what i'm convinced of now anyways

Lunar Brogue said...

Maths classrooms need more drama. So why don't Mr Lairyshirt and Mrs Stonebroach take their studends down to the scene of a gangland killing? Protractors in hand and walls of blood to survey, the pint-size forensic investigators could finally apply their geometric know-how to something relevant (and a little bit spooky - in a fun kind of way).

a giRL liKe mE said...

Indeed - stationery rocks! Lol