View Full Version : Proofs in Math Class

windoze victim
02-11-2003, 10:35 AM
Proofs in math are dumb and sensles, thought up only to anoy the hell out of the students!!!!!
All they are are common sense!!!!
#### them, #### on them
im already tearing my hair out, and i got the rest of the friggen year of them!!!!!!

02-11-2003, 11:12 AM
I took a Modern Algebra class in college that I ended up hating. I thought to myself, "Where's the math? I don't see any math!" It was all about things called "groups" and "rings" and proving whether or not crap was "abellian" or "non-abellian"(?). I was completely lost in that class. My multivariable calculus class was a breeze compared to that.

02-11-2003, 05:42 PM
People usually dont like math until they see some real applications for it, until then it just seems like nonsense.

I agree some of it can get boring, when they are proving stuff and you have no idea why. I guess you will just have to live with it.

Travis Dane
02-11-2003, 05:45 PM
Originally posted by MethodMan
People usually dont like math until they see some real applications for it

That's the same as wanting to make a game but not want
to undergo many hours programming for it.

02-11-2003, 08:12 PM
Originally posted by Travis Dane
That's the same as wanting to make a game but not want
to undergo many hours programming for it.

How is that the same thing?

Some people just arent interested in a topic until they can see how its used.

How is that at all related? Please elaborate.

02-11-2003, 09:39 PM
Math is purely logical, and proofs are needed to make sure we don't just assume something crazy. If you can't prove something, it's possible that it's wrong somewhere.

For instance, take Fermat's Last Theorem. It's a pretty simple statement:
a^z + b^z != c^z for any z > 2, for any integers a, b, and c

I can prove for one value that the Last Theorem is true.
3^3 + 4^3 != 5^3

Actually, I can do that for any value. The trick is finding a way to say this in a way which is completely true for all cases. It took people 300+ years to prove this statement, including some large amounts of money promised by foundations, and left in wills. It was finally proven, in 800 pages, by Wiles, a math professor, in the mid 1990s.

The stuff you're doing in geometry is simple, but it's meant to prepare you for the much more complicated stuff of later on.

02-11-2003, 10:59 PM
proofs are not useless however, constructs are absolutely positively useless, and invented to cause pain and anguish to all humans.

I can understand why they need to be taught, but wtf do I need to do a couple in every other lesson set for f'ing review!


02-12-2003, 12:40 AM
wierd, I actually like proofs.

02-12-2003, 01:27 PM
I dont even know what a proof is.

02-12-2003, 01:54 PM
Math can be boring if you don't have an application for it, but mathematical tools are used a lot in programming.

Using tools from discrete mathematics and logic you can proof the correctness of your code. For example, the correctness of a recursive function can be proven by using induction. Also for non-recursive functions there are a lot of methods for proving the correctness.

If you are going to work later on software which must work in critical environments, you will need your knowledge mathematics. Software which must keep people alive, like in medical systems, must be proven for correctness. Software which must be extremely reliable, like in planes or controlling nuclear plants, must also proven.

Also math can be used to analyze the performance of algorithms and to compare the performance of, for example, a number of sorting algorithms in a certain situation.

And, ofcourse, the applications itself my require mathematics. If you are going to develop software for processing speech, music or images, you will need the mathematical tools from digital signal processing. Like the Fourier Transform, Z Transform and the theory of digital filters.

In my work, I don't use mathematics that often anymore, I used to when I was working on digital audio systems. Recently I had to use discrete mathematics when doing a course on formal specification of software. Formal methods, formal specification is part of formal methods, are quite mathematical.

02-13-2003, 09:01 AM
yeah i hated proofs in geometry as well. i like doing math on the board during advanced math class now though. i just dont like proofs. plus my geometry teacher sucked.

02-13-2003, 04:39 PM
Proofs and mathematical induction are both very important in computer science. What if you had to create an algorithm for searching/sorting something. Well that might not be bad but you would have to prove that it is correct under all conditions. Also what if an employer had you write an algorithm that had to run in O( n lg n ) time? Without some sort of proof how would you prove it ran in that time? They have their places.