I am still having fun learning math. I hated math in high school because I did not have the awareness I have now. There isn’t a subject I hate now. I want to know EVERYTHING, and I want to know it NOW.
Recently I got stuck understanding how to factor polynomials. At one point I thought what many students think, “How will I use factoring polynomials in everyday life?”
According to XP Math, there are 31 jobs that need to know how to factor polynomials. Some of these jobs are mathematicians, chemical engineers, computer programmers, funeral directors—Whoa! Funeral directors? I understand the other jobs needing to know how to factor polynomials, but funeral directors?
According to XP Math, how to factor polynomials isn’t the only math skill that funeral directors need to know. They also need to know Basic Math and Algebra, which includes fractions, decimals, and negative numbers; First-Year Algebra, which includes factoring polynomials, quadratic equations, and linear systems; Geometry, which includes angle measurement, Pythagorean Theorem, and circles; Second-Year Algebra and Trigonometry, which includes logarithms, imaginary numbers, and vectors; and other topics such as calculus, scientific calculator use, and computer programming.
Wow! Why would a funeral director need to know all that? How come acting lessons are not included? Why acting lessons? Funeral directors have to act sad, and keep from showing excitement, every time a family walks through the door to plan their loved one’s funeral.
Back on topic. I cannot see a practical use for factoring polynomials in everyday life. But this does not take away from the joy of learning, and the fun I’m having keeping my mind sharp.