From Me (the curious big brother)
I have a question for you.
As a professional scholar who works in a lab setting working with maths on a daily basis how often would you say that you use traditional algorithms that you learned in math class? Like long division, multiplying with the two numbers on top of each other, or using addition and subtraction?
Response From KD
I use Math constantly, of course. But you said ‘traditional algorithm’… I mostly would really only do quick mental math, so I am not sure how much of the traditional algorithm process I still use.
The thing is though, anytime I need to use math officially I will have a computer program do it for me (maybe something as simple as excel, maybe something more complex as matlab), we would never trust something important as our data and complex calculations to be trusted to human and potential error.
If your general question was to ‘how important is knowledge of math’, the answer is very important. Biomechanics is basically physics, but the process has become so computerized and dependant on technology that in a weird way we don’t really use pen and paper type of math like in math class, at least not for important calculations used in our final product. But when we are messing around and brainstorming, we still bust out pen and paper.
Are we teaching algorithms because we have always taught them?
Are they a useful tool in this modern world?
Have they lost their importance, like the slide rule?
What is the benefit to using them and teaching them?
What key concepts are students learning when we teach the traditional algorithms?
What are your thoughts?