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Please help me help my nephew - have you ever, in your working life, used quadratic equations?

(24 Posts)
RubyRioja Tue 15-Jul-08 18:06:31

Maths teachers excepted grin
I know they are useful, but need to give DN some perspective.

I have worked at reasonable level in numeracy but have never used quadratic equations in my career.

Have you?

btl Tue 15-Jul-08 18:13:44

only when teaching.
but the thing about quadratic equations is that it helps you to understand further maths, and how it is done.
the basis of all science and technology is maths. if the maths isnt right, thenit is not possible to understand how and why something happens. but most people dont need to understand reasons behind things. for example, you would need to understand lots of algebra to be ableto work out a vacuum cleaner from first principles, but you dont need to know any of it to actually vacuum the house.

DarrellRivers Tue 15-Jul-08 18:16:02

I have never used quadratic equations in my career
Medical degree etc etc
But they are beautiful things quadratic equations grin
And I am being serious.
how that will help I don't know though

VanillaPumpkin Tue 15-Jul-08 18:16:17

I think dh has used them this week and he is a PTI grin.
They were def using formulas of some kind to work out calories burned for certain exercises / heart rates / effort vs nutrition required etc etc blah blah blah.
I will ask him....

SummatAnNowt Tue 15-Jul-08 18:18:15

I've never actually used a lot of the stuff I learnt at school, but that doesn't mean it's not worthwhile learning it as it helps for a greater understanding of the world around us. But I am sure that argument would be shot down in flames by a teenager ;)

Elk Tue 15-Jul-08 18:19:24

Yes, I have used quadratic equations in my career (just can't remember when exactly)

I have used them whilst being a research scientist, a process engineer and as part of my accountancy training. I am fairly sure that dh has also used them as a flight test engineer. As far as may family is concerned any interesting career will involve the use of lots of algebra.

RubyRioja Tue 15-Jul-08 18:30:30

DN seems to have a blindspot. He has a career lined up in his mum's business and already has set up his own commercial enterprise (foot massage £1 for 5 mins|!) so I think he is more of a commercial animal than a researcher.

I will try to reassure him, but obv some people DO use them grin

VanillaPumpkin Tue 15-Jul-08 18:34:31

PMSL - I asked DH and we have both had to admit we can't remember what quadratic equations look like grin. He says he used formulas to work out metabolic equivalents hmm.

princessofpower Tue 15-Jul-08 18:48:44

Message withdrawn

iamdingdong Tue 15-Jul-08 18:50:37

I met someone the other day who does, I was interviewing them for a place to train as a maths teacher and yes, they did actually use them in daily working life, however I can't actually remember what the job was blush

ReallyTired Tue 15-Jul-08 18:59:57

Yes, I used quadratic equations when I was work before my son was born. I used to do computational modelling of the human body. I used them for solving differential eqautions. Ie, calculationg how much of a radioactive substance reaches the body's organs and how much of substance X is left in your body.

Acturies use quadratic equations and so do people who model the stock exchange or design aeroplanes.

Most people use about 5% of what they learnt at school, but you never know what 5%.

Smithagain Tue 15-Jul-08 20:58:50

DH uses them every day. He's a civil engineer. The maths he does makes my head spin - and I did maths to A-level.

margoandjerry Tue 15-Jul-08 21:08:30

sort of.

I work in finance and do sometimes have to do some calculations that require algebra and quadratic equation type treatments sometimes come up. If he wants to go into business he will definitely need to be at least comfortable with maths. Grossing up, netting out, all that stuff.

I agree with DarrellRivers. Quadratic equations are lovely - lots of maths is lovely.

FILLYJONKhasayarnshopASBO Tue 15-Jul-08 21:13:48

yes, when writing a computer program for work

also on my allotment lol

FILLYJONKhasayarnshopASBO Tue 15-Jul-08 21:14:47

they aren't esp hard though, are they?

but are pretty important for science

figroll Tue 15-Jul-08 21:22:15

I love maths of any sort, but algebra is just fab in my opinion - any type of equation is a puzzle to me and I love them.

PrettyCandles Tue 15-Jul-08 21:25:30

In my early 20s I was temping for British Rail, in the office that was planning CrossRail. Part of my work was to type up engineering specifications. I was very good at my work, was well-liked and they always asked the agency to send me back every week, but I was expected to shut up and get on with my typing, filing and tea-and-coffe-making, because after all I was just a little girl among all these highly qualified and amazingly intelligent male scientists.

Imagine their surprise when I oh-so-politely pointed out mistakes in the equations written by the highly qualified and amazingly intelligent male scientists gringrin. I may not have had the engineering background, but what these people didn't realise was that I had A-level maths and a science degree, and I could certainly follow the equations.

They offered me a permanent post. grin And when I turned them down, they offered me a more senior post. gringrin

So, yes, quadratic equations were quite useful indeed.

figroll Tue 15-Jul-08 21:25:36

Never used them at work - although I had a maths teacher who used to go through problems that always ended with the solving of a quadratic equation to show us how useful they were. So I never questioned their uses and just enjoyed solving them and plotting parabolas, etc.

SorenLorensen Tue 15-Jul-08 21:27:00

Only for fun.

I'm lying, btw.

Piffle Tue 15-Jul-08 21:30:49

I have not
Dp has... To solve a v complex issue for Severn Trent (aka thieving bastards incompetent fuckwits) water.
To calibrate a flow meyer to calculate the flow of water from Lady Bower reservoir into treatment plant. He
wants me to type more about parabolic shaped trenches but I'm so bored
Please tell your DN not to worry
The most interesting folks never need to use one.

RubyRioja Wed 16-Jul-08 06:59:58

Thanks - I do suspect it is a little more specialised than he will need in his enterpise. Maybe he will employ me to do them for him grin

julesrose Fri 18-Jul-08 16:34:54

No but how I'd love to! They are very satisfying things.

cmotdibbler Fri 18-Jul-08 16:42:19

Yes - I'm a medical physicist working with radiation. And I'm very interesting thank you smile

summer111 Fri 18-Jul-08 16:58:27

nice one prettycandles grin

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