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We should show math's practical applications


Date published: 4/10/2014

We should show math's practical applications

Edward Frenkel's comments on the math curriculum are well-founded ["How our math curriculum cheats our kids," March 30].

I recall the day that a student in my AP physics class asked what my all-time favorite course was. I replied that it was titled "Functions of a Complex Variable."

I explained that I had an epiphany the day I realized that this form of math allowed one to obtain an exact solution to a heat transfer problem that typically required use of a non-ending Fourier series.

I also mentioned that my favorite equation was Euler's identity. The reaction of my students was disbelief that I could have found this so fascinating.

When we teach children math, we must also show how powerful it can be in solving scientific and engineering problems!

William L. R. Rice

Stafford