John Jensen on wed 23 oct 96
I had the option of taking algebra and trig or calculus to fulfull my
requirement at LSU. I ended up taking them all. First I got barely passing
grade in Algebra and then I flunked trig with an incomprehensible GS from
Pakistan. With little to loose, I went ahead to calculus and flunked my first
test with the lowest grade in the class, getting only the extra credit question
right. I complained to the teacher that the test was heavily weighted to
problems and that I could probably do all right with only proofs. The Prof
called my bluff and gave the next test to be all proofs with only problems for
extra credit. Now I got the highest grade in the class and the engineering
students were screaming! In the end I got by with a C. But I learned a lot of
calculus. I don't think I have ever used any calculus to solve a problem
directly since then, but I am convinced that all the math I took shaped the way
I think and my view of the world. John Jensen in Annapolis
ROBERT POGSON on thu 24 oct 96
John Jensen, 76053.1462@CompuServe.COM, wrote:
JJ> I complained to the teacher that the test was heavily weighted to
JJ> problems and that I could probably do all right with only proofs. The Prof
JJ> called my bluff and gave the next test to be all proofs with only problems
JJ> extra credit. Now I got the highest grade in the class and the engineering
JJ> students were screaming! In the end I got by with a C. But I learned
JJ> a lot of
JJ> calculus. I don't think I have ever used any calculus to solve a problem
JJ> directly since then, but I am convinced that all the math I took shaped the
JJ> I think and my view of the world. John Jensen in Annapolis
The 1st year calculus is useful for estimating the temperature as
a function of distance into a kiln wall. This could save big bucks in
finding the right place to change to a lower temperature material, or
for estimating the total power loss. Extensions to these ideas could
help determine the maximum safe rate of heating for irregularly shaped
objects.
To do the 3 dimensional calculations probably you have to go to a
second year level but you can get some useful rules of thumb by estimation
from the 1D case.
I remember firing some pots for a friend. They were large, with an
oval mouth and with a vnotch in opposite flat sides. I cracked several
thinking they had been handled too roughly. It turned out heat flow and
the poor mechanical strngth of the shape meant I had to reduce rate of
heating and cooling greatly over my usual routine. This incident was
stressful for the pots and my relationship with the maker.
Anyone working on large irregular shapes could benefit from calculations
of heat flow and mechanical stresses. The modern PCs are able to do
finite element analysis and such that were done on main frame computers
a generation back.
.... nfx v2.8 [C0000] Hooray for (some) snakes!
Bob Hanlin on fri 25 oct 96
Well, what do ya know. I got a math degree doing the same sort of thing.
However, I was fortunate enought to attend a university that had a very
theoretical math chair. Most folk I talk to want to do the drain the tank
with a 'v' shaped grove cut in it. I was the one that if you said "This is
given, show that..." and I was in my element. I agree that our world view
is shaped by the way we reason things like being more concerned with how a
thing works than whether I can work it in a specific way. It's neat to hear
from another that had an easier time with the theory than with the application.
Bob Hanlin
Oklahoma City, OK
bhanlin@ionet.net
>Original message
>I had the option of taking algebra and trig or calculus to fulfull my
>requirement at LSU. I ended up taking them all. First I got barely passing
>grade in Algebra and then I flunked trig with an incomprehensible GS from
>Pakistan. With little to loose, I went ahead to calculus and flunked my first
>test with the lowest grade in the class, getting only the extra credit question
>right. I complained to the teacher that the test was heavily weighted to
>problems and that I could probably do all right with only proofs. The Prof
>called my bluff and gave the next test to be all proofs with only problems for
>extra credit. Now I got the highest grade in the class and the engineering
>students were screaming! In the end I got by with a C. But I learned a
lot of
>calculus. I don't think I have ever used any calculus to solve a problem
>directly since then, but I am convinced that all the math I took shaped the way
>I think and my view of the world. John Jensen in Annapolis
>
>
Bob Hanlin
3504 N. Tulsa
Oklahoma City, OK 73112
email bhanlin@ionet.net
 
