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Is Geometry Useful?

Geometry, a math classic dating all the way back to 325 B.C, described as an “Earth Measurement” in Greek, elicits different opinions from everyone. Some find geometry recondite, others might find it the easiest math of their lives. Mostly everyone learns geometry sometime in their lives, but do we remember? Most people forget much of what they learned in high school, and most adults when asked a question about high school level math, cannot answer or help you out. They’ve thrown most of that type of information out of their heads as they have way more pertinent stuff to remember. 

 

This begs the question of the usefulness of geometry in everyday life. If most adults forget geometry after high school, will that happen to me? So, I ran a very small experiment where I asked random adults around our local mall, Northgate, to see if anyone could solve this geometry problem (view down below the article) Among the ten male and ten female people I approached, none were able to solve the equation. 

 

“Most adults really just don’t care about high school math after they graduate,” said one of the participants. “Some end up never using high school level math ever again as most jobs require very simple levels of math nowadays.”

 

Most common jobs in the US, like janitors, customer service representatives, cashiers, and waiters might never use geometry again so why would they need that knowledge still stuck in their brains?  For some humans, they use it to develop their thinking skills as geometry makes you think more logically and increases your mindset tremendously, which can make your everyday life more simple.  

So what do our own math teachers think?  When asked if adults should remember some high school math, Mr. Wilson, one of the main geometry teachers said, “Should you remember it? You can’t help but remember it if you have the interest to use what we presented, as the way to navigate society, so it depends on your motivation and disposition… and your life around you.” 

 

“I think everybody uses very very simple math all the time everywhere they go,” said Mrs. Reid, one of the math teachers at Terra Linda. “ The higher you get in math, no.  I think very few people use that daily, but geometry might be one of the exceptions because geometry is such a visual, spatial thing, as it shows up in all these artistic places, like architecture and graphic design.”

 

After speaking to these math teachers, they understand the uses geometry has around the world outside of school, but also understand that most average humans like us don’t really need to keep that information in our brains. They know most of us can succeed in life with or without geometry. 

Should you remember geometry at all after high school? It all depends on what you’re going to do with the rest of your life.  If you’re wanting to go down a career path that requires geometry like a graphic designer for a major company, then yes, learn more geometry, but if you’re maybe doing something like becoming a dentist, then maybe throw that information out of your head as If you don’t use it, you lose it. It’s not possible to hold every little thing you know at your mental disposal. Stuff you aren’t using fades away, though if you’ve learned it before, it will likely come back easily. Relearning might be hard for some, but the reward for some might pay off in the long run.

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