
Re: Why trig?
Posted:
Mar 31, 1997 1:02 PM


On Mon, 31 Mar 1997 hessnesh@hugse1.harvard.EDU wrote:
> You are teaching a group of skeptical high school students trigonometry and > they need to know "Why do we learn Trigonometry?" > > Unacceptable answers: > 1. It's the next unit in the book. > 2. The curriculum committee says you have to. > 3. It's on the SAT. > 4. Mathematicians find it "elegant." > 5. In case you ever need to know the height of a flag pole.
I found no trouble understanding (whatever that means) why Answers 1,2,3, and 4 are unacceptable, but I had to think a while about # 5. I guess it must be because we can always use a barometer instead.
Ralph A. Raimi Tel. 716 275 4429, or (home) 716 244 9368 University of Rochester Fax 716 244 6631 Rochester, NY 14627 Homepage: http://www.math.rochester.edu/u/rarm

