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Solved an Algebra Equation at Work

This article was written by in Career and Work. 9 comments.


It’s kind of frightening that in an office of people with banking backgrounds, accounting backgrounds, and managers, I was the only one who could determine the tax portion of a total that includes tax when all that is known is that total and the tax rate. I guess seventh-grade algebra does come in handy once in a while.

Maybe I’ll get to use calculus next month. It would be the first time since high school for me. Perhaps I should have been an engineer.

Published or updated November 7, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar ib
avatar kurt

I constantly amaze my coworkers when I break out the old three variable three function matrix. :-)

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avatar bluntmoney

Ha! I should show this post to my son, who always wants real-life examples of why he should learn algebra.

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avatar mapgirl

It’s funny, but they say word problems, i.e. real world sitations/applications, don’t actually lead to an understanding of math.

Now the question is, can you still name the quadratic function? I can’t. But I can do the Pythagorean Theorem and Fibonacci Series.

Your post is really sad. I mean, honestly, this is why I tell people the killer app on their cell phones is actually the calculator and not being able to call people.

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avatar samerwriter

I’m an engineer, but I haven’t had a need for calculus since, well, I took calculus (15 years ago). Likewise differential equations. Linear Algebra is the closest thing to “useful” in my work, and I keep a copy of “Numerical Recipes in C” handy for when I need to remember how to manipulate matrices (maybe once every few years).

I think the real advantage of having had the math background is konwing what kind of problems can be solved with math. For the actual solving, well, that’s what interns are for.

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avatar John Wilks

I’m always saying that a college degree is just a piece of paper that grants you a better job. I’ll stand by that.

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avatar Schizohedron

The statistics course I took to fulfill my college math requirement paid a dividend more than a decade later when I took up poker. I must thank that professor the next time I am in that region for a Foxwoods run.

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avatar Golbguru

I posted a problem on my blog a few days ago..nothing fancy, just basic algebra stuff and it took people between 10 seconds to 8 minutes to figure it out. :)

People should oil their math-wheels more often. I am going to try and post some similar problems often..just to remind people to use algebra.

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avatar Blaine Moore (First Time Home Owner)

It’s been a while, but I have actually had to use algebra and calculous in real world applications before. This was even before I became an engineer.

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