An RSP denizen attempted to rebut an assertion that he doesn't get math by stating he studied multivariate calculus. Upon reflection, I realized quite a few other RSP regulars probably did so as well. Curiosity led to a desire for a little bit of data to go with my anecdata.

They call me Troll; Gnawer of the Moon, Giant of Gale-blasts, Curse of the Rain-Hall, Companion of the Sibyl, Nightroaming Hellion, Swallower of the Loaf of Heaven. What is a Troll but that?

Well, I'm very good at integral and differential calculus.

They call me Troll; Gnawer of the Moon, Giant of Gale-blasts, Curse of the Rain-Hall, Companion of the Sibyl, Nightroaming Hellion, Swallower of the Loaf of Heaven. What is a Troll but that?

draxx01 wrote:

Dirge the Troll wrote:

Well, I'm very good at integral and differential calculus.

Does that count?

Spoiler (click to reveal)

Only if you have many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse.

I also studied multi-word English, multi-thought Philosophy, multi-note Music, multi-degree Thermodynamics, multi-cell Biology and multi-multi other courses so I know everything about everything. Do not dispute me.

Taught statistics, I do stats at work, I've never taken multivariate calculus, only calc 1. (I can integrate simple stuff but I don't know how to do a triple integral, or really even what the name means.)

Amazed that I'm the only person who answered "not yet." That shit sounds fun, I want to learn when I don't have a dissertation in the land of Damocles hanging over my head.

SoRCon 11 23-25 Feb 2018 Basildon UK http://www.sorcon.co.uk

It depends what you mean by multivariate calculus.

Basic stuff like functions of multiple variables, partial derivatives, using Lagrangians to help find maxima and minima, that's early undergraduate stuff - some of it is pre-university. If you mean differential analysis and geometry, fibre bundles, all that stuff, I never really mastered that course. (I blame it on the teaching, trying to cram too much in and teaching by pre-printed notes. The similar level Riemann surfaces course - which is complex rather than multivariate - was straightforward.) Fortunately the way my degree was structured I could completely avoid the DAG in the final exams by the process of doing extra courses and then deciding which ones to drop. (Some I always intended to drop, like the course on GR - another form of multiple dimensions, with tensors - they were just for interest.)

And of course all of that is irrelevant to the original thread, where it was desperate deflection. Minimal mathematical ability needed there. The most informative comments there were based on engineering practice.

It was required for graduation. Yes, even for Literature majors.

I’m not sure it’s a good argument about general math knowledge, though. A) The rule for who had to figure out the tip and split the bill was “youngest non-math major”. Youngest, because most groups try to bake in seniority to some degree. Non-math major because if you bring group theory and non-Euclidean geometry into it, you’ll never get done. B) I observed, in myself and others, a drop in arithmetic skills upon studying calculus. Granted, some people had an exceedingly high starting point, so they still ended up pretty scary. (Anecdotal, of course.)

Meaningless means there's a strong limit to how much I can mess up!

This overtext is not in use.

It's an oddly specific yet actually vague boast.

Like, if you've studied mathematics in university, for instance, why not say that? Otherwise, I don't know what it really means. It would be odd to have a course that is specifically and only about multi-variable calculus, in isolation from some bigger study program.

SoRCon 11 23-25 Feb 2018 Basildon UK http://www.sorcon.co.uk

verandi wrote:

Dearlove wrote:

It depends what you mean by multivariate calculus.

Basic stuff like functions of multiple variables

Yes, that's clearly what he meant; stop showing off.

Oh, that was deliberate, in case the poster who waved his knowledge around in the other thread as if it was relevant showed up here. Normally I don't bother. In particular I have some actually relevant knowledge to the subject in the other thread - though not as much as at least one other poster - but I haven't mentioned it as it wasn't needed. Far more useful were the people who dug out graphs.

Amazed that I'm the only person who answered "not yet." That shit sounds fun, I want to learn when I don't have a dissertation in the land of Damocles hanging over my head.

Wait till you get to the fun stuff - complex analysis. Think of it as cal taught by Doc Brown. Numbers? Where we’re going we don’t need numbers. ...

Like, if you've studied mathematics in university, for instance, why not say that? Otherwise, I don't know what it really means. It would be odd to have a course that is specifically and only about multi-variable calculus, in isolation from some bigger study program.

There are quite a few science and engineering programs that require multivariate calculus as the the only math courses for the degree. At my alma mater multivariate calc was a three course sequence (differential, integral, diff eq).

Amazed that I'm the only person who answered "not yet." That shit sounds fun, I want to learn when I don't have a dissertation in the land of Damocles hanging over my head.

Wait till you get to the fun stuff - complex analysis. Think of it as cal taught by Doc Brown. Numbers? Where we’re going we don’t need numbers. ...

Fuzzy logic does sound fun.

Oh here, theoretically this thing I did is related to the topic:

Although in fairness, I'm not sure fractals actually require multivariate calculus; you can get pretty far w/o knowing any math at all.

We have a bunch of people here in RSP with advanced and highly technical degrees. What I do bridges the gap between physics and math. There are some pure mathematicians here I think, at least a couple of other physicists, a psychologist or two (although one of them no longer shows up much), and so on. What's the big deal?