Math Majors At FMH

mathdad

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I would like to know how many members on this website have a math degree or are in pursue of a math degree. Please, share your personal and academic math history.
 

Jomo

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Most helpers here have degrees in math, statistics and actuarial science. Denis barely finished high school and has no higher degree than a high school diploma.
 

mathdad

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Most helpers here have degrees in math, statistics and actuarial science. Denis barely finished high school and has no higher degree than a high school diploma.
Thank you for the information. This site (and others like it) amaze me with the amount of people who are simply amazing mathematicians in their own right. Although my questions are probably the easiest problems posted here, I have learned so much math from MarkFL, Soroban (miss him) and others with similar mathematical background and experience.
 

Jomo

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Thank you for the information. This site (and others like it) amaze me with the amount of people who are simply amazing mathematicians in their own right. Although my questions are probably the easiest problems posted here, I have learned so much math from MarkFL, Soroban (miss him) and others with similar mathematical background and experience.
Only about three people on the forum here are mathematicians and yes they are amazing.
 

mathdad

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716
Only about three people on the forum here are mathematicians and yes they are amazing.
Questions for you below.

1. What is your view of standardized exams leading to employment (say a city job) and the often limited time given to pass?

2. In NYC, public schools lower graduation standards, particularly in terms of math, to help "lost" students meet the prerequisites for ON TIME graduation. For example, parents often complain to school districts across the city that calculus 1 should not be introduced at the high school level because the material may be "unfair" to young minds. I say this is rubbish. What do you say?

3. Some colleges across the USA are considering removing the SAT and ACT as entrance requirement after high school. I agree here. SAT and ACT (although easier than the SAT) questions are very tricky and the time given to pass is simply ridiculous. What is your view about removing the SAT and ACT as a college entrance requirement?
 

Jomo

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1) I used to be a NYC subway conductor and had to deal with the test to get the job. I never really thought about that question before. I guess a lottery could work. My fear is that I would not want a train operator who really does not have the ability to take on such a job. So maybe a lottery is not the way to go. I remember once as a conductor one day when my train operator asked me to go up front to him. I told him ok and started to walk to his position when I encountered an end door that would not open so I had to go down to the track to get to him. But 1st I went back to my position and told him over the pa system (back then that was the only way for conductors and train operators to communicate) that I needed to go down to the tracks and he responded "OK". My train operator was one of the nicest people I have ever met but not the smartest by any means. So I had him repeat back what I said just to be sure he understood that I was going down to the tracks. If he had moved that train I would not be here right now. The job really requires responsibility and just hiring people randomly would scare me. So some testing should be required. I recall the test being easy but I do not recall it testing to see if someone would be good at the job.

2) It is sad to say but I have given up on our k-12 system in the states. it is so sad to say but my worst majors in my math classes are math education majors--future high school teachers. They NEVER start at my college in Calculus 1 or higher but rather in ARITHMETIC or our lowest level of algebra. How can one want to teach math when they graduated high school and get placed into algebra or worst yet getting placed into arithmetic which really means that they learned no math at all in k-12?
I really do not want to go on but to say that because public education is not profitable so the people in power do not invest enough money into the system. In NYC, for example, if a school does poorly then the city threatens them by saying if you do not improve by next year we will cut your budget. In my opinion if a school did poorly they should be given MORE funds next year. Capitalism is the biggest crime of them all!

3) The standardized test seem to be racist. I had a friend who was a high school English teacher in a poor part of NYC. He had a student who was studying for his upcoming SAT test one day came up to my friend and asked what Biff meant. Biff was at the start of the sentence so the B in Biff was capitalized. My friend, who knew the test was racist, had to tell his Latino student that Biff was a name of someone. No come on, how many non white people would know that Biff was a name. I'm white and I barely knew that.

Assuming that the SAT/ACT were fair I might support having them IF students did not study for them. In this way we can see what students learned. But since students study for these exams it is not fair, especially when students of richer parents get to be tutored for the test. This is amazingly unfair to the poor who could do equally as well as the rich if they too got individualized help for the test.
 

mathdad

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Messages
716
1) I used to be a NYC subway conductor and had to deal with the test to get the job. I never really thought about that question before. I guess a lottery could work. My fear is that I would not want a train operator who really does not have the ability to take on such a job. So maybe a lottery is not the way to go. I remember once as a conductor one day when my train operator asked me to go up front to him. I told him ok and started to walk to his position when I encountered an end door that would not open so I had to go down to the track to get to him. But 1st I went back to my position and told him over the pa system (back then that was the only way for conductors and train operators to communicate) that I needed to go down to the tracks and he responded "OK". My train operator was one of the nicest people I have ever met but not the smartest by any means. So I had him repeat back what I said just to be sure he understood that I was going down to the tracks. If he had moved that train I would not be here right now. The job really requires responsibility and just hiring people randomly would scare me. So some testing should be required. I recall the test being easy but I do not recall it testing to see if someone would be good at the job.

2) It is sad to say but I have given up on our k-12 system in the states. it is so sad to say but my worst majors in my math classes are math education majors--future high school teachers. They NEVER start at my college in Calculus 1 or higher but rather in ARITHMETIC or our lowest level of algebra. How can one want to teach math when they graduated high school and get placed into algebra or worst yet getting placed into arithmetic which really means that they learned no math at all in k-12?
I really do not want to go on but to say that because public education is not profitable so the people in power do not invest enough money into the system. In NYC, for example, if a school does poorly then the city threatens them by saying if you do not improve by next year we will cut your budget. In my opinion if a school did poorly they should be given MORE funds next year. Capitalism is the biggest crime of them all!

3) The standardized test seem to be racist. I had a friend who was a high school English teacher in a poor part of NYC. He had a student who was studying for his upcoming SAT test one day came up to my friend and asked what Biff meant. Biff was at the start of the sentence so the B in Biff was capitalized. My friend, who knew the test was racist, had to tell his Latino student that Biff was a name of someone. No come on, how many non white people would know that Biff was a name. I'm white and I barely knew that.

Assuming that the SAT/ACT were fair I might support having them IF students did not study for them. In this way we can see what students learned. But since students study for these exams it is not fair, especially when students of richer parents get to be tutored for the test. This is amazingly unfair to the poor who could do equally as well as the rich if they too got individualized help for the test.
I will reply in detail when time allows. Thank you for your answers. Interesting to know that you were a train conductor in NYC. The MTA is horrible and has been for many years.
 

mathdad

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Joined
Apr 24, 2015
Messages
716
1) I used to be a NYC subway conductor and had to deal with the test to get the job. I never really thought about that question before. I guess a lottery could work. My fear is that I would not want a train operator who really does not have the ability to take on such a job. So maybe a lottery is not the way to go. I remember once as a conductor one day when my train operator asked me to go up front to him. I told him ok and started to walk to his position when I encountered an end door that would not open so I had to go down to the track to get to him. But 1st I went back to my position and told him over the pa system (back then that was the only way for conductors and train operators to communicate) that I needed to go down to the tracks and he responded "OK". My train operator was one of the nicest people I have ever met but not the smartest by any means. So I had him repeat back what I said just to be sure he understood that I was going down to the tracks. If he had moved that train I would not be here right now. The job really requires responsibility and just hiring people randomly would scare me. So some testing should be required. I recall the test being easy but I do not recall it testing to see if someone would be good at the job.

2) It is sad to say but I have given up on our k-12 system in the states. it is so sad to say but my worst majors in my math classes are math education majors--future high school teachers. They NEVER start at my college in Calculus 1 or higher but rather in ARITHMETIC or our lowest level of algebra. How can one want to teach math when they graduated high school and get placed into algebra or worst yet getting placed into arithmetic which really means that they learned no math at all in k-12?
I really do not want to go on but to say that because public education is not profitable so the people in power do not invest enough money into the system. In NYC, for example, if a school does poorly then the city threatens them by saying if you do not improve by next year we will cut your budget. In my opinion if a school did poorly they should be given MORE funds next year. Capitalism is the biggest crime of them all!

3) The standardized test seem to be racist. I had a friend who was a high school English teacher in a poor part of NYC. He had a student who was studying for his upcoming SAT test one day came up to my friend and asked what Biff meant. Biff was at the start of the sentence so the B in Biff was capitalized. My friend, who knew the test was racist, had to tell his Latino student that Biff was a name of someone. No come on, how many non white people would know that Biff was a name. I'm white and I barely knew that.

Assuming that the SAT/ACT were fair I might support having them IF students did not study for them. In this way we can see what students learned. But since students study for these exams it is not fair, especially when students of richer parents get to be tutored for the test. This is amazingly unfair to the poor who could do equally as well as the rich if they too got individualized help for the test.

Note: My reply to yours are numbered 1 to 3.

1) Most exams do not test if an applicant is a good candidate for the job. I think that if there is going to be a test for a particular job, the test should be based on common sense not the ability to solve a linear equation for x or to graph a function. I think reading comprehension is important. Conductors should know how to answer paragraph questions not necessarily at the SAT or ACT level.

Of course, passing a test must be, if there is testing requirement for employment, step one in the hiring process. Training should be no more than 3 weeks, depending on the job classification. A second test should be given based on the training provided. My problem is not the actual test but the limited time given test takers.

I took the NYPD test in the 1980s after high school. I did not pass. I was crushed. The test is not hard but, in my opinion, more time is needed to read AND UNDERSTAND the long passages. By the way, I did pass the ASVAB in 1995 to enter the Navy. I also passed the L.A.S.T exam (the first test in the teacher certification process) after failing the first-two times. I then failed the second test in the process and totally gave up on my dream to become a teacher.

2) I worked as a per diem "teacher" in NYC for 8 years. I have to say that the public school system in NYC is a joke in poor taste. A. Per diem "teachers" are nothing more than classroom baby sitters. B. The out of subject regular teachers are more confused than the students. For example, NYC is notorious for hiring gym teachers to teach math, math teachers to teach history, music teachers to teach biology, etc. As long as the person is state certified, and there is a great need to fill the hole (the teacher spot) in a school district, anyone can be a teacher.

It is very sad to know that in today's corrupt NYC education system math teachers at the high school level do not need to know derivative of functions, integration and limits. Like you said, the evil CAPITALISTIC mentality runs the show. I know all about it.

As a sub teacher, I really enjoyed the cluster program. As a cluster, my duty was to give teacher breaks for about 40 minutes per class. I recall walking into a fifth grade classroom. The teacher gave me permission to do whatever I wanted to do with the kids. So, I decided to teach the difference between UNLIKE and LIKE denominators.

The kids were afraid of fractions. I removed that fear by breaking down the material to their level. One girl about 10 years old walked over to thank me for teaching the basics of fractions. It was her greatest struggle. The kids told the returning teacher that they now understood fractions a little better thanks to the sub.

The teacher was so embarrassed that she made it a personal mission to assure that I never return to this particular public school and yes, the school never called back. In conclusion, NYC k-12 education is a disaster, to say the least. I am a victim of public school education. Jomo, I promise to share my educational background/journey with you and others on this website when time allows. I think you'll find my story interesting.

3) I disagree that standardized exams are racist. I agree that more time is needed to pass.
I was a tutor in the after school program for 8 years for grades k-5. I am Hispanic. I also worked as a private tutor for many years in the ghetto areas.

Jomo, I helped many kids exceed academically but a large number of kids (from ghetto areas) just did not want to do the work that's needed to improve their school work. I also have been racially criticized by my own Hispanic race for working as a tutor. They accused me over and over again of trying to be WHITE, whatever that means.

The only group of students that gave me a hard time as a tutor were Hispanic and African Americans. White and Indian kids were so happy to see me enter their home for tutoring and truly appreciated my effort to make them better students in every which way. Again, my BIG ISSUE with testing is the limited time provided.
 

Jomo

Elite Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2014
Messages
3,658
Note: My reply to yours are numbered 1 to 3.

1) Most exams do not test if an applicant is a good candidate for the job. I think that if there is going to be a test for a particular job, the test should be based on common sense not the ability to solve a linear equation for x or to graph a function. I think reading comprehension is important. Conductors should know how to answer paragraph questions not necessarily at the SAT or ACT level.

Of course, passing a test must be, if there is testing requirement for employment, step one in the hiring process. Training should be no more than 3 weeks, depending on the job classification. A second test should be given based on the training provided. My problem is not the actual test but the limited time given test takers.

I took the NYPD test in the 1980s after high school. I did not pass. I was crushed. The test is not hard but, in my opinion, more time is needed to read AND UNDERSTAND the long passages. By the way, I did pass the ASVAB in 1995 to enter the Navy. I also passed the L.A.S.T exam (the first test in the teacher certification process) after failing the first-two times. I then failed the second test in the process and totally gave up on my dream to become a teacher.

2) I worked as a per diem "teacher" in NYC for 8 years. I have to say that the public school system in NYC is a joke in poor taste. A. Per diem "teachers" are nothing more than classroom baby sitters. B. The out of subject regular teachers are more confused than the students. For example, NYC is notorious for hiring gym teachers to teach math, math teachers to teach history, music teachers to teach biology, etc. As long as the person is state certified, and there is a great need to fill the hole (the teacher spot) in a school district, anyone can be a teacher.

It is very sad to know that in today's corrupt NYC education system math teachers at the high school level do not need to know derivative of functions, integration and limits. Like you said, the evil CAPITALISTIC mentality runs the show. I know all about it.

As a sub teacher, I really enjoyed the cluster program. As a cluster, my duty was to give teacher breaks for about 40 minutes per class. I recall walking into a fifth grade classroom. The teacher gave me permission to do whatever I wanted to do with the kids. So, I decided to teach the difference between UNLIKE and LIKE denominators.

The kids were afraid of fractions. I removed that fear by breaking down the material to their level. One girl about 10 years old walked over to thank me for teaching the basics of fractions. It was her greatest struggle. The kids told the returning teacher that they now understood fractions a little better thanks to the sub.

The teacher was so embarrassed that she made it a personal mission to assure that I never return to this particular public school and yes, the school never called back. In conclusion, NYC k-12 education is a disaster, to say the least. I am a victim of public school education. Jomo, I promise to share my educational background/journey with you and others on this website when time allows. I think you'll find my story interesting.

3) I disagree that standardized exams are racist. I agree that more time is needed to pass.
I was a tutor in the after school program for 8 years for grades k-5. I am Hispanic. I also worked as a private tutor for many years in the ghetto areas.

Jomo, I helped many kids exceed academically but a large number of kids (from ghetto areas) just did not want to do the work that's needed to improve their school work. I also have been racially criticized by my own Hispanic race for working as a tutor. They accused me over and over again of trying to be WHITE, whatever that means.

The only group of students that gave me a hard time as a tutor were Hispanic and African Americans. White and Indian kids were so happy to see me enter their home for tutoring and truly appreciated my effort to make them better students in every which way. Again, my BIG ISSUE with testing is the limited time provided.
It really disgusts me when a teacher is upset when you do a better job then they do. When I meet a better teacher than me I try to learn as much from them as I could. I never run from them!
 

mathdad

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It really disgusts me when a teacher is upset when you do a better job then they do. When I meet a better teacher than me I try to learn as much from them as I could. I never run from them!
The problem, as I see it, is the fact that I was the substitute. According to certified teachers, subs are not qualified to teach anything. BTW, I am no fraction expert. I had been exposed to fractions through my own study of grade school math.

I am a firm believer that a building called SCHOOL does not make anyone smart. For example, if person A goes to school and does not study, A will fail. If person B is not a formal student but daily likes to review and study, B will learn and thus know more than A. Another example is the church person. Going to church does not make anyone a Christian anymore than going to Yankee Stadium will make anyone a baseball player. You get the picture.
 

mathdad

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It really disgusts me when a teacher is upset when you do a better job then they do. When I meet a better teacher than me I try to learn as much from them as I could. I never run from them!
1. What is your favorite math course?
2. What is the toughest math course you have ever taken?
3. What is your view of substitute teachers?
4. What do you think about the recent college scandal involving actress Lori Loughlin and other celebrities?
5. Why did you leave the MTA?
 

mathdad

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If you are a math major or have a math degree(s), why did you select math as a major?
 
Last edited:

Jomo

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1. What is your favorite math course?
2. What is the toughest math course you have ever taken?
3. What is your view of substitute teachers?
4. What do you think about the recent college scandal involving actress Lori Loughlin and other celebrities?
5. Why did you leave the MTA?
1)Linear Algebra
2)Commutative Algebra
3)Teachers have their own teaching styles so when there is a sub the students do not like them
4)Rich people always think that they can get what they want.
5)12/7/1987
 

mathdad

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1)Linear Algebra
2)Commutative Algebra
3)Teachers have their own teaching styles so when there is a sub the students do not like them
4)Rich people always think that they can get what they want.
5)12/7/1987
1)Linear Algebra

Why linear algebra?

2)Commutative Algebra

What makes this course so tough?

3)Teachers have their own teaching styles so when there is a sub the students do not like them

Certified teachers are well-known for talking negatively about subs. I cannot tell you how many students made this clear to me.

4)Rich people always think that they can get what they want.

Money can buy anything in this life.

5)12/7/1987

Not when but why you left the MTA.
 

Jomo

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1)Linear Algebra

Why linear algebra? It was my first proof course

2)Commutative Algebra

What makes this course so tough? It was just insane. It was clearly the hardest A I have ever earned.

3)Teachers have their own teaching styles so when there is a sub the students do not like them

Certified teachers are well-known for talking negatively about subs. I cannot tell you how many students made this clear to me.

4)Rich people always think that they can get what they want.

Money can buy anything in this life.

5)12/7/1987

Not when but why you left the MTA. I did not see a future with the MTA. It was/is a GREAT job for some people but not me. I really wanted to be a math professor. After getting my job at a community college I left my PhD program.
Comments above.
 

mathdad

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Comments above.
Are you saying that a PhD is not needed to teach at a two-year college? Really? I have a B.A. in Sociology. Had I known this back in my youth, I would have applied to graduate school for my M.A. in Sociology to work as an adjunct professor at Lehman College. Ignorance is a crime. Now, I'm stuck with three college diplomas working as a security guard at a NYC museum. My life sucks!
 

Jomo

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Are you saying that a PhD is not needed to teach at a two-year college? Really? I have a B.A. in Sociology. Had I known this back in my youth, I would have applied to graduate school for my M.A. in Sociology to work as an adjunct professor at Lehman College. Ignorance is a crime. Now, I'm stuck with three college diplomas working as a security guard at a NYC museum. My life sucks!
The college I went to (The College of Staten Island = CSI) used to be a two year college. In Staten Island there used to be two CUNY colleges--Staten Island Community College and Richmond College. Richmond College just had the third and fourth year courses. You had to be blind of all politics to not see that these two colleges would merge at some point. So the community college only hired faculty with PhDs and of course so did Richmond college. After the merge of the two colleges into CSI, I started attending there. ALL my professors had PhDs so I assumed that you needed one to teach full time at a community college (as they were there when it was a CC). In graduate school I found out that you only needed a masters degree to teach full-time at a CC or to be an adjunct at a 2 or 4 year college (I guess I knew this about being an adjunct). The insane part is for the last decade or more CUNY want their CC faculty to have a PhD and in some CUNY four year colleges they are trying to save money by hiring faculty with only master degrees! But for SUNY CCs and almost all others CC in other states the requirement is just a masters degree.
 

mathdad

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The college I went to (The College of Staten Island = CSI) used to be a two year college. In Staten Island there used to be two CUNY colleges--Staten Island Community College and Richmond College. Richmond College just had the third and fourth year courses. You had to be blind of all politics to not see that these two colleges would merge at some point. So the community college only hired faculty with PhDs and of course so did Richmond college. After the merge of the two colleges into CSI, I started attending there. ALL my professors had PhDs so I assumed that you needed one to teach full time at a community college (as they were there when it was a CC). In graduate school I found out that you only needed a masters degree to teach full-time at a CC or to be an adjunct at a 2 or 4 year college (I guess I knew this about being an adjunct). The insane part is for the last decade or more CUNY want their CC faculty to have a PhD and in some CUNY four year colleges they are trying to save money by hiring faculty with only master degrees! But for SUNY CCs and almost all others CC in other states the requirement is just a masters degree.
My heart is crushed. Wish I knew this about 20 years ago. I have 3 undergraduate degrees but no graduate school.
 

tkhunny

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Since I invented my own Long Division algorithm in the 2nd Grade, it seemed like maybe I should do something with that kind of self-sufficient need to discover.
 

Otis

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I have insatiable curiosity about the natural realm. (I'm fairly certain that this is what drove me mad, heh.) Knowledge about natural systems is framed in terms of mathematics, and that is the primary reason for why I chose to focus on mathematics in college.

😎
 
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