Monday, January 30, 2012

The Greatest Invention - Can I Be Any Nerdier?

I love math.  I think it's a precursor for everything in the world - engineering, medicine, science, and business included.  Some of the most notable people of this world have been mathematicians and found great discoveries that lead to the continuation and progression of our society today.  How cool is that?  Finding ways to calculate probabilities and profits has become so much easier because of math.  Does that make math the coolest invention ever thought up in the world? No.  And to be quite honest, there are a lot of other great inventions that outnumber in popularity and importance. Math really isn't the most important thing in the world, but it did lead to the creation of the greatest inventions in the world.  Without math, the ever so helpful calculator would have never transpired into this world.

It might appear to be a minor inconvenience to not have a calculator in math class.  Simple addition, subtraction, multiplication and division should be easy enough without a calculator.  But what about squares? Square roots? Probabilities? What about logs and matrices and exponents?  Imagine the hours spent on calculating equations by hand that could very well be solved within seconds on a calculator.  Calculators are not only holders of great intelligence, but they are convenient and practical.  You all know what 2+2 is (or at least I'm hope you all do) and how to calculate equations using long division...  But when you're short on time and you have a lot of complex equations to calculate, can even begin to imagine doing everything in your head or... by hand? I can't.  I'm a math nerd, but even I know I can't fast-break long math equations on paper or in my head.   I need something that can speed up the process - something that isn't subjected to human error in simple calculations.  That something, thank goodness, became the calculator and is something I take for granted.

I treat my calculator like my baby.  Whenever it seems low on batteries or appears to be broken, I freak out and try to fix it.  My current calculator, the TI-84 Plus Silver Edition, is one of my prized possessions.  I have had her since the 8th grade and I can't even imagine buying another one.  I guess I've gotten 'attached' to her that I can't even fathom the idea of replacing her with a new calculator.  I wonder if there's a disease for that.  "Calculator Separation Anxiety" or "Obsessive Calculator Disorder." I like the sound of that last one... OCD.  Sadly, that name is already taken by Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and people might mistake one for the other... ANYWAYS, to stress my point,  I value my calculator as one of the more important pieces of technology in my possession today.   It has helped me through Algebra 1&2, Pre-calculus, Geometry, AP Statistics, and the numerous ACT & SAT exams that I've taken over the years.  It has helped me succeed in my math competitions.  It has helped me succeed in my classes. My calculator has helped me all throughout my high school career and even part of my middle school career.  I know that I will rely on my calculator a lot more in college than I will now, which just goes to show why and how the calculator is important.

Honestly, where would the world be without calculators?  Probabilities would only reach as far as figuring out the chance of rolling one number in a 6-sided die.  Computers might have never been created (they are, after all, just giant calculators).   Advances in science and math might have been at a stand still or seriously slowed down.  In short, without the calculator, the world might not have made such fast progressions in science and math, and in general, progressions in life itself.

Thank you and good night.  *Bows.

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