# Some Educators Argue Calculus Should Be Dethroned

1. Top Mathematician
zkcp

My dentist says he hates calculus!

You should then break his teeth.

1 weekzkcp
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2. Top Mathematician
mobp

Isn't calculus needed for training neural nets?

The leading minds of American “math education” theory literally are not aware of this fact, despite devoting enormous amounts of time to bloviating about day science.

1 weekmobp
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3. Top Mathematician
qull

This discussion is funnier when you realise Americans are taking calculus in college. The rest of the world is studying this stuff at 16 and in America 18-20 year olds are complaining that a non-proof based calculus course is too hard and they want to learn statistics instead.

The US high school calculus classes (Advanced Placement BC, don't know about IB) are actually pretty good by international standards. Of course the students and teachers in those classes are much stronger than the average for US.

IB is a bit different, calculus is one topic. It also includes some probability/stats and discrete math. Also some exploratory projects. something like this would be nice because it's more about critical thinking.

1 weekqull
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4. Top Mathematician
aqvj

Isn't calculus needed for training neural nets?

The leading minds of American “math education” theory literally are not aware of this fact, despite devoting enormous amounts of time to bloviating about day science.

Reflects well on them to be unaware of a false statement

1 weekaqvj
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5. Top Mathematician
sgqj

Isn't calculus needed for training neural nets?

And whatever statistics they call "data science". Regression is a cookbook without an interpretation as MLE.

1 weeksgqj
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6. Top Mathematician
xvur

Isn't calculus needed for training neural nets?

And whatever statistics they call "data science". Regression is a cookbook without an interpretation as MLE.

Yep there's always a need to find a minimum in all this stuff, guess if they don't like calculus they can resort to convexity arguments but I guess that's probably not what they have in mind.

1 weekxvur
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7. Top Mathematician
evfk

Teach convex analysis in high school!

1 weekevfk
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8. Top Mathematician
jrbd

I read the article, it's all actually pretty reasonable. Although the idea of replacing calculus with something like "data science" is pretty terrible. As all mathematicians know, if calculus is replaced by anything it must be linear algebra.

Because those people do not know what you need to know in order to learn data science.

1 weekjrbd
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9. Top Mathematician
youe

Isn't calculus needed for training neural nets?

And whatever statistics they call "data science". Regression is a cookbook without an interpretation as MLE.

Many useful regression methods are not MLEs…

1 weekyoue
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10. Top Mathematician
jrbd

This discussion is funnier when you realise Americans are taking calculus in college. The rest of the world is studying this stuff at 16 and in America 18-20 year olds are complaining that a non-proof based calculus course is too hard and they want to learn statistics instead.

Lots of undergrads in US are just crybabies. They whine whenever there is something they do not know how to do or their score is lower than 80%. Instructors feed them cookies (i.e. giving the score they want) when they whine.

The environment of undergraduate studies in US is completely toxic. I believe many of the instructors from overseas get frustrated with this and they just give all of them 90-100% and A's to shut them up.

1 weekjrbd
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11. Top Mathematician
jrbd

This discussion is funnier when you realise Americans are taking calculus in college. The rest of the world is studying this stuff at 16 and in America 18-20 year olds are complaining that a non-proof based calculus course is too hard and they want to learn statistics instead.

I've taught first year service courses in calculus in both the US and Europe. There's no essential difference, though probably the bottom of the barrel is lower in the US, because of muh diversity. Asia is probably different. I haven't worked there.

The more surprising course in US is pre-calculus, not calculus. The weakest students study quadratic equations and rationalization of surds, which are taught in early high school, in their first year.

1 weekjrbd
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12. Top Mathematician
gkkn

The more surprising course in US is pre-calculus, not calculus. The weakest students study quadratic equations and rationalization of surds, which are taught in early high school, in their first year.

In US the weakest students can land in LRM college with like 1 yr of high school math.

1 weekgkkn
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13. Top Mathematician
ezrw

The more surprising course in US is pre-calculus, not calculus. The weakest students study quadratic equations and rationalization of surds, which are taught in early high school, in their first year.

In US the weakest students can land in LRM college with like 1 yr of high school math.

And they get their first or second proof based class (depends on whether they have intro to math) in their final year.

1 weekezrw
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14. Top Mathematician
zfor

i agree with this. calculus is an artifact of when physics-based engineering was important. they should teach linear algebra and statistics before calculus.

1 weekzfor
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15. Top Mathematician
zfor

and before anyone says it, the calculus that matters for basic statistics can be taught in one week. you don't need a whole year of doing integrals for it.

1 weekzfor
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16. Top Mathematician
xpdu

calculus is an artifact of when physics-based engineering was important.

Physics-based engineering has become un-important?!?

1 weekxpdu
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17. Top Mathematician
qmti

it's not actually. just ask people in actual engineering jobs.

1 weekqmti
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18. Top Mathematician
xpdu
[...]

And whatever statistics they call "data science". Regression is a cookbook without an interpretation as MLE.

Many useful regression methods are not MLEs…

I can't think of any method that could be taught in a data science class that is not interpretable as MLE. What did you have in mind?

1 weekxpdu
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19. Top Mathematician
ypsz

and before anyone says it, the calculus that matters for basic statistics can be taught in one week. you don't need a whole year of doing integrals for it.

You forgot the high school students need practice. Technically it should be taught for a semester. And they should be taught with intuition even if not in the rigorous way.

1 weekypsz
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20. Top Mathematician
uqrv
[...]

Many useful regression methods are not MLEs…

I can't think of any method that could be taught in a data science class that is not interpretable as MLE. What did you have in mind?

Any nonparametric method.

1 weekuqrv
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