[ back to MATH 102/03 home ] | revised 2001-09-05 |

**Objectives:**

- To learn how you may use this course work on the job
- Potentially, to network with people in your field

**Due date:** Monday, September 17

Since the dawn of time, every math student has asked, "What's the use of this stuff? Why do we have to learn it?"

Euclid's answer was to tell a slave to give a coin to the student who asked this, "so that he can say he got something out of his education." But I think you can do better.

Your assignment is to interview people who are actually working in your chosen field and find out how they use algebra or trigonometry in their work.

You should not need more than a few minutes from anyone, but be courteous. The person may not have time to talk to you on no notice, so you may need to make an appointment in advance at a time that's convenient for them.

During the interview, introduce yourself and explain why you're doing this, then ask the question directly: "How do you use algebra or trigonometry in your work?" If the answer is "I don't," ask how they use other branches of mathematics. If the answer again is "I don't," you might want to ask if they can direct you to a colleague who does.

Remember to thank the person for their time.

Write up your findings, either neatly in handwriting of using a word processor if you prefer. At the top of your paper, state your name and your field of interest. For each person you interview, give this information:

- the interview subject's name and job title
- date of the interview
- briefly, how the subject uses algebra and trig (or other math fields) in work life

Your goal should be two or three good responses. If you do a conscientious job of picking interview subjects and still get "I don't" from three of them in a row, write up that information.