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Name: rachael mccullough
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: Around 1995


Question:
My stepfather is an engineer and the other day I asked him about logs, he did not know very much and he is very smart. My teacher insists that they are important and my step-dad says that logs are just for the fireplace!


Replies:
I am surprised that an engineer would say that logs are just for the fireplace! As a chemist I use logarithms a lot. They are helpful for describing the time dependence of certain chemical reactions, and I suspect that they are also useful for describing the stability of various materials that engineers must use to evaluate whether they particular materials can be used in an application. Perhaps your stepfather does not need to use logarithms much because the information that he needs has been tabulated or is easily available from computer databases without him having to use the logarithms himself.

gregory r bradburn


As a teacher of math at an engineering college my students see logarithms and related exponential functions in a wide variety of courses other than math courses including chemistry, physics, engineering sciences, and economics. Professors in all of those areas of study often are concerned about how little new students know about logarithms when they get to college. So, I am very pleased to see that your teacher knows what is important and that you are expected to study it well. The three most often used groups of functions in math models for introductory applications in the sciences are polynomials, trigonometry functions, and the log and exponen- tial functions. Study them well.

tee



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