The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

SE students learn how to work real-life applications of math

By — SanJuana Ramirez

SE students on Nov. 9 experienced a side of math many don’t often see.

“Can math fix your car?” supplemental instruction coordinator Phong Do asked.

Do suggested the next time students did a math problem, they should do it carefully. To illustrate, he showed a video clip of a plane having a rough landing in Fort Worth.

“That could ruin your day if that’s how you begin it,” he said.

Do, who has a 30-year engineering background, discussed quadratic equations.

“If I said the cause or its solution was the humble quadratic equation, you would not believe me, would you?” he said. “But it is.”

He explained the formula of the quadratic equation and said it could be the solution to making something like an airplane work.

“When you make a mistake by solving a quadratic equation, you’re not looking at an ABC letter grade anymore,” he said. “You’re looking at what? You might kill somebody. You might ruin the problem. You might get fired from your job.”

Do also revealed the concept of imaginary numbers.

“Do you think they are real or not?” he asked. “What are they?”

Engineers use a lot of imaginary numbers, Do said. He showed two video clips explaining more about imaginary numbers and their reality.

Do said Mother Nature seems to love mathematics. He said he doesn’t believe people invent things but discover them. Do encouraged students to become engineers.

“First of all, you don’t have to be a genius in math and science,” he said. “You don’t have to be straight A’s, but you have to be motivated. When you see something, you see if there is any way to make it better.”

 
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