How Much Math?

I’ve mentioned trend and fluctuation, signal and noise. They are crucial concepts in understanding what data tell us — and data is “my bag” (to use a phrase from my youth, long long ago).

I started writing a post about it — about how we estimate trends, how we characterize noise, how we estimate just how uncertain our estimates are. That can mean a lot of math.

This blog is to help everybody, but especially tomorrow’s future scientists and engineers and the champions who will take other paths, about climate change. That means I don’t want too much math, more than people can handle. But if you’re on the path to be a scientist or engineer, math is “where it’s at” (another phrase from back in the day), and I don’t want to cheat you of the knowledge that is the “nitty-gritty” (yes, I’m that old).

SO: let me ask you, readers — especially those of you who are the future, not the past. How far can I go? How far should I go? Should I make two posts about trend, one for everybody to get some important concepts and another for those who want to dive deep? How much can you handle? How much do you want?

I firmly believe that youngsters are a helluva lot smarter than most oldsters give ’em credit for. Don’t sell yourself short. I also know that sometimes I get swept away by the beauty of mathematics, and end up getting too complicated when what I really want is for readers to understand.

Please share your thoughts, especially those of you who are the future, not the past.


3 thoughts on “How Much Math?

  1. Ed Hummel

    At my age (70) I’m definitely part of the past. But in my experience teaching science and math to both kids and adults I found that math wasn’t really a problem as long as I explained what the math showed in plain language to people who had a math phobia (which was usually most of them!). So, keep using the math as you have been doing so effectively, but also continue with your clear explanations of what the math means and I think you’ll be okay.


  2. Watchit

    I’m fine with as much math as possible! Especially if it can be represented graphically. Though, being an engineer I only took a few statistics classes, so I’m not as familiar with the names and the significance of all the different values.


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