Do you see the point of learning about vectors ( and vector spaces and subspaces and spans and dimensions and basis and transformation and diagonalization) and matrices?
Why did mathematicians have to think of all this vague nonsense, right? We have 2D and 3D spaces, yes, but why think of the 4th, 5th, 6th dimension? There isn’t even any geometrical interpretation.
Sure, they have their “important practical applications”, but who cares, I’m not going to be a mathematician. Whatever I learn in my H3 class will be out of my brain as soon as I finish my exam on May 16th.
But we learnt about PageRank yesterday. Have you ever wondered how Google works? How it manages to find the most relevant web pages and rank your search results in order? (You can Google PageRank to find out, if you bother.)
It has never occurred to me that Google’s search algorithm comes from a basic mathematical idea. Imagine Larry Page and Sergey Brin as college students in their math classes…if, like me, all they cared about was how to pass their exams with minimum effort, never thinking how they could use their knowledge learnt for the better, hmm…would we have Google today?
So, I guess…
Don’t underestimate the value of what you learn, even if you think you probably won’t use it. And the next time you want to label people as “insane” or “disgustingly smart”, keep in mind that one day you might have to thank them.