Episode 128: The Mutant Season
The Mutant Season

Gil takes questions from YOU, the listeners! Gil answers questions about the podcast, superheroes, and what life is all about!

1. Avory says:

Hey Gil,
You will use basic algebra, no matter what your career, in adult life. I’m not a big math fan myself, but I often find myself trying to remember algebra so I can figure something simple out! It’s especially useful when you want to figure out percentages–for example, when I do freelance editing, I use algebra to work backwards from the amount I’m paid for an assignment and the number of words to make sure I’m getting the correct per-word rate. Even though my job is all about writing and editing, not math at all, I definitely want to make sure I’m getting paid correctly! You might use similar algebra with your groceries, trying to figure out which thing is actually cheaper when two packages of different sizes cost different amounts. So at least stick with the basics!
But I agree with Katie that you’ll probably like statistics. I find it much more fun than other math, and it goes along great with science because it’s all about using accurate data and understanding whether the conclusions you draw from an experiment (or a survey, or another kind of research) are actually valuable. Statistics teaches you how (often using a computer to do the real math) to figure out how many people you need to survey to make a conclusion about how people behave in a big population, for example, or whether the correlation between one variable and another in an experiment is big enough to be what we call “significant.” For example, if you want to test whether there’s a relationship between being a geek and drinking soda, you might do an experiment to measure soda consumption versus the number of hours people spend playing video games, reading comics, and watching movies. Statistics will tell you what the relationship is between geekiness and soda, and whether the relationship is strong enough to really say “yes, there is a relationship here.” It’s pretty fun, in my opinion.

2. Axel says:

You remind me a lot of myself when I was younger, I think we would’ve been really good friends. Keep being awesome Gil!