# Just getting started (restarted)!

• Dec 19th 2010, 05:20 PM
Djeayzonne
Just getting started (restarted)!
Hello, I am just getting restarted with mathematics as an adult. Although it was always easy, I hated math when I was a kid/in school. I have recently decided to give it an honest second chance to see if I have any interest for a possible career change. So I got Algebra II for Dummies. I am already running into the same problem I had in school that teachers would never answer. Man would I be excited if someone could really answer some these questions for me. I just went over the review for factoring. Understanding is no problem, and even figuring out the answer before reading the explanation was kind of fun I have to admit. But I am still left with "OK, but what does this do for me? Why does factoring enable me to accomplish? When/where would this actually be applied?"

I might actually like this afterall if I could figure out an actual application for all of it. Sorry if I sound like a dork!
• Dec 19th 2010, 05:23 PM
dwsmith
You never stop factoring in math. It is useful for all math courses you take.

Solving zeros of a polynomial are easier in factored form.
• Dec 19th 2010, 05:27 PM
skeeter
• Dec 19th 2010, 05:31 PM
Djeayzonne
Thanks for the reply, mate, but that isn't what I am looking for. I mean, what does factoring enable a person to do? If factoring itself has no real purpose or value by itself, but only used to prepare for higher level math, that is fine. But then, why can't that just be explained with an example of some higher level math and what exactly that would be used for? Basically I found the whole concept of math to be a form of mental masturbation. I would really like to change my mind about that.
• Dec 19th 2010, 05:33 PM
dwsmith
Suppose you are putting up a parabolic dome.

You have the equation for the parabola but don't know where it should intersect the ground. If you factor your equation, you can obtain the intercepts.
• Dec 19th 2010, 06:24 PM
pickslides
Also when finding a min/max of a function you will need to know how to factor.
• Dec 19th 2010, 07:51 PM
Djeayzonne
Thanks for that real-world application! Any chance I could see that in action somewhere?