This story was reported as part of our UTA Unfolded initiative, which we launched earlier this semester. Our reader-led initiative focuses on answering and unfolding any questions you may have about campus.
Vocal performance freshman Olivia Allen said she doesn’t see why she should be required to take classes that don’t pertain to her major.
Last semester, she took contemporary mathematics, and this semester she’s taking elementary statistical analysis to fulfill the mathematics credits required for her degree.
“I hate math with a burning passion,” Allen said. “And I am not good at it.”
She’s always had difficulty understanding concepts, she said, but the hardest part was always finding a teacher who could communicate content effectively.
“It just never clicked for me,” Allen said. “And it still hasn’t.”
Allen submitted this question to UTA Unfolded: As a music major, why am I required to take two math credits? I feel like it’s a little unnecessary for me, especially since it’s math I won’t ever be using again. UTA Unfolded investigated.
While she understands and agrees that mathematics should be required, she thinks students should only be required to take classes that directly correlate to their majors.
“Maybe I just don’t have a better knowledge of this course, but I can’t think of any setting or situation where I’m going to apply whatever knowledge I’ve learned in my elementary statistics class in my music career,” she said.
Mathematics senior lecturer Alice Lubbe said most students feel math isn’t necessary, but it is.
“When I think about anybody going to college, is that they have a well-rounded education that allows them to think critically about a variety of things,” Lubbe said. “Mathematical reasoning and quantitative reasoning is a part of that.”
She said it’s vital that students know how to analyze numbers and form educated opinions about things like polls and statistics. People that don’t understand math don’t make accurate or informed decisions or judgments, she said
“Math is not just crunching numbers,” Lubbe said. “It’s based on logic, it’s based on structure.”
Broadcast sophomore Samuel Morrall said he’s never had an easy time with mathematics either. However, he’s accepted the fact that he has to take the required classes.
“Stats is a class that you can take, and if you do the work and you just study, you can do pretty well in,” Morrall said. “As compared to [calculus one or two], where it’s very, very difficult.”
One of the biggest issues for him are professors, he said. Many professors are talented in their field but don’t seem able to teach in a way that enables students to learn.
“If professors and students had a better relationship, I think that would help out with math a lot,” he said.