February 22, 2017

OP-ED: If Professor Strogatz is So Great, How Come I Still Don’t Know Fractions?


MALOTT HALL — Everyone seems to think Professor Strogatz teaches differential equations phenomenally, so someone please tell me why I’ve spent the last three hours trying to convert two fifths into decimal format?

I’m convinced Strogatz doesn’t even have the proper credentials to teach at an institution like Cornell. He boasted about how he learned calculus at the young age of 18, yet he still hasn’t proven to me that 45/100 is really the same as 0.45. What’s this guy hiding?

Look, he can go on and on about Laplace transforms and bifurcation theory, but until I’m able to understand how to cancel like terms in the numerator and denominator, I’m going to remain unimpressed. When I confronted him after lecture last week, he gave me a long, quizzical look before telling me I could find more information in a beginner’s math textbook, which is ridiculous because he never taught me how to read above a third grade level.

My brother is only in sixth grade, and his math teacher has taught fractions, percentages, and ratios! If Strogatz can’t improve his fraction-teaching skills, I’m going to take the initiative and ask my mommy to transfer me to his school, even if I’ll have to make all new play buddies.

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