business and math

Why the heck do students need to take so much stinken math to get a business degree?
When do business people ever use Calculus these days?

mik -

We’ve discussed this one before. Check out the thread below for some answers.

http://www.straightdope.com/ubb/Forum3/HTML/000461.html

As a matter of interest, I saw a book yesterday, I didn’t catch the author – some statistics professor at Univ of Edinborough, I think. Anyway, it’s about statistics and law.

Frinstance, an individual breaks a window to burglarize a house, struggles with the owner and both bleed, flees with the silver. A suspect is caught. The blood type of the homeowner is found on the suspect’s clothing; it’s a common type, about 35% of the population has that type. The blood type on the carpet is the same as the suspect, a rare type (only 10% of the population.) The shards of glass in the victims’s elbow are a 90% probable match to the window. Etc etc. You have a string of probabilities; what’s the degree of certainty that your suspect is guilty?

There are examples of the prosecutors and defense attorneys and the judges making dramatic errors in interpreting statistical probability. That’s why you need math.

I also think that the analytical skills used in higher math help you in the business world. Even if you don’t use the math, the problem solving skills you develop will help out.

There will come a point where you will need to be able to read a spread sheet. And you will have to have a “feel” for the numbers you see.
Experence tells you what you need to see.
A math background gives you the language to explain it to the people who don’t see it.