The utility of imaginary numbers and why we need to teach history in our math classes

The utility of imaginary numbers and why we need to teach history in our math classes

In grade school and junior high, I was pretty handy with math. I was even part of my high schools enormous math team. But in my junior year as we moved away from geometry, I had a lot more difficulty understanding it. And I didn’t even know the reason of why for the shift away to what we could see to what we could not see. Why are we using imaginary numbers? Imaginary numbers became an additional step to an increasingly complex and often pointless exercise.

When I got to college and calculus, I was done. Stats were cool, but that was because I could see them as geometric shapes that overlapped and I could grasp it.

This cool video explains the history and the reasoning of the shift. It gives an explanation of imaginary numbers and their utility. It has deathbed confessions, secret vows, and lost books. And I’m pretty sure that NONE of this material was covered in our math classes. My ears would have perked up.

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