A headline from The Onion:
Nation’s Math Teachers Introduce 27 New Trig Functions
All Graduating Students Must Master Gamsin, Negtan, Cosvnx, 24 Others
The vXboy is 14 now, and decent at math. A couple of weeks ago he asked me to explain triangulation. I started with “Have they taught you sine and cosine?” He’d never heard of them. I’m not sure he understands triangulation, distance estimation, depth perception, or any of the related topics.
As part of the same discussion, I asked him if he knew how to use a compass to determine a baseline. Nada.
FWIW: Several years ago I was told that my state’s math curriculum eliminated the topic of commutativity. You know, that 3 times 4 is the same as 4 times 3. This has repeatedly created problems for college students in my classes (in fact, a marketing professor down the hall felt that one of our “brighter” students actually became abusive because he was so certain that commutativity did not hold – that student later got an MBA from us).