What Every EE Student Should Know About Mathematics by the Senior Year

E. 1 What Is Mathematics to an Engineer?

Mathematics is an extension to natural language by which we express abstractions, relations, and facts useful in practice. We use its concepts and notation to construct models of the physical world and apply logic to these models to discover their performance properties, just as logic should be applied to word descriptions of situations in other human activities. To communicate in engineering, people on both sides of the conversation must have a basic facility in the language. A person lacking a basic knowledge of the relevant language will spend too much time trying to translate (or give up) and barely or never get the ...

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