Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Should Math Be Dropped from
University Curricula?

It sounds really unusual to me, but that is what is happening at some universities in the UK [thanks to BF for the pointer].

What if, even in the long run, students from these institutions get jobs that are just as good and earn lifetime incomes that, in a present value sense, are just as good as those earned by students at institutions offering math? In other words, what if these changes are in response to expectations of changing market signals? Will society be any worse off?

If I were a young math whiz, I'd applaud the lack of competition but deplore the drop in derived demand.

UPDATE: Both Sparky and Stephen have posted about this article, lamenting the decline in math training. I wrote what I did (above) because I wonder if it really matters all that much if some universities choose not to offer any math courses. If it does, then students won't want to attend those universities.

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