The best example of mass-spring systems that I can think of is a seismograph. Understanding amplitudes, periods, and frequencies of systems is important to understand the force/strength and speed of earthquakes, especially the ones that aren’t easily felt. They are also important in other aspects such as music.
While this project didn’t change my view of trigonometry, it did help me understand more areas where trigonometry has practical applications. It helped me appreciate how manipulating formulas can help you find a solution to a different problem.
This semester I have struggled with communicating using math. I didn’t understand why someone would want to take a formula and use math concepts to create a new formula. I figured that those techniques were used by mathematicians (something I will never be), and I was happy to leave it to them. But this project reminded me of something my Math 1010 professor said to be two years ago. ‘Some of what you’re learning doesn’t have a practical application that you will use, but math isn’t about that. Math teaches you how to think in a different way.’ This project reminded me of that insight and triggered a new passion for the topic.
Since doing the project, I’ve had a new appreciation for trigonometry. I still don’t like manipulating formulas, but I see a reason to keep trying. And it is already showing fruitful, I feel as though I have a better understanding of the chapters we have been covering lately and I hope that this passion continues into the future.