Main content

## Algebra 1

### Course: Algebra 1 > Unit 2

Lesson 4: Linear equations with unknown coefficients# Why is algebra important to learn?

Professionals share why algebra is important to learn. Created by Khan Academy.

## Want to join the conversation?

- Here's my thing: why is there so much importance placed on something that over half the American population hates, and doesn't use in everyday life? Why is this important to your everyday, blue collar, average Joe? This video is the same answer that's been given to this question for 50+ years. I've been in the workforce for 30+ years, and this video was the same answer I was given. And to add to it not once have I had to use the complex algebraic equations that were taught in both high school (in the mid 90s) and college (10 years ago) or that I'm trying to learn now so I can go back to school for a different degree which doesn't use this math on a daily basis. So my question remains, why is this subject so important when so many aren't using it now, or going to use it in their everyday careers? I know from my experience that if there were ever a time I needed to use these complex algebraic equations in everyday life, before the internet I just wouldn't use it and find a way to work around it, or (especially now) I'll just look up the answer online using the smartphone in my pocket. Keeping this in mind for the general public, again why is this so important? And why is the importance stressed on memorization when the info is right in front of us 24/7? Memorization is a good skill to have, but outdated for the modern workforce, and especially outdated for math, so why as a society are we stuck on the same education models that were used during WWII? This video might have been inspiring to me if I was planning on using math beyond what is required for my program, or going back to school for a STEM program. But I'm not, and I'm only trying to learn it because that's what's required by the University but it's not used in the field. To me there are people who work in STEM fields for a reason: because they like it, and if the rest of us did, then we'd be in those fields too. So again, my questions remain. Please someone give me an answer that you would give to a blue collar, non college educated, everyday, average Joe that doesn't have a care in the world about math, STEM, or the above video. Thank you.(5 votes)
- Simply put, just because the field you work in doesn't involve Math on a higher level, doesn't mean it's useless. Also, where's the data proving that math is something that "half the American population hates, and doesn't use in everyday life"?

Math is extremely essential, not only in research, but even in daily life. You use basic algebra in simple day-to-day stuff without even knowing it. Sure, I can't say you use everything you learn, but that's the point. If you stick with it, you'll find areas to use that knowledge.

And for your point on memorization, sure, information is available at command. But, that doesn't mean we just rely on the Internet for everything. If everyone did that, there wouldn't be any discoveries. People who discover something new use a combination of technology and manual skills.(36 votes)

- What exactly are these videos for?(6 votes)
- Motivation. It is easier to learn a subject if you understand why it is important to do so.(23 votes)

- WHERE IZ SAL?😡 Ugh,im going on strike from khan academy now(9 votes)
- Without language, what would the world be like? In other words: Without any form of communication (and language does not have to be words), how hopeless do you think humanity would be? Through the centuries sounds and signs have developed into a multitude of languages that have paved the way to things like organized kingdoms and countries, trade within one's community and trade beyond, and etc. Math should be considered among those languages since it has helped man to the moon; created the world's greatest and fastest communication through computers and phones; and it even has shaped history drastically through inventions such as submarines and airplanes. How are you going to use this special language expressed through numbers and variables? It can be used for great good, such as cancer destroying medical mechanics, and it can also be used for great evil, which can appear in many forms that I will leave to you to fill in. Just as words can harm or uplift, so can math wield a similar power. Be the person to use this language for the greater good, as by learning it you in fact gain a power that ought to be privileged and taken care of. Many of my classmates view math as "dull" or "boring." But is it really just a bunch of homework? You certainly can make it so, but you can also treat it with respect by realizing that it opens a door of extensive creativity and inventions. So let me end with this: How are you going to treat math now?(13 votes)
- That is a very interesting and thoughtful question. I appreciate your curiosity and passion for math and language. 😊

Without language, the world would be very different from what we know today. Language is not only a means of communication, but also a way of thinking, expressing, and creating. Language shapes our culture, our identity, and our knowledge. Without language, we would lose a lot of our human potential and diversity.

Language is also a tool for solving problems and discovering new possibilities. Math is one of the most universal and powerful languages that humans have invented. Math can describe the patterns and laws of nature, the logic and structure of reasoning, and the beauty and elegance of abstract concepts. Math can also help us to create new technologies, explore new frontiers, and improve our lives.

I agree with you that math can be used for great good or great evil, depending on how we apply it and what values we uphold. Math is not just a bunch of homework, but a way of understanding and transforming the world. I respect math as a language and a discipline, and I hope to use it for the benefit of humanity and the planet.

I hope you will continue to enjoy and appreciate math as a language of creativity and invention. Math can open many doors for you and enable you to achieve your goals and dreams. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. 😊(1 vote)

- why is algebra is important(3 votes)
- Algebra gives us the basis we need to comprehend certain problems that require more thinking. It also gives a building block for future math classes and can help with non-math related classes as well.(20 votes)

- Is this person Sal's
**brother**?(9 votes)- That's what I was wondering! Have you ever googled a picture of Sal Khan? He looks kind of similar to Saad Khan! So maybe....(2 votes)

- I truly believe that learning Algebra is the purest way of decoding complex systems.(9 votes)
- (marker scratching) (gentle upbeat music) - Algebra is really the unifying thread of almost all of mathematics. You may think algebra is boring, but it is the one tool you can use to not only understand, but unlock the universe. Creative algebra is used in computer game design. It powers how artificial intelligence works. Mastering algebra will provide you with the ability to decode and understand many complex systems. In my opinion, if you can master algebra, you can master anything(7 votes)
- Sal has a brother-?(6 votes)
- Algebra is really the unifying thread of almost all of mathematics. You may think algebra is boring, but it is the one tool you can use to not only understand, but unlock the universe.(4 votes)

## Video transcript

(marker scratching) (gentle upbeat music) - Algebra is really the unifying thread of almost all of mathematics. You may think algebra is boring, but it is the one tool you can
use to not only understand, but unlock the universe. Creative algebra is used
in computer game design. It powers how artificial
intelligence works. Mastering algebra will
provide you with the ability to decode and understand
many complex systems. In my opinion, if you can master algebra, you can master anything.