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Why do we need algebra?

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Quick Answer

In addition to finding it useful in a wide variety of everyday applications, Americans need algebra, because those who learn it are better able to compete in the international marketplace. Students from countries in Europe, Asia and elsewhere are generally well-versed in the mathematical form.

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Since the Greeks introduced algebra in the third century, it has become a relatively common subject taught in middle and high schools throughout the world.

The abstract arithmetic uses letters and symbols to symbolize relationships between fields, sets, groups or matrices, thereby allowing a person to find a piece to a puzzle using "pieces" hehas already put in place.

According to an article published in 2008 in the San Francisco Chronicle, algebra is used to program computers and phones. It is also used to operate GPS, a common feature in many modern cars and trucks.

Logistics and distribution companies use algebra to determine shipping routes and schedules. Even traffic lights operate thanks to algebra.

A 2012 op-ed piece the New York Times reminds readers that algebra is useful in calculating a mortgage, calculating the cost of a car over time and selecting stocks in which to invest. The piece also notes that algebra is even used in entertainment, such as with fantasy football.

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