Monday, December 22, 2014

Director of Simple Math

So, we hear a lot these days about Americans being bad at math, and this is fairly well documented in articles like this.  A lot of theories on this, from schools that don't focus on math, to letting kids off the hook with the excuse "math is hard."

Usually I experience this when I try to hire someone, and can find about 1 American to every 10 immigrants with the math skills that the job requires.  But what I'm experiencing more and more is a general ineptitude in simple math skills among relatively high level directors in big companies.  A couple examples:

  • Just last week, I spent well over thirty minutes (while beer buzzed, mind you) explaining to a director how to multiply 0.4% X 100K. (bit of hyperbole, but the number work behind this was just too much) 
  • The week before that I had to explain how interest amortization works to a high level finance employee. 
This math problem is something we need to address long-term, likely through our education system. But possibly in the short term we need to hire a "Director of Basic Math" to come in, do all the math for high level employees, especially when the problems exceed adding whole numbers.  

(This post is largely hyperoble, but come on America, we have to do something about our math problem).

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