Why is algebra important in High School to College?
Because the fundamental concept of algebra is the linear equation, a mathematical function that literally any given person probably needs to use every single day.
I have $20, how much gas can I buy?
A apple is $0.50. How much does a dozen apples cost?
I got paid $1000 this week for working 4 shifts, how much will I make next week when I work 5 shifts?
etc. algebra is basically both the most universally important AND foundational form of math that you can honestly say every single person needs to understand in their daily lives.
High level math is very important in fields like Engineering, Physics, and Computer Science.
It also teaches logic and troubleshooting skills. Learning algebra re-wires the brain to help you to create logical solutions to problems, A leads to B, leads to C and how to fill in the blanks in problems
Pretty much all problem solving comes down to algebra, but I do think more should be done to teach it using real world application.
1. It teaches fundamental math concepts which are important for any number of fields, notably engineering and sciences but also trades. It’s also a stepping stone along the way to more advanced mathematical methods including calculus, differential equations, statistics, etc.
2. It teaches critical thinking and problem solving, involving you having to learn how to break down a problem in to steps, sometimes requiring a fair bit of creativity, in order to get to a solution. It also doesn’t require anything but a pencil and paper which makes it more amenable to reach more students than subjects requiring labs.
3. In my college at least, literally everyone back in the day had to graduate with some level of calculus. Now that could have been taking ‘math for lower life forms’ in stead of ‘honors calculus’ but it was still calculus. I still remember to this day a student struggling through a tutoring session wailing ‘But X was 3 in the LAST problem!’. Don’t be that person. Take algebra. I never took calc in high school because I took Algebra 2 over again my freshman year because I felt I didn’t understand it well enough. When the calc teacher asked why I wasn’t in her calc class my senior year I explained why and she replied that she wished more of her calc students had taken algebra again.
It’s used everywhere in computer science. Linear algebra is the branch of algebra that deals with straight lines and planes, and is used extensively in Machine Learning.