Well, if 'electronics' should be a math-heavy discipline, why not say the same for people aspiring to be machinists? Let's see; geometry, trigonometry, algebra, arguably calculus and I'm sure I've missed strength of materials, metallurgy, machine design, optimization of design as well as dozens of other areas of study. Why, if you take the 'math heavy' requirement far enough no would ever have to plug anything in, or turn anything on, because they'd be studying the math that describes in intimate detail the physics of those operations. I'm amazed that given the dearth of math (me in particular, trust me) that anyone can do so much as drill a hole, let alone string a bunch of components together and still have the LEDs (plural, because in this case it is not driven by an Arduino) blink.

I will suggest that 'math heavy' may be appropriate if you're engineering for money - but then so is accounting, as a financial practice, for the absolute lowest cost for a given level of performance.

Part of the trouble is audience; I once got as far as LCR circuits in technical school, and that's when I bailed. Now, I'm coming back to electronics as a hobby, and trying to get 'enough' math to avoid the magic smoke. But I'm finding it difficult to find circuits (and the related math) that work together - in the way let's say that Dave's piece on heatsinks did - to tie math theory to the real world of smoking components. Sometimes the math/component/circuit problem is easy to arrange. Think of some number of resistors. Measure those resistors as accurately as you can. Now wire them in series. Now measure the voltage across the entire string of resistors. Now calculate the current. And now, just to live dangerously, splice your ammeter in to the circuit. How close is the measured current to the calculated current? Now that wasn't so hard was it.

OK. Now try to explain (calculus I suppose, but I'm only guessing, and with trepidation) what my scope is showing me when I look at the emitter in an oscillator circuit, that only has to drive a few LEDs. I suppose that for some people the mathematical representations that describe the rise, fall, and ringing that are all very evident on the scope don't need the scope. Those people might actually enjoy math, as a good friend of mine does, irrespective of its impenetrability for some of us.

And before I go back to smoking transistors. It is interesting to listen to people curse out (politely of course) all the applications where Arduinos (for example) have been used - too much complexity, too much wasted capability, 'why in my day,' - and even from my vantage point I often agree. But most of what most of us do with electronics as a hobby could just be purchased. A simpler, more elegant, and often more efficient in terms of cost/benefit analysis way to blink an LED. But should we just buy it?

Hopefully no one reads this as anything but a request for bestowing me with a more mathematical bent, or schematics that actually include test points, voltages, waveforms (heaven forbid anyone should duplicate Heathkit of days gone by) for troubleshooting. Or, indeed, something one or two steps higher in the pedagogical firmament than 'Make: Electronics.'

From Canada's rainy Pacific South-West, your math-disabled correspondent.