So one thing I have been curious about as a beginner, but I have read in *The Art of Electronics* and in *Practical Electronics for Inventors* that you don't need to know high-level math to design good circuits, just algebra basically. Now *The Art of Electronics* is considered a major reference in electronic design, but it doesn't seem to get into things like advanced calculus-based math. My question then, is why does acquiring an electrical engineering degree require so much math? Is it just to understand the underlying theory regarding WHY circuits work the way that they do, but otherwise isn't actually needed to create the circuits, or is it really needed for high-level circuit design? Or is it that the kind of circuit design performed by electrical engineers is different somehow...?

The

*majority *of electronics design work would be

*applied* engineering (I know the term applied engineering can have a specific meaning, but it's just a point), or

*practical *engineering if you will.

This means that most solutions are solved by practical means without much recourse to anything beyond fairly basic applied theory and math. e.g. ohms law, the concepts of integration etc, rather than actually having to derive ohms law or solve an integral.

Solving problems and troubleshooting is also usually approached (at least initially) from an applied practical aspect as well, again without much recourse to anything beyond fairly basic applied theory and math. Usually the first pass practical approach will solve your issue and you move on, rarely if ever having to resort back to the heavy math to solve something.

e.g. there are hundreds of thousands of chips out there, all with highly details practical datasheets on how to implement that part and complete systems. And if something goes wrong you don't immediately resort back to Maxwell's equations to try and figure out what went wrong, you try more basic stuff first.

This is why it's so common to hear career engineers say they have never needed to practically apply the advanced math they were taught.

I highlighted the word "majority" above because there are obviously some (many) fields and jobs where you'd use the heavy math all the time, but it's certainly the exception rather than the rule.

Of course that's not any sort of argument for whether or not the advanced math should be taught, it's just pointing out that yes, as per the OP "Why little math required for electronics?" can be true.

As for the argument should it be taught or not, of course it should. There are basically three levels of engineering education:

1) Trade level - Very little to no math.

2) Diploma level - Usually some advanced math, but mostly more practical stuff.

3) Degree level - You go the Full Maxwell

Choose your own adventure, all of them (or even none) can lead to a successful career in electronics design.

And within those there are some degrees that go much more advanced than others, and likewise for diploma and trades.