It took me a few moments to realise/remember that this is a chapter from Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! (despite the fact that it says so in the paragraphs near the top, buried inside somewhere).

And then the usual horror would come: “Translate these numbers, which are written in base seven, to base five.” Translating from one base to another is an utterly useless thing. If you can do it, maybe it’s entertaining; if you can’t do it, forget it. There’s no point to it.

True for elementary school students but it does become important later on for those who want to study mathematics or computer science / engineering.

It took me a few moments to realise/remember that this is a chapter from

Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!(despite the fact that it says so in the paragraphs near the top, buried inside somewhere).True for elementary school students but it does become important later on for those who want to study mathematics or computer science / engineering.

Useful, but not important.

And I’m not sure it’s math, actually: a computer can do it for you.

Math is understanding that digits are not numbers, that they are just symbols, a useful notation.