Even those suffering from math-related anxieties or phobias cannot escape its everyday presence in their lives. From home to school to work and places in between, math is everywhere. Whether using measurements in a recipe or deciding if half a tank of gas will make the destination, we all use math. It is a good idea, therefore, for teachers and parents of reluctant math learners to use real-world examples to ignite a spark of practical interest. Math is everywhere. Whether you aspire to study sociology, psychology, physics, biology or even economics, Math is held in high regard, and you will be called on solve various math problems, as part of your work. Many school classes involve counting, estimating, measuring, weighing, drafting, working out formulas, using statistics and analyzing data, all of which have their roots firmly in the field of Mathematics. if you don’t believe us, just take a look at how Math crosses over into other subjects below, and we don’t just mean Science and Technology!
Science and Technology
You are probably already aware that science and math are closely connected, particularly the topics of chemistry, astronomy and physics. This is why students who can’t master basic arithmetic skills will have a hard time reading scientific charts and graphs and risk not being accepted on a scientific course in their higher education. Geometry, algebra, and calculus can help students solve chemistry problems but practical sciences, such as engineering and computer science, also benefit from math. For example, pupils may have to use complex equations and algorithms when designing and writing computer programs. On the opposite spectrum, nurses deal with science and math as they carry out their everyday duties, needing to know how to precisely calculate dosages and to identify abnormal results in patients’ tests.
Literature and Writing
Literature, one of the subjects you might think of as the furthest away from math and science, is actually full of mathematical theories. Poetry is a great example, with its meter and particular rhythms. All of these are based on math calculations . But that’s not where it begins and ends, Math can help students to plan reading assignments by enabling them to work out roughly how many pages they can read in a half hour and thus estimating how long it will take them to read a particular work. The same goes for their planning of any written assignments. This is because Math teaches us to think logically and solve problems. This ability to reason can also have an effect on the way that literature pupils tackle their answers clearly
Classes like history and other social sciences sometimes require students to review charts and graphs containing historical data or information on ethnic groups. They also ask them to look at events in the context of when they took place, which naturally causes pupils to think back from now and work out how many years ago these would have taken place and just how much has changed in society over that number of decades. In geography classes, students might need to consider how the force of the sea can erode our coasts and at what rate, whilst also understanding how the elevation of an area can affect its population or the average lifespan of individuals living in them. Knowledge of basic mathematical terms and formulae makes statistical information more accessible and therefore easier to apply in order to back up findings and theories.
Math and Shopping
Math surrounds you the minute you step through the doors of your favorite supermarket! Indeed, the automatic doors and security scanner you pass through are composed of electronic systems that could never have been designed without math. Then, when you start shopping, you fill your trolley with products labelled with barcodes, which reference the manufacturer and the specific identity of each product. The products, thanks to the barcode, are scanned at the checkout with a laser. All you have to do is pay for your purchases by check, credit card or cash: All of which, again, are possible thanks to mathematics.
All these steps and operations use mathematical concepts, like those taught in the classroom , another example would be if, while shopping, you realize that the store has a 30% off promotional discount, and that this reduction increases if you purchase 2 items. You understand, however, that a 10% off the first product and 20% off the second do not make a total discount of 30%!
The value of knowing some basic mental calculation can be very useful when out shopping. Whether calculating prices in Excel, working out sales percentages, commissions, a discount or converting currencies, math is a central part of the daily life of all who are involved in sales. However, you won’t have your math teacher alongside you, so be sure to practice properly.
The use of math in cooking is almost inevitable, and it is often the famous rule of 3 that is applied, when you have to convert the proportions of a recipe for 6 people to a different number. It’s important to calculate and adjust the quantities for the recipe to turn out well. Similarly, you should know the basic rules for converting weights (gram to pounds and vice versa), temperature (between Celsius and Fahrenheit, depending on where you get your recipes from) or simply to add or divide ingredients. For example: ‘Mix 2/3 of 500 g flour, add 2 eggs, and milk, then add the remaining 1/3.’
Buying a House or an Apartment
Buying property is among the most significant and practical examples of using math in your everyday life. Given the importance of such a purchase, it’s better to pay attention to all the details, to be sure of a favorable transaction. In fact, when you borrow money, you are offered a repayment plan that accounts for interest rates, sometimes fixed, sometimes variable, but different depending on the length of your loan: The rate differs whether you borrow for 2, 10, 25 or 30 years. To know how much you’re going to pay overall, what you need to save and what you have to repay, interest rate calculations prove to very important. If you’re going to build a house, then besides the loan you’re going to take out, you’ll need to draw up plans. For this, you should know how to use a ladder, measure angles and provide for furniture to scale, to finalise your plans. Here as well, the use of math, and more precisely of geometry, is paramount.
Nowadays, GPS receivers are found in so many cars and smartphones. There, too, math is at work! Before all this technology came along, we had the compass, protractor, sextant and the astrolabe: It’s with triangulation that we can determine our distance from a fixed point, and direction of movement. Triangulation (today greatly improved with satellites) with its calculations of angles and distances has always been a mainstay of cartography and navigation. Just ask someone sailing around the world, how they would manage if they were not able to identify their location on a map!
Math and Gambling
Although chance does play a role in card games, mathematics gives the best poker and bridge players an advantage over average players, who don’t use probability or calculate odds to give themselves an advantage. In poker, if you can grasp a few statistical notions and keep in mind some other factors, like the hand you hold or the pot size, you will be able to play more consistently. Moreover, for any great card player, the expectation of gain is not calculated in the short term, but in the long term. While it may not be possible to win systematically, it’s important to be systematic in the long term.
As such, good poker players are all familiar with the law of large numbers, even if only implicitly. The law of large numbers tells us that the more frequently you toss a coin, for example, the more the observed result will approach the theoretical mean, in this case 50% heads and 50% tails. This helps to explain the legendary calm shown by some players when losing large sums: Because they know that in the long run, they will.
Telling the Time
Once you’ve learned how to tell the time as a child, you rarely give it a second thought and can look at a clock and instantly know what the time is. However, when you break it down, the concept of time isn’t all that straightforward. There are a lot of things you need to understand, all at once, in order to know how to tell time. For example, you need to be aware that there are 24 hours in a day, that each day is then split into two 12-hour halves, that each hour lasts 60 minutes, and that each minute is 60 seconds-long… plus 60 isn’t the easiest number to work with! Don’t you just hate it when you read that a film is 93 mins long and you have to try to work out in your head what this equates to in hours and minutes?! Fractions also come into play, when we say it’s “a quarter-to six,” we’re actually telling them that a quarter of an hour remains until it becomes six o’clock.
Digital clocks can involve math too, though. When you read a digital display that says 11.35, you don’t simply take it as ‘eleven thirty-five’ do you? When asked, you would probably say to someone that it is ‘twenty-five to twelve’, meaning that you are subconsciously picturing a clock with its longest hand just west of the bottom. You are automatically working out in your head that an hour is divided up into sections of five minutes, quarters and halves and are applying this theory all at once.
Furthermore, if you read 16:20 on your digital clock display, don’t you instantly read this as ‘4:22’? If so, then you have just gone through yet another mathematical process, taking into consideration that there are 12 hours in each half of the 24 hour day. Math in Learning Patience To put it bluntly, it would be quite difficult to be effective in mathematics without a minimum level of patience!
Through practice, you will realize that this discipline is a true therapy for patience. At times you will need five or six steps of reasoning to answer a single question or solve a puzzle formulated of only a few words. Over time, you will learn how to formulate your reasoning, make your own shortcuts and, above all, stay focused from beginning to end, on an exercise, problem or puzzle.
Other Places where you find Math in Action:
- In psychology and sociology: Data are analyzed and compared using mathematical or statistical methods
- In fitness classes, such as aqua gym: You need to keep count to stay in synch with the sequence of movements.
- In biology: Math has numerous applications, for example in finding the number of molecules produced in a chemical reaction
- At the theatre: Math helps you to locate your seat, to predict the duration of a spectacle, or to calculate light intensity.
- Chess: To anticipate your opponent’s moves and calculate the displacement of your own on the board
Math and its Effects On Health
There are various things that keeping your mind active with cognitive training can do for you, such as:
- Increase your ability to memorize
- Improve your brain processing speed
- Prevent boredom
- Enhance concentration
Also, have you ever considered the fact that everything changes your brain so it’s continuously evolving and growing?
Each new person you meet, each new story you read, each new flower you smell… there are so many ‘firsts’ that continue to take place throughout our lives that we probably don’t even give a second thought to. However, when you sit back and think about it, your brain is constantly developing and being influenced by surroundings.
Summary & opinion
As you can see, mathematics has many real, practical applications in our everyday lives: Whether in relation to cooking, shopping or buying a house. Whether you or not you aspire to become a mathematician, this discipline is a science in its own right, and one that has a great importance for everyone. Without math, a great many technological innovations and inventions would never have been born. Math is also an essential part of your professional life, even if yours is a non-scientific job! An administrator needs to know how to use Excel, a salesperson; to do mental calculations, and an architect; to calculate angles. Finally, math can teach you to be more patient and rigorous. Give it a try, you might be pleasantly surprised! Perhaps even without knowing it, you are already using mathematics on a daily basis! It just might be time to rethink your relationship with the topic!