I am sure at some point you have probably heard “I will never need any of this in life!”, or “Why do we have to learn this stuff?” in math class. Many assume that math (especially trigonometry and calculus) is just too complicated and has no real applications in life. It seems we only learn it because it is in our course schedule.
However, a lot of the things around us, in the news, and other parts of our daily lives are actually heavily based in what we learn in our math classes and we don't even realize it! From rocket science to accounting, math is all around us!
Algebra is possibly the most notorious of all mathematical concepts and for good reason. It is the foundation of almost all mathematics, but how does it apply to us? In fact, without us realizing it, algebra surrounds our everyday lives. Here are some examples of careers that use algebra and how they use it:
Accountant - accountants use algebraic equations to calculate expected return for investments, value of investments in x amount of time, and determine which financial choices are best for their clients.
Programmer - many people think they rely on computers to do math for them, but they are tasked with teaching the computer how! Programmers using algebra and formulas to program everything from your computer to your calculator!
Baker - bakers use algebra in their recipes! They use equations to determine the correct ratios of ingredients in their recipes so their baked goods taste just right!
Geometry is the bane of many high school students. With complex and confusing topics and words such as radians, degrees, orthocenters, circumcenters, tangent, bisector, and circumference, geometry is definitely a complicated and in-depth field of mathematics. However it is used in many different fields such as:
Architect - although they are typically known for building things, architects often use geometry when working with angles, bisectors, and area. They need geometry to draw the designs for their buildings.
Fashion Designer - even creative jobs are not able to escape the reach of mathematics. Fashion designers often have to take measurements and use shapes to create designs. They need geometry to calculate areas and to see if their designs will fit on clothing.
Animator/Video Game Designer - with the takeoff of virtual gaming, there is an increasing demand for fun and masterfully crafted games. These games require the intricate use of shapes and geometry such as angles and perpendicular lines. Without geometry, nothing in their games would line up!
Finally, the most revered and often dreaded, calculus. Calculus is usually the most complex mathematics class offered in high school, but it plays a magical role in the world around us. Some fields that heavily use calculus are:
Aerospace Engineers - as unbelievable as it seems, aerospace engineers use the same math concepts and formulas you use in math class! Albeit, the math they use tends to be quite advanced, the foundations underlying them are the same!
Civil Engineers - civil engineers build many public facilities such as dams, tunnels, roads, and other types of architecture. They use calculus to determine if their building projects are possible, how much material is needed, and in the measurements of their designs.
Statistician - statisticians use calculus in a variety of ways! They use it to calculate probabilities and to analyze data!
Now we can see how much of an impact mathematics has on us, not just in school but in our homes, jobs (future or present), and personal lives. So next time you are watching a bunch of billionaires race to space or simply admiring a piece of architecture, take a second to appreciate the beauty of all the math that surrounds us!
Thank you Sharon V for editing this article!
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