Real World Applications of Math
By Justin D on June 23, 2023
I am sure in your lifetime you have most likely heard “I will never need any of this in life!”, or “Why do we have to learn this stuff?” in math class. A lot of people assume that math (trigonometry and calculus mainly) is simply complicated and has no real applications in life and that we simply learn it because it is in our course schedule.
Many people do not realize that a lot of the things around us, in the news, and other parts of our daily life are actually heavily based in some of these classes and we don't even realize it! From interesting fields such as literal Rocket Science to more obscure jobs such as accounting math is all around us!
This is possibly the most notorious of all mathematical concepts and for good reason. Algebra is the foundation of almost all mathematics, and while that is cool how does this apply to us? Well in fact without us realizing up algebra surrounds our everyday lives. Here are some examples of careers that include algebra and how they include it:
Accountant - this one might be kind of obvious but accountants use many algebraic equations to calculate expected return for investments, value of investments in x amount of time, and which financial choice is the best for their clients.
Programmer - many people think that they will simply rely on computers to do math for them but someone has to teach the computer how! This is the job of the programmer, using algebra to create formulas and other algebraic concepts to program everything from your computer to your calculator.
Baker - you may not realize it but bakers subconsciously use algebra in almost every recipe. Using ratios and equations to figure out how much of certain ingredients is needed to maintain the base recipe is essential otherwise the baked goods wont taste 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 this is used in many fields that we never realized such as the following:
Architect - although they are mostly known for building things architects often uses geometry in their work such as working with angles, bisectors, and area. They have to know geometry to be able to draw up the designs for their buildings.
Fashion Designer - even more creative and non-stem based jobs are not able to escape the reach of mathematics. Fashion designers often have to take measurements and shapes to create designs which most of the time requires use of geometry to calculate areas and see if their designs fit on clothing.
Animator/Video Game Designer - with the takeoff of virtual gaming there is an increasing demand for fun and masterfully crafted games. Creating these games (particularly the environment they take place int) requires masterful use of shapes and geometry such as angles and perpendicular lines. Without geometry nothing in the game would line up!
Finally the revered and sometimes dreaded calculus. Calculus is usually the highest and most complex mathematics class offered to people in non math dominated fields or in highschool however it plays a almost magical role in the world around us among these are:
Aerospace Engineers - as crazy is it is to imagine the people that put us on the moon and into space were using the very thing you labor through in class, although slightly more complicated it is the same thing. So calculus is quite literally a type of rocket science!
Civil Engineers - civil engineers build all public facilities such as dams, tunnels, roads, and many other types of architecture. All of this requires utilizing calculus to find out if it is possible, how much material is needed, and the measurements of different lengths.
Statistician - while you might think this career only uses statistics that highlighting and finding area under graphs is all calculus and it is used often to calculate probability.
Now we can see how wide the impact of mathematics is on our life 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 simple admiring a piece of architecture take a second to appreciate the numbers and formulas allowing them to be built.
Thank you Sharon V for editing this article!