Sometimes we take math for granted, once we’ve gotten out of school and don’t need to worry about finding out the value of X. But, there are many practical uses for math that we don’t even realize. Or even may have thought were irrelevant, until we need it.
In truth, we all use math every day, whether we realize it or not. If you look hard enough, you’ll find math in the most surprising places. If you clean the house, mow the lawn, or make dinner, you are using math.
1. Talking on Your Cell Phone
We all talk on our cell phones every day, even my 82-year-old-mother who swore she didn’t need a smartphone and would never text (she texts). You need to know numbers and how they work, and you can do just about anything from your phone, including surfing the Internet and shopping.
2. Baking and Cooking
Yep, baking and cooking require math. If you are following a recipe, you need to measure the ingredients. This usually means fractions. And you may have to add, divide or multiply to get the right amount of what you need. Whether you are making recipes in your slow cooker or healthy brunch recipes for your family, you are using math.
3. Working in the Garden
Even gardening needs some math. I don’t mean pulling weeds unless you want to count how many you’ve uprooted. If you plan to lay sod (or have someone do it for you) or put plants in the ground, you need to calculate how much you need, count how many plants you need, or measure out how far apart you want them. Trust me on that one, and don’t just eye it as I did. Even if you are choosing plants to improve your indoor air quality, you’ll need to measure your space and count out your plants.
Artists of all types – dancers, painters, sculptors – often think they are not mathematically inclined. And sure, they may not spend their time thinking about square roots of prime numbers or figuring out logarithms, but they use math more often than they realize. You will need to count the beat if you are a dancer, or measure space and materials if you are a sculptor or painter. Basic math.
5. Exercise and Sports
Putting weights on a bar? Math. Counting reps and sets? Math. Calculating your heart rate? Math. You use math to calculate how much weight you are lifting, how many beats per minute to get your target heart rate, and to figure out how many calories you burned. Whether you are strength training in the gym or running outdoors, you’re using math.
6. Home Improvement
Whether you are painting your home, replacing your flooring, or even just buying new furniture, you need math to figure out how much paint, how much flooring, and how much furniture you can fit in your space. From accessories to new lighting, to putting in a new swimming pool, you need math.
You probably use statistics more than you think you do. Taking into account the past and the future, and keeping records of what has happened uses statistics. Without statistics, you won’t know what worked and what didn’t. You may often calculate the chances of something happening. That’s statistics. It helps us make better decisions and determine risk.
8. Time Management
Time is our most valuable asset, and time management, one of our most essential skills. In our fast-paced lives, we often loset track of time and find it’s gone by without us accomplishing what we meant to do. Math helps us keep track of time, keep track of days, and set deadlines for the things we want to achieve.