I will not say that I could solve a math problem in 30 seconds or all those geeky/nerdy people could possibly do. But I’d rather choose Math over any other subjects for the sole reason that I hate to memorize. And Mathematics gives me a little break from memorization. But this is not the reason why I want to point out how important Math is in our day-to-day life. Because the point here is, we use Math every second of our life.
When I was still in school, I often times find my self raising an eyebrow whenever I could hear or talk to someone who would complain as to why the hell does he/she needs to pass a number of units of Math subject just to graduate. Their best excuse is always this: it is not relevant to their course. They would say they are some B.S. Psychology Major student, some nursing student or a Culinary student, so why should they learn about all these calculus, geometry, algebra, and all those “let x = 1” stuffs? For them, the most important thing is to know how to multiply, divide, add and subtract. They would even point out a situation to support their premise. Example, if we are buying some drinks in a bar, we don’t tell the bartender, “I want a square-root of 9 glasses of beer” or if we are driving we don’t say, “I’m just 10sin30 degrees away from home honey”. We simply say “3 glasses of beer please!” or “I’m just 5 kilometers away hon!”.
Oh Well. Point taken.
I guess we could point out two scenarios here as to where we could use math: Work Related and non-Work Related.
In my line of work, (I’m a tech-support engineer by the way), I use Math for every calls that I have. There are cases that I have to calculate the bandwidth needed for the Internet connection for each guest in a hotel. If there are abusers, I have to know the port numbers so I could “cap” these users and be denied from their connection. Sometimes, I have to do sub-netting and it really needs calculations. If you are a nurse, how will you measure the right dosage for your patient if you did not study math? If you’re a psychologist, you have to use statistics as basis for a certain human behaviour right? If you’re a chef, you have to know how to read temperature scales so you get set the right temperature of your oven. If you’re a carpenter, you have to know the right measurements and scales of each brick and each lumber to be used in construction.
Even if you are not at work, we’d still encounter math related scenarios. If you are fan of gambling, you’d most likely use probability to increase the chance of winning your bet. If you are doing shopping, in order not to be rip-offed, you should know the exact amount of a certain item or what is the total amount you should pay. Every pay day, you could argue with your accountancy department if you’d see some discrepancies with your deductions simply because you know how to add and subtract. And the most common use of Mathematics will be in your kitchen! Every time you cook, you have to measure the amount of ingredients to be used, you have to estimate the temperature needed and more often you have to follow a cook book and if you don’t know what 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 means? Just imagine what will happen to your menu.
Every day we do not fret to enter our workplaces because we know that the building we are entering won’t collapse. Thanks to our engineers who had made all the calculations for us in order to know the right amount of cement, concrete and steel bars that should be used in order to have a good foundation. The usage of Math counts from the simple checking of time from our watches to the complicated calculation of the Stress of a cornerstone of a building.
As what S. Gudder had said, “The essence of mathematics is not to make simple things complicated, but to make complicated things simple.” Yes, we don’t actually have to complicate things just to realize the importance and usage of Mathematics in our daily lives.