OUR DAYLY LIFE WITH MATHS: HOW NUMBERS AFFECT EVERYDAY DECISIONS? by Álvaro de Gruijter
-Why do I have to learn maths?
Every day we use maths, maybe we don’t think about it while we are doing some daily stuff because we are just too busy, but unconsciously we are using maths pretty much every single moment.
I am sure that everybody has asked themselves at least once, about how maths affects our daily lives, in fact, many of us have asked about the real purpose of maths, which I think, is a way to make our lives easier and to help us understand everything that is around us.
-When am I going to use this in real life?
You may not know it but maths is all around you. You might not recognize it but it is always there! You use maths and see maths every day! Open your eyes and take a look!
I am willing to show you some examples to prove that without realizing, we use maths every single day. I´ll just give some simple examples of how and when we use maths for many problems that come up on our day and, without even thinking, we solve them, but, without this simple maths, we wouldn´t be able to solve them so quickly.There are many more than just the ones following, this ones are very simple, but without them, we would not be able to solve every day’s problems!
Money: Money skills are very important:
–Do you know if you´ve received the right amount of change?
-Did you get the right amount of money from the ATM?
It’s also important when shopping, whether is for grocery, buying clothes or determining sale prices. Fresh products such as fruits or vegetables are priced by their weight:
-Can you figure out how much your purchases will cost?
-When eating out in restaurants do you know how to split up the bill in two?
Measurement: Precise measurements are necessary to build things such as houses and buildings. We use measurements when cooking or baking and also to determine the right amount of the ingredients we need to use on our recipes each day. Gauges are found on our vehicles to measure our speed and thermometers are used to measure the temperature. It also determines capacity and area:
-How many grams of baking powder do we need to make our own brownie?
Patterns: Patterns can be found in construction materials, everything from brick walls to walkways, they can also be found on any floor and even the wind can make patterns with sand.
Time: It´s measured with clocks, sundials, calendars, phones and day books . (A book in which daily transactions are recorded).Scheduling keeps track of departure and arrival time by train, plane or bus.
Symmetry: Symmetry is often found in nature; in leaves, flowers and plants. Nature also provides many examples of symmetry such as the faces and bodies of animals and other living things. It´s also found on many manmade objects, like windmills, flags, guitars and even eye glasses!
Problem solving: Are you a good problem solver? Can you find out how long your journey will be if going at the same speed for a period of time? Can you figure out a strategy to win the darts game? Of course you can, you are always solving problems with mathematics!
Estimation: We use estimation skills to figure out how many things there are, just like in the picture in the right, we would also estimate to figure out how many people are in any big event, such as football games, festivals and demonstrations.
Fractions, decimals and percentages: We use fractions to split pizzas and pies, percentages are used to calculate how much battery you still have in your phone and to determine sale prices.
Probability: We need to know probability because it helps us to predict the chances of occurrence for actions or inactions. This is important in the decision-making process as it narrows down the options and helps to calculate risk.We use probability to determine the chance of winning a bet, a race, any sport events and even games like poker or Black Jack at the Casinos.
So, as you can see , maths surrounds us.Whether we see it in nature, manmade objects, whether you use it to shop, cook, eat, tell the time, find out the temperature, measure, solve problems or play games, maths is part of our life, take a look around:
Where do you see maths each day?
Álvaro de Gruijter Eguíluz
3º C – E.S.O. 23-1-2014