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How can math be used in daily life?I am trying to write an essay, and its topic is...

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julianayun | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 3, 2011 at 3:03 AM via web

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How can math be used in daily life?

I am trying to write an essay, and its topic is 'math in daily life.' I am a Korean junior high student, so please suggest topics that are not to hard, such as the Pythagorean Theorem. Thank you!:)

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 3, 2011 at 3:16 AM (Answer #2)

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I think that many math topics have meaning and relevancy and are dependent on the path one takes in terms of finding real world application.  For example, sports is largely dependent on sports.  Decisions are made based regarding playing time as well as strategy based on percentages.  In baseball, there is a strong use of math.  Managers have to make decisions on which pitchers to start and, especially so in games of importance, those decisions are predicated upon statistical reality.  If a pitcher has a better winning percentage in certain conditions, this will help to sway the manager.  The calculation of batting average is a mathematical reality.  It is not common to hear enthusiasts of the sport say, "He's hitting .400 and will finish above if he goes 3 of 5 today!" These are math concepts integrated in speech and analysis.  On a larger level, I am not sure how one can get past the practical applications of math in personal finances.  Balancing a checkbook, creating budgets, anticipating costs and profits are all math based and reflect math's use in the real world.  In terms advanced concepts such as the Pythagorean Theorem, I have included a couple of links that can help apply the theorem in the realm of map-making, cartography, or in constructing a quicker route home from two different points given.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 3, 2011 at 3:17 AM (Answer #3)

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Well, I must admit I never ever thought that I would be answering a question in the Math group, but there you go! As a student who delighted in the fact that I was able to give up Maths at age sixteen (it is different in England where I studied), I thought that was the end of my hate-hate relationship with Maths. However, now I am an adult and working as a teacher and have my own family there are so many day to day applications of Maths that I wish I had paid more attention to my classes which I detested so much. A few examples:

1) Working out grades and percentages. This of course is a vital skill that all teachers need to know about.

2) Marking papers, and reducing or adding percentages based on penalties or bonues.

3) Sales reductions in stores. How do you calculate 20% of products if they are in sale from their original price?

4) Budgeting. As a family this is an essential skill for survival. You have to be able to budget your money and keep accounts of what you spend it on and any increases or decreases so you can manage your money well.

5) Savings. Interest rates are essential for this. How do you know which bank offers the best savings plan? How much money will you have if a bank offers you 5% growth on your savings over 1 year?

6) Decorating a house. Shape, space and measurements are of course vital for this area of life. How much paint do you need to buy to paint a room a colour? You don't want to buy too much, and you definitely don't want to buy too little...

Hopefully these scenarios will give you some ideas for your essay. Ironically, I have recently bought a Maths book to help me go over a few areas that I am finding I need to know about, whether I like it or not!

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msrenfroe | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 3, 2011 at 5:50 AM (Answer #4)

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Math is used every day in the grocery store.  I frequently do calculations to see if I should buy the large size or small size of a product.  I am shocked frequently that buying the large size does NOT save me money.  I wonder why?  The manufacturer must have saved money when they produced the product (on packaging, shipping, etc.)  This keeps me from tying up my money in buying bulk products.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 30, 2011 at 7:13 AM (Answer #5)

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One that I use often is fractions -- I use this when I am baking.  I use fractions especially if I am going to make a bigger or smaller batch of the food.

So, for example, if the regular recipe will make 30 cookies and I want 45 cookies, I must increase the amount of everything by 1/2.  In the US ingredients are measured in things like cups and teaspoons and so I must figure out, for example, what 1/2 of 3/4 of a teaspoon of salt is.

If I were not in the US and my recipe were in grams, for example, I would still have to know how to increase everything in the recipe by multiplying everything by 1.5.

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eli468 | Student, Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted August 4, 2014 at 5:50 PM (Answer #6)

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Math is used quite a bit in everyday life. Construction workers, architects, anyone working in the engineering and medical fields uses math. The Pythagorean Theorem is especially important to construction workers and architects. It allows them to know the proper dimensions for building something safely and with stability. 

Whenever you go to a store and buy something, math is used. Math is used to add up your total, if you are paying in change you must count through your money, if you receive change back then the cashier used math, or if you use a check or card math is used to deduct money out of your account or while balancing your checkbook. Budgeting is also where math is used.

Anything that you count is math. If you go to the store and need five apples, then counting 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 apples is math. Math is used in cooking and baking to measure out ingredients as well.

In art, math is applied is order to create symmetry. It may not seem like math, but if an artist is going for a specific size, shape, use a ruler, etc. they are using math. 

When you look at the clock and see you have 45 minutes left of class that is math as well. You were able to read a clock and determine the amount of time from now until the end of class was 45 minutes which is either addition or subtraction depending on which hour you would start from. 

In science, math is always used. You need to measure out a specific amount of a certain chemical or graph data, show calculations for laws of nature,etc.

Math is used in sewing as well.

You may not be using calculus everyday, but math is still prevalent in every day life.

Sources:

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clyoon | Student, Grade 12 | Honors

Posted August 15, 2014 at 5:19 AM (Answer #7)

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Math is used every day in your life but sometimes you just forget that you are using math because it is so habitual and easy at times. For example, you go to the grocery store and you spend money. If you are using cash, you have to count how much money to pull out of your wallet and how many coins. You use addition. And if you are expecting to receive change from the cash register, and you care about how much change you get back, you do subtraction and you count how much money you will get back in case the person at the register makes a mistake and gives you the incorrect amount of change. 

Another example is when you go to the PC room. There are rates and you do multiplication or addition depending on what your brain likes better. The PC room tells you how many minutes or hours you can get on a computer when you pay a certain amount. If it tells you $10 per hour, and you want 5 hours on a computer, then obviously you would multiply 10 by 5 to get $50 total.

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