Question to the adults: How often do you use highschool math in your daily life?I personally think not everything that you learn in highshool math is necessary for you in daily life

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lsumner's profile pic

lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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I teach for a living. I use math everyday. When I grade papers, I use math. I use percentage when I determine who is passing of failing. I also use math every time I cook a recipe which requires measuring ingredients. Math is a part of my daily life.

I believe most jobs require some form of math. Nurses must use math. Doctors use math when determining how much medicine to give. Construction workers use math to determine how to build something.

Math is a relevant subject in the daily lives of many.

pacorz's profile pic

pacorz | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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It totally depends on where you end up in life. What I tell my students is this: It is my job to place various tools in your mental toolbox and teach you how to use them, in order to equip you as much as possible for the future. Having a specific tool available can open doors of opportunity for you in the future, and the lack of a tool can shut a door. So many people leave high school thinking that they know what their career path is, but for a great many that plan changes or does not work out, and they end up doing something different. The younger you are, the more important it is to keep your options open, and having knowledge helps that to happen.

lmetcalf's profile pic

lmetcalf | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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I would agree with the above posts -- most of the math functions mentioned above I learned before 8th grade.  I have never needed to solve a differential equation in order to find a good price on clothes or use theorems to determine the amount of new carpet I need to purchase for the living room. Students always ask "why do we have to know this?"  The answer is usually: unless you go into a math related field you don't actually need to know it, but the process of learning it is making you smarter in other ways too

belarafon's profile pic

belarafon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Not much. I do use quick-and-dirty basic math at the store, as #4 says, for coupons and per-item cost, but I usually use the calculator in my phone for anything more substantial than base costs. At work, the computer calculates change for me, and the other parts of work have no math involved at all. Out of work, I mostly have access to at least a basic calculator.

So no, I don't use much math at all. However, others pick it up faster and I would advise anyone with a head for math to learn it; it comes in handy when you least expect it.

wannam's profile pic

wannam | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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I agree with post 2 that it really depends on what you do for a living. Some of the more simple math I use very frequently. As a parent on a budget, I use math every time I go to the grocery store. I calculate things like which box of diapers is cheaper by determining the price per diaper. This works with most food items too; you can determine which product is the cheapest by finding the price per ounce or pound. I have to use math when shopping a sale or if I have a % off coupon. I also use math for recipies and things like that. Occasionaly, I have needed to use more complex math skills. When I built a custom bookcase, I used a lot of math. The formulas for determining angles and such were very necessary. The time I really needed more complex math skills was buying a home and dealing with mortgage companies. Most people won't use everything they learned in high school math on a daily basis. However, this doesn't mean that it's a waste of time to learn it. The cognative thinking skills generated by learning this type of math will be used.
litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Although this does vary depending on a person's occupation, most of us do use complex math.  For example, home improvement.  Whether you are landscaping or laying down a new floor, you will need to understand how to calculate area and perimeter.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Obviously, this is going to depend a lot on what you do for a living.  But I see your point.  I very rarely use it myself.  Every now and then I'll use geometry and basic algebra when I build something.  Also, with really basic algebra, I use it when I need to change the size of a recipe while cooking.  Or I use it when I tell students "okay, you have this % as your grade so far.  We have X number of points left this term.  You'll need to get Y number of those in order to get a certain grade.

But beyond that, never.

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