Thursday, 25 June 2009

But sir what has Algebra got to do with real life?

As a private Maths tutor I get asked this question a lot. I am sat there explaining how to solve a simultaneous equation and I get interrupted by the student who demands to know how this will help them in life.

My answer to this question is always the same and always will be, and if I got a pound for every time that I have been asked this question then I probably wouldn't have to work anymore! So I decided to post the answer to this blog so that anybody reading this will know the answer and not need to pester their Mathematics teacher.

Algebra has real life applications from Engineering to computer games design and from predicting future trends in the financial markets to designing circuit boards. More generally Mathematics is fundamental in everyday life, from working out the VAT on a TV to calculating how much change you will receive when you buy a chocolate bar.

The fundamental building blocks of life can be explained by Mathematics, from the pattern of a honey cone to the orbit of the planets around the sun. Without our understanding of Mathematics we would truly all be lost. Many people see Mathematics are boring and irrelevant, this couldn't be further from the truth. Developing the latest computer games is certainly not a boring career, and can be both lucrative and fun. Designing the next generation of electronic technology is certainly not dull either.

We all marvel at the latest gadgets when they hit the market such as IPods and IPhones. They are so often taken for granted. We never really appreciate the complexity of this technology and the work that has gone into developing these devices. Without Mathematics these would not have been made possible. So as you can see if we are to continue to make technological progress, make new discoveries and land on mars we need Mathematics and we need to embrace it. Without people studying Mathematics we will all lose something in the future!

1 comment:

me said...

very good :)