Why is Math important in real life?

Credit: @possessedphotography on Unsplash

Why is Math important in real life?

My answer to my children whenever they ask me this is always a reply in three parts:

One, so that when you buy something, you know you’re getting the right change.

Two, you can calculate the discount on an item and decide if it is worth buying.

Three, when you sell things, you can decide how much to charge so you make a profit.

We spent a lot of time on One and Two for most of their childhood. One of the things I did to teach my son percentages was to ask him to calculate the final amount I had to pay after the discount for a preapproved, reasonably priced item he wanted. If he got the right answer, he got the item. This began a lifelong love of math.

There are many reasons why math is important in real life, including honing our brain to logically organize and to make simple and complex calculations, and as a species, understanding the world around us.

On a much grander scale, math helps us make sense of the universe. We use math to calculate astronomical distances, how old and how far the stars are, the distance to the next Earth-like planet (in case we need to speedily travel there), and whether that comet is going to hit us.

Math is the universal language of the universe. Even aliens in worlds beyond utilize math. It is at the crux of every civilization. It may well be the basis of human-alien communication.

Most of all, math helps us cultivate awe and wonder. Fractals, Fibonacci Sequences, Pi… these just scratch the surface of how math reveals the beauty of our universe to us. All we have to do is listen and learn, and then we will see.

For more on why math is important to our lives: https://thirdspacelearning.com/blog/why-is-maths-important/

  • Christina Sng for Maths@Singapore

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