People have always contended that math is not useful in the “real world.”1 However, is this true? After all, math is the basis for many things in life, from balancing a checkbook to deciding how much fabric is needed to make a dress. This blog post looks at how high school math can be used in real-life problem-solving.
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The Importance of Math and its Real-life Applications
Math is often seen as a dry and difficult subject. However, its applications are all around us. From everyday tasks like budgeting and cooking to more complex fields like engineering and finance, math is a vital part of our lives. A strong foundation in math is vital for all students, not just those who plan on a career in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) field.
Basic math skills are helpful in everyday tasks like grocery shopping and household chores. Likewise, advanced math is useful in hobbies like DIY projects or gardening. Math also helps us make sense of the world around us, from the patterns we see in nature to how traffic flows.
How High School Math Prepares Students for Future Success
For many students, high school math can seem like a pointless exercise. However, there is a lot of value in learning math skills beyond the basics of arithmetic. Algebra, geometry, and even calculus create a firm basis for future success in various fields.
In short, high school math offers useful insights and prepares students for success in several arenas. So, the next time you’re struggling with that equation, remember that it might pay off down the road.
Case Studies of Application of High School Math in the Real World
Just because math is often taught abstractly, with little connection to the real world, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t hugely important in our everyday lives. Math is all around us, and a mastery of mathematical concepts can be essential for success in a wide range of fields. To illustrate this point, let’s look at three case studies of how high school math has been successfully applied in the real world.
- First, consider the case of Andrew Wiles, a mathematician who proved Fermat’s Last Theorem, one of the most famous unsolved problems in math. Wiles’ proof used various advanced mathematical concepts, including elliptic curves and modular forms. Without his deep understanding of these concepts, Wiles would never have been able to make his historic breakthrough. 1
- Next, consider the case of Alan Turing, whose work on code-breaking during World War II helped turn the tide in the conflict. Turing’s work relied heavily on mathematical concepts such as probability theory and combinatorics. Again, without a strong foundation in these areas, it is doubtful that Turing would have been able to make such significant contributions.2
4. Teacher–Student Collaboration in Solving Real-world Problems
To solve many real-world problems, it is vital for high school students to work with their teachers. Teacher and student collaboration ensures that everyone is on the same page and there is an exchange of ideas. High school math can be used to solve a variety of problems, from simple equations to more complex calculus. However, collaboration is essential to ensure the problem is solved correctly. By collaborating, students and teachers can share their knowledge and work together to find the best solution.
5. Benefits and Drawbacks of Using High School Math to Help Solve Real-life Problems
Some of the benefits of using high school math in solving real-life problems include:4
- Many people view math as a dry and boring subject that is unrelated to real life. However, math can be incredibly useful in solving everyday problems. For example, many adults struggle with managing their finances.
- By learning basic concepts like budgets and interest rates, high school students can gain the skills they need to make sound financial decisions.
Some of the drawbacks of using high school math in solving real- life problems include:5
- While high school math can provide students with a strong foundation in the basics of algebra, geometry, and trigonometry, it may not always be the best preparation for solving real-world problems.
- In many cases, the types of problems that students encounter in their daily lives are much more complex than the equations they are taught to solve in class. As a result, they may find themselves struggling to apply what they have learned to new and unfamiliar situations.
- Additionally, high school math often focuses on small details and abstract concepts, rather than on the big picture.
- For these reasons, some students may be better served by taking a more applied approach to math, such as through a trade school or community college program.
We hope you found this blog post helpful. If you are looking for more problem-solving practice using high school math, please visit BYJU’S Future School Blog. There you will find a variety of real-life scenarios that have been solved using math.
- Are mathematicians finally satisfied with Andrew Wiles’s proof of Fermat’s LastTheorem | Generation Ready. (1999, October 21). Are mathematicians finally satisfied with Andrew Wiles’s proof of Fermat’s LastTheorem | Generation Ready. Retrieved November 9, 2022, from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/are-mathematicians-finall/
- Alan Turing Saved 21 Million Lives In World War II, But History Punished Him For Being Gay | Generation Ready. (2020, March 1). Alan Turing Saved 21 Million Lives In World War II, But History Punished Him For Being Gay | Generation Ready. Retrieved November 9, 2022, from https://www.indiatimes.com/technology/science-and-future/alan-turing-the-father-of-modern-computing-who-saved-millions-of-lives-during-world-war-ii-507318.html
- 12 little-known things about Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates | Generation Ready. (2020, November 3). 12 little-known things about Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates | Generation Ready. Retrieved November 9, 2022, from https://www.gadgetsnow.com/slideshows/12-little-known-things-about-microsoft-co-founder-bill-gates/solved-a-30-year-old-maths-problem-at-harvard/photolist/57220177.cms
- Dituri, Davidson, & Marley-Payne. (2019). Combining Financial Education With Mathematics Coursework: Findings From a Pilot Study. Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning, 30(2), 313–322. https://doi.org/10.1891/1052-3073.30.2.313
- Lynch, & Star. (2013, August 30). Teachers’ views about multiple strategies in middle and high school mathematics: Perceived advantages, disadvantages, and reported instructional practices. Mathematical Thinking and Learning. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:10989383