Although school may be out for summer, there are still plenty of subjects that can be applied to summertime activities. Everyone loves a good game of mini golf, but using the rules of geometry can give you a leg up on the competition. Continue reading “The Secret to Mini Golf – Between the Geometric Lines” »
Keeping focused and motivated in a math class can be hard for people who aren’t necessarily blessed when it comes to working with numbers. However, it is still possible to do well in a math class, even if you don’t consider yourself skilled or talented in the subject. I attended a college with core requirements, so I was forced to take a math class in order to graduate. At first, I was quite annoyed – I had a bunch of other classes to worry about, and I knew that this math course was going to take up a lot of my time if I wanted to do well in it. However, in the end, taking that calculus course taught me a few valuable lessons that I carry with me to this day. Continue reading “Do Well in Any Math Course” »
Here’s something I’ve heard a million times before: “why do I need to study this? It’s not like I’m ever going to use these skills I’m learning again.” To be honest, I was one of the people who complained like this in high school. I never thought I’d have to know much about science, math or history unless I intended to study these subjects further in college. But after I grew up, I started to appreciate how important having a well-rounded education is. Unfortunately, most people still don’t understand why it’s important to do well in math and other subjects that are “useless” unless you pursue them in college or for your career.
I actually never knew how many career choices one has as a math major. I assumed that most people who study math either choose to become a math teacher or deal with finances, but there are a lot of careers for math majors that you should consider.
The one I usually think of, again, is finances. Finance studies how businesses, individuals, and organizations make profits and furthermore how they use these profits to make even more money.
At first glance, math and philosophy seem totally different. One is a hard science, the other a very amorphous and changing practice of examining life and metaphysics. Believe it or not, though, philosophy and math are very closely related. At the beginning of the 20th century important thinkers bridged the gap between these two disciplines and left to posterity a strong bond between two fields that were previously thought to be unrelated. Continue reading “Math and Philosophy” »
Normally we think of sports as totally separate from science and math; after all, they’re activities where you’re mostly using your body and not your mind, and have a reputation of being played by those with little interest in science-y stuff. But nothing could be further from the truth! The fact is that all sports nowadays benefit big-time from the introduction of all kinds of scientific studies, and statistics in particular. In fact, there are entire careers in the professional sports world that you can make for yourself with a knowledge of math and science. Continue reading “Science in Sports” »
It’s no secret that math is one of the most important subjects you’ll ever study at school, but have you ever thought about how math can get you into school? The college application process can be long and complicated at times, but there’s one thing that you can always be sure of: good scores in math will give you a boost. On top of that, math will give you a solid foundation for a lot of very useful programs of study when you finally arrive at your institution of higher learning. Continue reading “Math in College” »
One of the most common misconceptions about math is that it’s useless — who actually needs to learn this stuff other than scientists and people like that? In fact, math is one of the most generally applicable disciplines that you can learn. Second perhaps only to writing, math is used in more diverse careers and professions than almost any other school subject. By taking the time to learn math, you are setting yourself up as a very marketable candidate for almost any job that you can think of.
Being good at math doesn’t mean having to go down the path of academia or spending the rest of your life inside a lab; in fact, most of the math involved in those fields is more abstract and theoretical than the geometry, algebra, and calculus that you’ll learn in high school in college. But anything from managing a storefront to being the architect that designed the building it’s in? That means having a working knowledge of those three types of math at the very least. Professions like publishing require math too — doing things like calculating how much profit specific books and authors are going to generate, royalty percentages, and negotiating foreign language rights all involve arithmetic and algebra.
In short, don’t think it’s a good idea to shirk studying math! When first starting out, math can seem uninteresting compared to classes like English or history, but ultimately will prove to be at least as useful of either of those fields. Stick to it and you’ll be glad you did when it comes to searching for a job.
Here’s a simple and nifty mathematical property that’s great to use in lessons for beginners, and also just plain useful for everyone else. It’s called the ‘transitive property,’ which states that:
If there exists some number a such that a=b,
then a=b=c, or a=c.
You see? It might be simpler to think of the variables a, b, c as terms to make things clearer, so if we were to say:
then obviously 3=(1+1+1).
This also works for inequalities, where
if a>b, and b>c, then a>b>c, or a>c.
Let’s use concrete numbers again as an example:
If 3>2, and 2>1, then 3>1.
Pretty straightforward, right? And yet it’s a vital building block for much of mathematics. Learning and internalizing the transitive property is the first step towards a more complete understanding of algebra and other forms of higher math. If you’re instructing younger students, it’s essential to make sure they understand this concept!