Most students have the history of struggling with mathematics assignments which make them wonder if they will ever apply the knowledge in real world life. Teachers and parents admit having been asked about the relevance of mathematics in life. Some often respond that mathematics is necessary for most of the jobs and it enhances critical thinking skills of an individual. Such responses may be good but fail to address immediate needs of a student. There are various everyday practical applications of mathematics.
The most common and essential application of mathematics in daily life is in financial management like spending, investing and saving. The modern world is money-driven and therefore, demands knowledge in mathematics to help in various calculations. Inability to add, subtract, multiply or divide will result in serious difficulties when handling money. One requires mathematical skills beyond the basic arithmetic concepts because complex algebra is necessary when calculating interest rates for loans and investments. Even those who manage their own money will often require dealing with loans and investment. Besides, one should be familiar with exponential growth calculations to plan for future projections especially in spending of money.
Mathematics concepts are very significant in the management of time. Time factor affects everyone around the world. Time is, therefore, a very valuable asset that cannot be ignored. The modern competitive world demands very proper planning of time to avoid lagging behind as others make progress. Failing to keep schedule results in accumulation of things not done in the required time frame. Mathematics comes into play when organizing to-do lists where the rating of tasks varies depending on the priority and urgency. Organising a schedule is, therefore, beyond the simple knowledge of reading the clock or calendar; more application of mathematics is necessary.
In addition, mathematics is applied every day in the grocery stores. This sector requires an accurate use of mathematics knowledge such as estimation, multiplications, and percentages. The sellers apply mathematics in the calculation of price per unit, estimating the percentage of discounts offered, measuring the weight of products and estimating of the net price required to sell or buy a product. Mathematics in the grocery stores is the best example of its application in sectors affecting everyone and every day.
Closely related is the application of mathematics in the kitchen. Recipes for different foods vary either in terms of ingredients used or simply by the number of ingredients. Preparing the recipes requires a step-by-step operation steps similar to algorithms. Some of the mathematical applications include: measuring of ingredients, converting of temperatures necessary in the preparation of different foods, calculation of cooking duration for each item, and calculation of ratio and proportions, especially in baking.
Another daily application of mathematics happens in traveling. It helps to take away risks associated with traveling. Before one starts a journey, they have to estimate different factors such as the amount of fuel to be used per distance and hour. This is crucial for long distance travelers since there is a risk of exhausting the available fuel and remain stranded on the road. Mathematics still come into play when paying for tolls, determining the tire pressure, checking the numbers of exit and others. Besides, mathematics is crucial when using maps during the road trip in the absence of GPS and Google Maps. One should find their current location and how to move to the destination. Basic mathematics fundamentals are applied in such instances.
Basing on the above daily applications and others, it is evident that knowledge in mathematics is necessary and relevant to everyone regardless of the occupations and status they occupy in the society.