Math Around the world.

From last ten years during my teaching experience I am coming across few same questions from my students over and over again . The questions are;

“ Why we study Math, when in my life I will use this, is it really related to us in anyway? Where can I see it helpful in my life?? where is math around us? Can we have math around the world anywhere? is there any math around us in the world?” and so on….

Most of the people in the world believe that there is no maths in the world around us.

First of all let’s enjoy this video of Mathemagic.

You must have been inspired by this person. No doubt, he is simply amazing.

Now back to the topic, today I thought to give you some examples from real life, where we use math.

The thing that we need to understand here is; we all use math in our everyday life no matter we know about it’s use or not. It is all around us. One important feature that makes math different from rest of all the subject is; the mathematical language, which is universal. Everyone is not master of all the languages that are spoken in the world but Math has one language that is used by all. This is called numeracy the language of the numbers.
I believe that people around the world are connected by mathematical language.
No matter which language you speak one is one and two will always remain two, two plus two will be four. This is real beauty of mathematics. No one have created mathematics, its in universe different scientists are trying to discover it. Many early civilizations like Pythagoreans of 5th century took mathematical figures or numbers as living entities.
Numbers are some of very active agents in our nature.

Plato argued that mathematical concepts as real and concrete with us having any or no knowledge about them. I am confused where to start. I also want to mention that there is the utilization of mathematics in almost every field of life, so for sure I cannot mention every field where it is used but to give you some examples, let me take this chance to begin.

Math is everywhere around you even if you are unaware. To see where is math in your life open your eyes and observe properly. You will surly find it, it is that obvious, trust me!

In Medicine physicians need to have mathematical skills to calculate the dose of drugs and medicine. There are many concepts in medical literature that can be understood with math. For the preparation of medicine in industry carefully ratios and concentration of products is checked to prepare medicine. In medicine, to know and calculate, if the dose or medicine will work one needs to have mathematical skills.
Understanding of the basic concepts of math is very important to have a profitable Business. You need it to have some price of your product or if you want to keep things in budget.

Time has a great importance in our lives and we can not deny this reality. One who do not care about time is mostly on losing side. Our day starts with  time and ends with it. we calculate it with our watches, calendars etc. we have to be precise if we want to reach airport or train station on time. We have to wake up early to get to our educational institute or office on time.  If we will not keep a check on time we can not fulfill any assignment in our life whether it is related to education or job etc.

The favorite hobby of females is Shopping. No matter if we are going for the shopping of cloth or decided to do some grocery it involves the calculations. We have to know our size for dress or the quantity of fruits that we need to buy. So in every supermarket, no matter if one is  doing grocery or buying a perfect suit measurement counts. All this involves some calculation. If we are related to Engineering then the measurement and proper calculation of ratios of steel, cement, water to make buildings, bridges and keep them strong for a long time is needed the most. If proper calculation is not done before hand then buildings cannot be durable and strong. Most of the time we check temperature, speedometers in our vehicles, petrol filling stations, we come across measurement everywhere. If you do not know your size or do not check it, surly your dress can be loose or tight etc. Measurements are also used to estimate the air in tires of vehicles from a small car to plane or water level in your swimming pools each need proper measurement.

Every day you come across many Patterns in your life. They are spread all around us from wild life to man mad objects. See the lines on the body of zebra there is a pattern. There is pattern in your cloth and your bed room. When you open your eyes in morning, see, the cloth you are wearing has beautiful pattern of colors, see in window panels of your room, on your roof , stairs and also there can be different patterns of tiles on your floor. Brick walls all the walk ways show different types of the mathematical patters.

If you have ever seen wind blowing in desert , moving the sand here and there, the wind blows to make different patterns of the sand.
You can also find Balance in nature. Flowers, trees, leaves have mathematical symmetry.
If we see the animals around us, no matter big or small some symmetrical patters become very obvious. Let’s see a butterfly you must have always admired the symmetry of colors and patterns on its wings. Symmetry is also in our bodies, shapes, structures and even in our face. Our eyes, ears , nostrils, ribs , arms , legs are equally spaced and have equal length. Case is also same with animals and birds etc.

You can see many buildings outside on road that can be excellent piece of architecture, even your own house building defines many different mathematical shapes and symmetry. If there is no symmetry in buildings they can not stand rather will fall.

Symmetry is not only limited to nature, you can see symmetry in Aero planes, kites, birds flying in sky. Look around yourself many art works can show you some symmetry. It can also be seen in medical, engineering instruments like scissors, stapler, etc.
You come across many different Mathematical Shapes  like circles, triangles, squares, rectangles, cylinders, hexagons, polygons  in nature and on different architecture works. Check the pattern of spider web and honey combs what shapes they have. Our earth is oval check the shape of moon it is example of a sphere.See the tetrahedral shape of mathematics in pyramids or your milk cottons. On buildings you can see doors, roof, windows etc. you can notice that they are made with some geometrical shapes. These shapes of circles, semicircles, cylinders, cones etc. can also be seen in nature like flowers, leaves, vegetables etc.
When we see news of events then we are told that this much number of people have attended any event like; Haj, prayers, cricket match etc. Nobody is actually counting the number of each attendant but they just make an Estimate about the presence. Here you have it again! MATH! 🙂 If you want to carry something, you try to pick it and estimate the weight to have an idea if you can carry or not. You are not calculating the actual weight but just making an estimate. If someone calls you and ask you when you will arrive, you just estimate the time and tell them as if you are going on same road everyday you keep in mind the rush hours and delay and tell the estimated time.

I think there is not even a single person in world who do not need Money. Where ever you go, travel, shopping you need money. All the time you have to know exact amount that you have to pay for your bills, tickets, buying cloth for you or even a gift for friend. While ordering a birthday cake you have to tell the weight of the cake and have to pay for it when it is ready. Whenever you have to pay money you need to do some calculation.

We use Fractionsin our recipes , pizzas and sale price etc. Most of us love different games and we try to know about the chances of success by Probabilityin different sporting events and challenges.

You are continuously Solving Problemwhen you are looking out for easiest and shortest way to get out of some place while on road in your vehicle or in a shopping mall. When you are thinking about scoring highest score in any game or make points or even if you are looking for the ways while trying to defeat someone in game. You are into calculation when you are finding book from library or you are finding through catalog or you are finding any file. Even if you are trying to find some data from laptop or online you are in some kind of calculation or problem solving.
I always hear,” Math is useless, it is so boring. But, I believe;

Math is everywhere, try to feel it you will Love it!

Math is always around us in different shapes and ways from objects to calculations. In Golden shapes, sphere of Earth, bee hexagons, truncated Icosahedron can be seen in a football. Math is in music, video games, fashion, games, restaurants, medicine, architecture, designing, almost everywhere.

It is around us to protect us, comfort us and facilitate us. Math is for all of us.

In my next post I will try to write about the applications of mathematics in different fields of life. Till that time stay tuned.

You can find excellent math resources on following sites;

Curious math
Math forum
Math Academy

You can find more detailed information of topic on this site.

All the pictures are used from a project of my students, in which I have asked them to find math in real life. I got the picture of the leaf  from one of my best friend, Jennifer Lydia Moss. I would like to say Thanks to my friend and the students. 

Now it’s your turn; what do you think where else you have seen math in your Life?
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  • Hello Shafaq
    hmmm , I do not know about this but thanks for sharing this quote.

  • Hello Misty

    I am so happy to hear about your daughter. She is right in saying that. I wish her success. Yes Khan academy is very good. There are also math courses on coursea , check that site you will love it.

  • Hello Jeri

    There are many students of mine who ask me 100 times the same thing. All I can do is , smile and repeat the step. They even ask me how I smile all the time with a lot of math in my head. As they believe its boring and tough.
    I am happy that I have never stopped any student coming to my office and answer them, even I do not have office hours and at the end when they tell me that they love math because of me , it gives me a lot of energy.

    It is nice that you got a nice teacher in college.

  • Hello Jeannette

    I have written this post for my students who all the time ask me , where is math in life. I just tried to show them. You are right that its embedded in our lives and we take help from it everywhere. Even if we are not aware that we are using mathematical rules.

    Thank you for your time.

  • Hello Hassan

    It is all around us. Some people do not feel but still its there to make our life easier.

    Thank you for your comment

  • if i am not wrong famous mathematician Johannes Kepler said "Where there is matter, there is geometry"

  • What a great post. I am so fortunate my children love and understand math! My daughter is in AP algebra 2 and AP music theory and says these "languages" make more sense than English 🙂 They are worldwide languages, something we can all connect to. Common Core is destroying the way math should be learned here in the US. I now home-school my son and we use Khan Academy. Just thought it would be good to add to the links above. It is a free resource where anyone can learn just about anything. Have a wonderful weekend 😀

  • I only wish I had done better in math, but I always got so frustrated and needed to be shown all the steps a billion times. I never took a higher math class in high school after my Algebra I teacher told me I asked too many questions and I should stop coming to her desk for so much help. I finally found a good math teacher in college when I had to take a bunch of math all over again just to get the class that would give me the right credit toward my degree.

  • Math is important, as you point out. I'm sorry that when I was in school I didn't get to take all the courses I should have to become more literate. I know the basics and agree that math is embedded in almost everything we do.

  • Really interesting information about mathematics , its history and uses in daily life..much appreciated .keep writing .