Applying Math to Your Daily Life


Mark Hanaggen

This young man applies math to his daily life by checking to see how long he has till he needs to refill his gas tank.

Amber Reddish, Photojournalist

As a high school student it is very likely that you have asked yourself “Will I ever use this?” while sitting in your math class. The answer to that question is yes. Mathematics is a methodical application of matter, so in simple terms math applies to everything in the world that surrounds you. Patterns, numbers, signs–these are all things we see everyday. Our brain uses math to process these and we don’t even know it.

One area you will apply math in your daily life is cooking. Whether this refers to the timer, the portion sizes, or doubling a recipe, all of these things require you to have some basic understanding of mathematics. Paula George (12) says that “the place [she] most often applies math to her life is when she is cooking dinner with her grandma.” If you had never learned fractions then something as simple as baking cookies would feel like an impossible feat to you.

Next, another area where your math skills will be applicated are in your future yearly taxes. Doing your taxes boils down to the amount of money you earned in a year and then taking a percentage of that amount and giving it to the government. The amount being taken out of your salary can vary based off of taxes returns and tax write offs, but if you don’t know how to do math then you wouldn’t be able to save that money.

Lastly, math is also needed for simple everyday tasks such as driving and being on time. No matter where your destination is it is important that you know how far you are driving, if you have enough gas to get there, and if you have left early enough to make it there on time. How will you be able to determine these things? With math of course! By applying the knowledge you have worked so hard to obtain to real life situations like this one you will not only keep your brain functioning, but you will get a good use out of your education.

Many complex mathematics, such as calculus, cannot be easily applied to ones everyday life without having a career as a mathematician or a scientist. Despite this fact, math still plays a major role of everyone’s life, even if it is on different scales. You cannot step outside of your house without your brain doing some sort of involuntary mathematical problem. Due to this it is very important that you not only stay in school, but challenge yourself to succeed at the highest mathematical degree that you can manage to accomplish.