Akilan Babu, Contributing Writer, Tech Team, and Tutor

I hope to become a better writer by working with Eduvisa. I like working with a supportive team to write blog posts about interesting and varied topics.

How Math Is Actually Used... In Real Life

How Math Is Actually Used... In Real Life

It’s worth thinking about why we learn math in school; many high schools require a full 4 years of math for graduation. But one may argue that not all professions will actually use math on a regular basis – which is true, many fields don’t use math as a problem-solving tool. But many important professions do use math, and learning how to think logically is still an invaluable skill, even if your career path does not directly involve math.

Applied Math

Perhaps the largest use of math in the real world is physics. Physics uses math to model how physical things behave under various conditions. In high school, a physics class often feels similar to a math class. Physics is so vastly applicable that it’s used in many professional fields, such as engineering and architecture. Math is also the foundation for many other daily activities in life, like: - Figuring out how much of an ingredient to put in a recipe - Calculating GPA with a weighted average - Calculating the amount of paint needed to cover a building or other structure - Managing finances and creating budgets - …and more!

There are also many examples of high-level math in other careers. For example, biologists have to be able to express the world around them in a quantitative way. They often need a basic understanding of calculus concepts in order to understand the mathematical models that they are exposed to. One example of this is the Lotka-Volterra equations, a set of differentiable equations that model the relationship between predators and prey. A biologist needs to be able to interpret the meaning of “dx/dt” in context.

In business, calculus is used to express rates of changes for profits, revenue, and more. Business managers and founders often use calculus to minimize costs for their products or calculate net profits. They have to have a good grasp of calculus concepts in order to understand and make predictions about how a market may behave in the future.

Given the current state of the world, calculus and probability are essential to epidemiology, the study of infectious diseases. New models of disease progression amongst a population have to be dynamic enough to fit an ever-changing situation. Models such as the Bernoulli smallpox model can model the number of people that get the disease and die from it with changes in immunization (like vaccines). This information is crucial to a government official planning on how to go about managing a city or country through a large-scale pandemic, such as COVID-19.

While many people don’t need to understand higher-level math such as calculus, many occupations require a basic understanding of calculus concepts, such as derivatives and rates of change, or at least an ability to think logically, as most math classes teach.While this article put a heavy emphasis on calculus, math is much wider than that. Probability and statistics in particular are widely used for business, insurance, weather forecasting, and more. Math really is everywhere. It controls how the world works and operates, and is useful no matter what field you end up in.

Want another amazing example of hidden math behind the scenes? Check out our post on how calculators work.

Works Cited