Algebra or Texas Prison

Algebra or Texas Prison.

Math occurs in so many careers and in daily life.

Here’s a couple of thoughts for you:

People who work in Agriculture try to maximize produce and would need to know about mixture problems.

What’s the right amount of seed to use, or fertilizer, pesticides, water?

Accountants/Bankers/all businesses use spreadsheet packages. Who’s writing the formulas? This is an algebra skill. Profit/loss translates to knowledge of percents and decimals.

 Art of any kind (think people in marketing, too) requires visualization. Many of the pleasing designs use “the golden ratio.

 Architects use sophisticated software to build online virtual models of buildings, houses, and so on. They certainly need visualization skills–those spatial aspects students study in math, which they might practice using online virtual manipulatives. Certainly architects need understanding of geometric and algebraic concepts for making physical models of the real thing.

Athletes can improve their performance by knowing about mathematics (e.g., as it relates to motion, vectors, geometric shapes, nutrition/health, torque, etc.)

Auto industry: How about all the math used in the auto industry? Cars contain sophisticated computers.

Even now, crash tests are done with simulations.

Biologists use statistics and probability.

Builders need to measure accurately to cut those boards, pour those floors (think proportions in getting cement to the right consistency–too much water and the structure breaks). That’s where knowledge of fractions and decimals comes in.  They would need to know about areas, volumes, slopes, angle measures, distance, ratios, and so on.

Cooks, even in the big restaurants, need measurement skills, and proportions for converting recipes for larger or smaller quantities. But there are software packages to help with that and databases for storing those recipes and spreadsheet packages for inventories, profit/loss, and so on.  You need to understand formulas in algebra to design those spreadsheets.

Engineers play a role in the design and modification of products we use.

Geologists use math models to study the earth: daily weather patterns, earthquake predictions, and so on.

Medical doctors study the human body and must be able to properly prescribe doses of medicines.

 Manufacturing jobs require math skills: “[T]oday’s manufacturing work requires strong math skills — not just adding and subtracting, but a good grasp of fractions, decimals and basic trigonometry. And job applicants who want to go into manufacturing often don’t have what it takes” (Boodhoo, 2012, para. 2).

 For manufacturing jobs, workers brush up on math.

Stock brokers: Anyone interested in the stock market? Positive and negative numbers are used to indicate what’s happening on the market. Gain of so many points, or loss of so many points. Graphing programs (tech part) can be used to create the visual displays. Of course, knowledge of data analysis is needed.

Surveyors use measurement tools and GPS systems.

Tradesmen of all kinds use math to estimate job costs, and to deal with the technical aspects of their jobs.

 People in the Military use simulations for training. Programmers need math skills to design those environments. Then think of other virtual environments like Second Life–who programs those? Everything in Second Life is designed with basic prims, which are geometric shapes that are placed and stretched to get whatever you see in the virtual worlds.


The list goes on and on.