9 Ways You Didn't Realize You Were Using Advanced Math on a Daily Basis

Jennie Kroeger

Remember when you were in school, learning some advanced component of algebra, thinking to yourself, "I'm never going to use this in real life"? Whether you know it or not, you're using advanced math on a daily basis. The principles of geometry, algebra, calculus, and statistics are inherent in several seemingly mundane activities that we do every single day. Taking advantage of technological advancements provided by advanced math doesn't necessarily require that you fully understand it, but most of us completely overlook how we utilize advanced math every day.

Below are 9 ways in which we use advanced math.

1. Cooking

9-ways-using-math-daily-basis-cooking2xA meal is really just the right combination of a series of ingredients. The recipe tells you how to combine them so that the food comes out properly. Cooking - everything from making Kraft macaroni to baking a souffl - requires at least a basic comprehension of advanced math. Without knowing the amounts, temperatures, and timeline of your recipe, you're most likely going to ruin whatever it is you're trying to make. The difference between a gorgeous french souffl and burned eggs in a cup is the math you put into it.

2. Banking and Finances

9-ways-using-math-daily-basis-banking and finance2xBalancing a checkbook is nothing but advanced math. Being able to project, categorize, and estimate expenditures require the ability to use some of the basic tenants of algebra and statistical analysis. Analyzing tax debt, deductions, write-offs, and interest payments? You better believe that you're using advanced math.

3. Calculating Dosages for Medicine

9-ways-using-math-daily-basis-medicine dosage2xFor people who require a complex set of medications, the difference between life and death could mean a few extra milligrams of a certain medication. In professional healthcare, nurses are required to have a clear understanding of advanced math so that they can calculate medication dosages, IV drip rates, drug titration, and more. But at home, people are still responsible for taking the appropriate amount of meds to stay healthy. You can't do that if you ignore the math behind recommended dosages.

4. Landscaping

9-ways-using-math-daily-basis-landscaping2xLandscaping and a wide range of exterior updates to households requires components of advanced math. When you get into more advanced updates like installing decking, leveling ground, paving, gardening, installing sprinklers, tree trimming, and lawn care, you need to be able to estimate and analyze geometric sizes and shapes. It's difficult to make a driveway level just by eyesight alone - you'll need math.

5. Home Improvements

9-ways-using-math-daily-basis-home improvement2xSimilar to landscaping, home improvements regularly require advanced math and other components of materials engineering. Installing electrical components? You'll need to make sure you're not overpowering the voltage. Hanging a heavy painting? You'll need to make sure that the weight load of the object isn't too much for your wall support. Taking out a wall to open up a room? Houses have load bearing structures that are required to keep the roof from collapsing to the floor.

6. Blogging

9-ways-using-math-daily-basis-blogging2xEven though you're not programming, blogging on basic platforms like Wordpress or Medium indirectly requires the advanced math of the computer languages, logic, and more. Every Wordpress and Medium account uses conditional logic to populate web pages with content that you provide. Web pages basically ask the question, "is there something here to show people?" If the answer is "yes," then they display the words on the web page.

7. Dieting and Weight Loss

9-ways-using-math-daily-basis-weight loss2xDieting and weight loss largely comes down to a matter of math. Essentially, you need to have a caloric deficit when it comes to weight loss. Ketogenic dieting, which was actually developed as a treatment for epilepsy, is a complex nutritional diet that utilizes exact amounts of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to cause your body to convert fat differently. Getting your body into a state of ketosis is all about delivering it the proper amounts of nutrients, which requires advanced math.

8. Listening to and Playing Music

9-ways-using-math-daily-basis-music2xMusic is a math-based art form. Major chords sound good because they have a consonance among the individual tones - the wavelengths line up evenly. Out of tune chords sound bad because those tones clash at various wavelengths. The act of listening to music is your body naturally processing sounds which are a complex combination of wavelengths and timbre. If you're composing or playing music, the understanding of the math behind it becomes much more pronounced, especially with time signatures and rhythm.

9. Driving

, . 9-ways-using-math-daily-basis-driving2xIf anything, the act of driving a car on roadways, over bridges, and inside of tunnels is the clearest example of how people use advanced math every day. It's easy to overlook this because driving is so completely mundane and ubiquitous for us at this point. But think about it: cars are amazing mechanical machines; bridges are incredible feats of mathematics and physics; navigating in rush hour requires an advanced understanding of the ebb and flow of traffic, where your destination is, and more. The list above outlines ways in which we use math every day without knowing it. If you want to understand - and even contribute - to how people learn and apply math in everyday situations, check out our graduate program below.   Learn More About Our Mathematics Education Graduate Programs