What do careers from architecture to zoology have in common? They are both everyday activities that seem to have nothing in common, but are actually related. Does the very fabric of the universe revolve around a single, mystifying idea that stretches back millions, even billions of years before humans, before dinosaurs, before Earth itself? The answer to these questions might be math. Math helps us understand the world around us, and it can be difficult to live without it, whether you are looking for a job or caring for a family. Different branches of math are linked to specific occupations.

Counting money is a basic concept of math. Being easy does not make it any less important. You may be on a budget at the store, so you must spend your money wisely. Then there is finding unit price. Unit price is the cost of a single item, found by dividing the total cost by the amount of products. Unit price is useful to know when presented with different deals for the same product. It is also used in finding how much money you use per gallon at a gas station. However, sometimes the unit price of a procuct is printed on its packaging, but in case there is none, there is a way to find out. Also, gas stations almost always display the cost per gallon. Another pillar in the temple of mathematics is percents. This word means “out of hundred.” Along with test grades, taxing and tipping are common examp,ed of using percentages. When dining out, taxing is usually between 1% and 10% of your bill while 20% of that bill is customary for tipping. Even if it is done without thinking, managing money is a key part of sustaining you and your family. In fact, several studies conclude that adults unable to manage their money also struggle mentally.

Another incredibly important part of math is time. It is in a base-60 system rather than a base-10 system, which is how we normally count. This makes it harder for our minds to understand. Getting to school on time keeps your attendance presentable, and doing so requires reading a clock correctly. Digital clocks are quickly becoming more popular, as proven by a study conducted by Eyewitness News, cited in https://bakersfieldnow.com/news/local/children-struggle-with-clocks-sign-of-changing-times, which finds that only three people out of ten could read an analog clock correctly. However, this does not negate the importance of reading one because you might find yourself in a place where a digital clock is not available. Another part of dealing with time is converting it. Although converting between hours and minutes is painstaking—a refined, tidy schedule is better than a sloppy, inaccurate one. Although dealing with time may not be difficult, it is nonetheless important.

Whenever you have collected several numbers representing real-world information, you have data. Data can be confusing, though. It is difficult to explain it by simply telling it, but there are graphs available. Graphs are visual representations of data, so they are easier to comprehend. (Click here for more information.) However, how do you find single numbers that represent different aspects of a list of data? This is where mean, median, mode, and range come in. Mean and median are different ways to interpret the “middle number” of a data set. Mode is the number that occurs the most often and range is how spread out the data is. Armed with these tools, you can now confidently approach any data and figure out how to tackle it!

Geometry is a broad topic, relating to lines, 2-dimensional shapes, and 3-dimensional shapes. Nature uses geometry in its designs, like using hexagons in honeycombs, but so does mankind. (Hexagons are the most efficient shape when covering a surface because they increase area but decrease perimeter per single shape.) In our human-made world, though, perhaps architects and engineers use geometry the most. Triangles are everywhere from buildings to bridges, being the strongest shape. This is because they balance out tension and compression well. Also, lengths in buildings need to be precise. Otherwise they won’t fit together, and that won’t be good for you! Sports also involve geometry. The slightest misshape in a baseball will give it a very different cou4se. Geometry enables our understanding of our 3-dimensional world.

It may seem difficult to understand all of this math, but it is possible to learn it.

Both Khan Academy and IXL are websites that can help you comprehend all of this dizzying information. To learn more about branches of math unmentioned in this article, click here. As previously stated, math is a big key to learning about the world around us. It is hard to work around. Once you practice it enough, math will come naturally to you!