When you started to learn about equations, did you find it difficult
to understand what the mathematics was about? Well, that's okay because
most students have a bit of trouble trying to understand what equations
are really about.
Math seems to get more complicated when you start doing equations
and using symbols like x and y instead of numbers. But equations are
really important for calculating the same result many times with different
In fact, computers are the ultimate equation solvers! Computers were
invented to solve equations over and over again instead of humans
doing the calculations.
2. Computer Games
Do you enjoy watching the action and movement in your favorite computer
game? How much do those action heroes and villains move like real
people? In order to make that action look so real, mathematicians
and software developers had to come up with complicated equations
of how human motion works. The software for your computer games has
more equations in it that you could possibly imagine!
3. Internet Searching
Do you look up information on the Internet? You just type in some
words into the box and get lots of web sites to look at. Do you ever
pay attention to what shows up as the actual search? Among the mix
of symbols that the search shows you will find & symbols. Have you
learned that & means "and" and that when you use & you are doing Boolean
arithmetic? So if you were interested in zebras in Africa then the
search engine would look for "zebras" & "Africa". Do you realize that
this is part of an equation? The equation is: web sites to look at
= web sites with (zebras & Africa)
Businesses use equations every day.You should already understand
what it means to make a profit - you sell an item for more than it
cost to make it. So in very simple terms, companies use this equation
all the time: Profit = selling price - cost
5. Government and Taxes
Everyone who works needs to pay taxes to the federal government.
Many states and cities also collect income taxes. The federal government
also collects money to pay Social Security and Medicare to senior
citizens. When you work, your employer uses an equation to calculate
how much money to send to the government and how much money to put
in your paycheck.
6. Space Program
Are you fascinated by space exploration? Space scientists and astronauts
work with equations all the time. If you want to work in the space
program, you need to understand a lot about equations.
Or are you interested in working in medicine? Would you like to be
a doctor, nurse, dentist or physical trainer? Anyone who works in
medicine must know about equations.
Lots of students are interested in aviation. Would you like to be
a private pilot and fly your own small plane? You can't pass the test
to get a pilot's license unless you can work with equations and calculate
how to load the plane correctly with people and baggage.
9. Traffic Control
Do live in a city where lanes of traffic change during rush hour?
Or maybe you've seen traffic control centers in some action-adventure
movies. Again, this is another everyday example of how computers and
equations. But remember that the computers need to be programmed by
people who devise and program the equations.
10. Computerized Appliances
Today there are computers everywhere. You might not see them but
the newest appliances like washers and dryers come with computer chips.
Anything that has a computer chip in it relies on equations. What
other items in your life can you name that rely on equations?