Wouldn't it be great if you could predict the future? Well, some
people believe that predicting the future is impossible but it would
be more accurate to say that making outlandish predictions not based
in logic leads to low accuracy. However, looking at the relationship
of a series of patterns over time can lead to making accurate predictions
of particular results. This is a common method of mathematical pattern
analysis and such an analysis is important for the following reasons:
Understanding mathematical patterns allows someone to identify such
patterns when they first appear. After all, you can not gain the benefit
of patterns if you can't see them and you can only see them if you
Patterns provide a sense of order in what might otherwise appear
chaotic. When you notice that things happen in a certain pattern -
even something as mundane as a bus always stopping at a certain corner
at 5pm - order is provided.
Patterns allow someone to make educated guesses. Much science is
based on making a hypothesis and hypothoses are often based on understanding
patterns. Similarly, we make many common assumptions based on recurring
Understanding patterns aid in developing mental skills. In order
to recognize patterns one need to have an understanding of critical
thinking and logic and these are clearly important skills to develop.
Patterns can provide a clear understanding of mathematical relationships.
This can be seen in a very evident manner in the form of multiplication
tables. 2 x2, 2 x 4, 2 x 6 are clearly examples of the relationship
pattern found in multiplication.
Understanding patterns can provide the basis for understanding algebra.
This is because a major component of solving algebra problems involves
data analysis which is deeply related to the understanding of patterns.
Without being able to recognize the appearance of patterns the ability
to be proficient in algebra will be limited.
Understanding patterns provide a clear basis for problem solving
skills. In a way, this is related to critical thinking but more directed
towards mathematics specifically. Patterns essentially provide a means
of recognizing the broader aspects that can be shored down in order
to arrive at the specific answer to a particular problem.
Knowledge of patterns is transferred into science fields where they
prove very helpful. Understanding animal patterns has been used to
help endangered species. Understanding weather patterns not only allows
one to predict the weather but also predict the common impact of weather
which can aid in devising the appropriate response in an emergency
One of the lesser known aspects of patterns is the fact that they
often form the basis of music. For example, there are various patterns
of notes that provide the basis for proper harmony on a piano. If
you don't believe patterns are important when playing a piano simply
walk up to the nearest piano and start banging away randomly at the
keys. You probably won't hear any songs that you recognize!
Patterns provide clear insight into the natural world. While animals
and certainly plants are far from thinking beings they do have certain
habits that exist in patterns and understanding these behavioral patterns
provides a clearer understanding of all living things.
It is safe to say that the benefits of understanding patterns open
many doors where this knowledge can be applied. Of course, that is
a commonality with all forms of learning mathematical logic: there
is a deep application that can be provided that we often do not realize
when we first study the material. With understanding patterns - and
other forms of math - sometimes you really need to stick with it for
the long term, but with that practice comes skill. Researchers have
found that pattern skills can be learned relatively quickly.