Math is for Everyone
Everyone? Well, maybe not, you might say. Or you might say, “I’m not really a math person.” But I say, yes, everyone! Math is in music, art, crowd control, aviation – if you can think of it, it has a connection to math.
I like math because it is beautiful. There are so many things in nature that show patterns, and if you look closely, you can find them. Some familiar patterns you might be familiar with are:
Math is even in shapes found in nature.
picture from: http://www.mathscareers.org.uk/article/eulers-formula/
However, while you might agree that these objects are interesting and beautiful, you might also be wondering how these things might impact your life. Or more famously, “Why do I need to learn this?”
The general answer is because it will help you to understand the world you live in. More specifically:
- Algebra helps people understand problems with multiple variables. More simply, it helps people to make decisions when there are a number of factors impacting the decisions. For example, if you are going to buy something, sell something, or invest your money, algebra will help you to think about the different consequences of your choices.
- Algebra is an opportunity subject. This means that it is a requirement for entrance into careers in science, technology, the building trades, management, forestry, agriculture, and many other careers.
- Algebra promotes critical thinking. Critical thinking is important for absolutely every part of life. Critical thinking helps people look at advertising and ask important questions in an effort to understand whether the claims of advertising are reasonable. It also helps people watch news and intelligently question the information that is being presented. Students interested in a career in the arts will find critical thinking, developed through algebra, important for analyzing fields such as literature, art, and music.
- However, the most important reason for learning algebra is the sense of accomplishment felt when algebra makes sense. When a person experiences being competent in algebra, and math in general, that person also gains self-confidence in his or her abilities to do other things, understanding that his or her potential for achieving is truly in his or her own control—dreams are possible.
Learn algebra. The benefits will be far greater than just learning the math. Self-confidence and proof of the ability to achieve are the gifts of algebra.
Here is a link to a TED talk that explains how everyone can be good at math (research based). It is a must see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3icoSeGqQtY
Also check out “Fun with Fibonacci Numbers” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahXIMUkSXX0
Judy Frank is passionate about mathematics. Judy has a Bachelor of Science in Theoretical Mathematics and Actuarial Science from the University of Calgary. She also has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, a Master’s Certificate in Mediation and Conflict Resolution, both from Carleton University, and a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science (MLIS) from the University of Alberta. Judy is currently working part-time towards a Master’s of Education in Teaching and Learning.
Judy has 20 years of experience teaching a variety of levels of students including privately tutoring students in all levels in topics of mathematics from pre-algebra to calculus. During her extensive experience helping students learn math, Judy has learned that math is something that everyone can learn.