Monday, October 25, 2010

My Life as a Mathematician

From Melanie Holtsman's Blog Challege:
When you're not at school are you still a mathematician? How do you use math to solve problems in your daily life? How did you use it today?

I am a math teacher. It's the one subject that I never really stopped teaching, in my various education incarnations at various schools. I love it. And I use it. Everyday. Really!

In college, I always got invited to go out with groups for dinner since I could calculate everyone's bill and tip contribution in my head. (Sometimes they'd pay for me too)

I estimate how much gas is in my tank, I know how many mpg my Camry gets, I estimate how far I have to go and where the nearest (cheap) gas station is.

I cook. Can't get much mathier than doubling or one-and-a-halving recipes.

I recently remodeled a bathroom. I calculated area for floor tile (still bought too much). I designed the layout for the subway-style tile for the shower stall. I bought fabric for the curtains, had to be enough for doubling the thickness.

My 14yo and I moved the furniture in the living room - definitely spatial skills.

I am now getting ready to remodel my kitchen. Today I measured the location for the refrigerator and marked the 33" and 37" sizes on the current counter-top so I could visualize it.

I don't always spend a lot of time writing down calculations, but I do spend time doing some sort of math every day.

1 comment:

  1. After reading several posts from different people about their lives as mathematicians, I must say that I think either you have a "math mind" or not. I mean, I know HOW to get the calculation, but it takes me so long because I don't think that way that it is usually easier to let someone around me do it! :)