Thursday, May 14, 2015

Exploration of some real life applications of mathematics.

It's high time to launch the campaign to increase awareness of how useful math can be to us, how math helps us in our daily life activities, by us, yes, I mean for just anyone else, a student, a worker, a boss, or a housewife.

But does that mean government has to fork out a handsome sum of money to do that? Not really, in fact, if we could bring in the real scenarios where and when math could be of help in our life, then that alone helps to entice the even most reticent students who always find excuses to hate math, as according to them, math is too big for their brain. If we could show to students some really amazing true stories, that could kindle their passion for math and this doesn't need much money and this has everything to do with if we are capable enough to think of attracting real scenarios and bring them to the classroom.

In this blog post, I will focus on bringing the very reason why our students have to learn solving equations since grade 5.

Look at the following summary:

Grade 5: Solve for n if $5-n=12$.

Grade 6: Solve the equations like $2x=12$

Grade 7: Solve for $x$ if $\dfrac{x}{3}=4$

Grade 8: Solve for $x$ if $\dfrac{3x}{2}+3x=3+\dfrac{x}{2}$

Grade 9: Solve for $x$ given $\dfrac{2x-3}{2}=\dfrac{-x-1}{4}$

Grade 10: Solve for $x$ if $\dfrac{2-x}{3x+1}=2$, $4(2x-9)-\dfrac{x}{3}=2\left(\dfrac{x-1}{4}\right)$

Grade 11: Solve for $x$ given $(2\sin(x) - 1)(\tan(x) - 1)=0.2$, $4^{x-2}= 3^{x + 4}$

Grade 12: Solve for $x$ given $9x^3-(x-2)(x+3)-4=0$

All that our students need to know is how to solve equations,  and verify if the answers satisfy the given equation and discard the extra solutions. Why, why it has been so significant to students that we always have to learn how to solve equations?

Is it merely coincidence that we will encounter the similar genre (Solving equations) in our math syllabus as we move from grade to grade? No way! In math education, everything talks to attention to detail planning, and our department from minister of education worked that out with its associates to design a most robust math syllabus so our students are equipped well to solve problems quickly, effectively, efficiently and accurately.

It's fairly easy to demonstrate with convincing proofs to students why solving equations matters so much to us.

The most recent news that highlights the benefit one industry organization has reaped is reported on April 9th 2015. As we're all aware, almost all gardening and landscaping companies pay their staff by relying wholly on their staff to report their working hours in the customers' yard but if their staff are cunning and lied through their teeth, the companies could end up overspending for the unjustified hours reported by their dishonest staff. Thus, the director Ben Skinner who operates the Town and Country Gardens that based in Fulham, South London, decided to put an end to this sick practice and rely on his own with the help of technologies to combate unnecessary spending on unwarranted overtime. So he signed up with Fleetmatic Reveal and installed Fleetmatics GPS tracking system and this measure has saved his company almost £20,000 in staff hours. In addition to that, his company has seen positive improvements in other business area, like their staff has now new way to beat the terrible traffic and reach to the customer's house as soon as possible with the help of REVEAL's Live Map feature. This gives us a solid and valid proof of how the introduction of GPS tracking system could be the industry saver.

GPS also helps tracking down stolen cell phones, saving lives of those who got lost in mountain or sea, just to name a few.

But, what does "The Global Positioning System (GPS)" mean exactly? GPS is a network of about 30 satellites orbiting the Earth at an altitude of 20,000 km. The system was originally developed by the US government for military navigation but now anyone with a GPS device, be it a SatNav, mobile phone or handheld GPS unit, can receive the radio signals that the satellites broadcast.

Wherever you are on the planet, at least four GPS satellites are ‘visible’ at any time. Each one transmits information about its position and the current time at regular intervals. These signals, travelling at the speed of light, are intercepted by your GPS receiver, which calculates how far away each satellite is based on how long it took for the messages to arrive.
Once it has information on how far away at least three satellites are, your GPS receiver can pinpoint your location using a process called trilateration. Trilateration is the process of determining absolute or relative locations of points by measurement of distances, using the geometry of circles, spheres or triangles.

In other words, it is all about solving equations. That's one of the very reasons why we need to learn the skills for solving equations since we were young. Yes, technology helps the teachers prepare students for the real world, but the converse is also true, students who will become the independent workers will contribute to innovation in math, science and technology.

I hope you gain some insightful info from this blog post, see you all then!

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