Is Algebra Actually Useful?

 

You may moan about algebra, but is it useful to us in our every day lives?

Granted, we struggled to speak up on algebra’s behalf, when put on the spot. However, giving it more thought, it became apparent that algebra is important to our lives outside of a classroom.

1. Shopping 

 

 

Firstly, we can relate algebra to our daily routines in life. Let’s say that you have been given £100 of birthday money and wanted to buy a games console for £60 and as many £8 games to go with it. You could use algebra to see how many games you would be able to purchase.

 We may not use letters in our head but in fact this mathematical reasoning could be written in terms of x.

60 + 8x = 100

8x = 100 – 60

8x = 40

x = 5 = numbers of console games you can buy

 

 

2. Ability to break down personal and academic problems

More importantly, this shows us how algebra gives us the ability to break down problems, turn them on their head and find solutions to issues affecting our daily life. It may not just be solving maths problems but being able to overcome obstacles of all forms.

 

3. In future careers totally unrelated to maths!

 

 

Did you know, though, that if you wanted to become an animator for a hugely successful cartoon show, you would need to use algebra to show the way your drawings can be rotated, shifted and enlarged in order to transfer them to screen. If you ever considered working as a meteorologist (we have seen the disaster films – The Day after Tomorrow2012 – how cool would that job be?), did you know that they use algebra to model weather forecasts?

 

 

 

 

Our point is that whilst algebra may seem to lack meaning at the moment, hang in there because algebra gains a whole new dimension beyond the four walls of a classroom; doing your shopping in town, working at the met office, code breaking in MI5, becoming an astronomer, all jobs and tasks that we could not do without maths and algebra.

 

 

 

 

Still not convinced? Then check out the following link, you’ll be surprised how many fascinating jobs use maths, often algebra, on a daily basis.

http://startingwright.cs.wright.edu/Teacher/ingut/21-seriously-cool-careers.pdf