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[Math Musings] HOW MATH HELPED MAN TO PROGRESS

Math touches everyone’s life more than they could ever know. From laptops to buildings to the daily weather forecast, math forms the basis for nearly everything. Even social behaviors have been examined using game theory, an offshoot of mathematics. Every science is reliant to some degree on mathematical formulas.

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Time and Weather

From the earliest times, humans have tracked time and weather through observation. When our ancestors discovered math, their ability to control their lives developed exponentially. Each successful society, from the ancient Chinese and Egyptians to the Mayans and Incans, found success through the mathematical ability to take a year and divide it into months. Although it seems simple to us now, the calendar made their lives more predictable and their survival more certain.

Astronomy

Studying the stars for navigation led to astronomy, one of the earliest sciences. Each time math made a leap forward, it helped our understanding of space leap forward. An increased understanding of geometry helped early engineers design effective telescopes maximizing their limited resources. Over time, this use of math has allowed engineers to develop more and more advanced telescopes until we can literally see across space.

Architecture

Before geometry was developed, humans did not design lasting buildings. Each time geometry was advanced in a society so too were their building abilities. The printing press began the revolution that allowed mathematicians to learn from each other across miles and historical eras. It’s no wonder that buildings began to rise as a result. Better and better understanding of mathematics made this possible.

Industry and Economics

Once the industrial revolution started, math had to be applied to every aspect of production to be successful. Advances in mathematics were critical for the complex economic models, economy theories, and statistics. . Businesses rely on complicated formulas to ensure that they are maximizing manufacturing capabilities. They have accounting methods that rely on mathematical expertise to estimate future earnings. With billions of people on earth, we couldn’t function without the mathematical knowledge that keeps up with the growing needs of our population. For instance, you can’t run a system of trains or planes without the ability to predict schedules, fuel costs and safety controls; and, you can’t drill for oil or geothermal energy without calculations that take into account a myriad of competing factors.

Computers

Every computer is reliant on advanced math. We would have none of our modern lifestyle, from cell phones to GPS, without the advances in mathematics that started centuries ago.

Space Travel

From the early rockets to the most sophisticated satellite, mathematics has been the foundation for space travel. Our biggest accomplishments and our entire future really rest on our ability to make math work for us.

This article was written by Kelly Austin from HigherSalary.com. Visit her site for information about the average mathematician salary and pay information for other popular careers.

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