There are probably an infinite number of math problems. When you are studying math in elementary or high school, you have no idea of the huge world of math that exists at the college and post-college levels. Additionally, when you’re studying elementary-level math, its sometimes hard to make the connection between seemingly-insignificant math problems and the ultimate power that math has to solve problems in real life.
Think of medicine, for example. Students who started out the same as you and I, learning about square roots and fractions in elementary and junior high schools, have ended up using math to solve major health problems such as polio and tetanus. By turning health problems into math problems, collecting data and turning it into numbers, public health workers and epidemiologists figured out what was causing these diseases. Then, they solved the math problems and figured out how to get rid of the diseases.
Without the beginning elements of addition, subtraction, algebra, geometry, calculus, and statistics, this could not have happened. Mastery of finding solutions to math problems allowed scientists to solve health problems and relieve human suffering. By performing statistical analysis of the numbers, they developed vaccines for these problems. All of this would be impossible without math.
At the college level, students usually see those seemingly meaningless math problems, like how much bread Joe can carry if his bicycle has a basket that is 1 foot by 1 foot, turn into real-life issues. If you study social science, you’ll do research using math. When they get to graduate school, the statistical part of the math problems is often done with SPSS. However, the student has to understand what the data is telling her/him and know how to input it into the program in order for it to work.
Improving your house is also another area where you will encounter math problems. If you want to repaint one or several walls, you have to figure out many issues. Though this may seem pretty simple, you still have to know how to add, multiply, divide, subtract, and do basic algebra. Its for this reason that everyone in the United States is required to achieve at least a basic competency in math. People who study education are aware that all aspects of our daily lives involve math in many ways.
For a lot of people the simple words “math problems” always go together and seem like a negative thing. We think of the word “problem” as something we want to get rid of. It would be better if we called them “math puzzles” instead. Isn’t that more inviting? Math puzzles would be something fun, playful, or exciting.Problem has a negative connotation, whereas puzzle sounds mysterious and exciting, something you just want to delve into to figure out how to put it together. And that’s what math is about.
When we do math problems, we take various parts of the puzzle, various concepts, and we put them together. That is the mystery part and provides the frame for the puzzle. In real life we always have some elements of the puzzle, like the speed of a vehicle and how far the vehicle is going to go. That’s the information that we have to put together with the concepts. We can put the concepts together with the information and that’s how we complete the puzzle. This is what math problems really are.