Solving Real-World Problems with Mathematics
In 2019, humans had, for the first time ever, a photo of a black hole. It was a feat like none before—we were all looking at a place where time stops.
This feat was not possible without math. After all, there’s no camera big enough to capture the image of a black hole.
Math solved this problem as scientists used a clever combination of carefully placed telescopes around the world to make the impossible possible.
But this isn’t the first time, of course, that math has helped humankind reach great heights. And while we know that problems like Fermat’s last theorem—while known as the hardest math problem to ever have been solved—doesn’t work in real life, certain other things definitely do.
Trajectories and Bungee Jumping
Bungee jumping looks fun and all, but it isn’t just someone falling headfirst into a pool of water. You have to be very mindful of how you jump, and you need to get the trajectory right. A good bungee jumper will always know something about angles and trajectories before taking the dive.
Aiming for Profits
You’ve all heard about shares, and you all know what profit and loss mean, but is that all there is to these words? There’s actually a lot more. You need to have substantial knowledge of interest rates, probability, risks and rewards, and so on. Some basic knowledge here can help you make big profits and avoid big losses simultaneously.
Now, of course, no one goes around with the steering wheel in one hand and a notebook in the other, in a bid to try and calculate the force with which you’ll hit that pedestrian if you continue driving your car in a straight direction at a certain speed. That is, of course, a terrible idea.
Good drivers, however, are using math all the time in their heads, subconsciously, to assess their car’s velocity and its stopping speed, distance and reaction time, and so on.
We’re living in the time of a pandemic. Like all other contagious diseases, the COVID-19 also has a multiplication rate. In other words, this is the rate at which the virus has spread and is spreading. Statisticians and scientists use this data to make (accurate) predictions about how far a certain pandemic will go, and this helps the medical community come up with contingency and containment plans.
Scientists have already been using math to answer some integral questions about the virus, and Harvard scientists are making predictions about how it will affect the world’s population. All this information is central to figuring out how to clamp down on the virus and determine the next best strategy.