Maths you live and love


Dear Students

You love celebrating Maths Mela Week in school and many of you tell me that Maths is your favourite subject.

Noughts & Crosses

Noughts & Crosses

You only begin disliking Maths if you do poorly in tests. So, this post is not about Maths tests but concerns Maths in real life, in you and me, and in art, music, dance and poetry.

Maths in real life:

  • speed of rotating wheels and distance covered by vehicles
  • money transactions in shopping
  • comparison of less and more in brand prices
  • shapes of jigsaw puzzle pieces
  • discovering the measurements of rooms, curtains, bedcovers, cars, etc.
  • telling the time and planning your daily schedule
  • checking the weights of groceries in the shop and of ingredients when cooking

Can you supply more examples from your life?

Maths inside Human Beings:

  • ratio and proportion in the size of our body parts and bones
  • symmetry in the two sides of our bodies
  • rate of our heartbeats

Can you think of any more?

Maths in art, music, dance, poetry and games:

  • Sequence of pitch in musical notes
  • Rhythm or taal in dance
  • Balance of syllables in poetic metres
  • symmetry, balance, proportion and harmony in sculpture and painting
  • angles of the ball aiming for the goal/basket (football, hockey), the net (table tennis, lawn tennis, basketball) or the boundary (cricket, baseball)
  • speed of the runner in athletics
  • distance and height of the jumper
  • adding and subtracting squares in ludo and snakes and ladders

Now, it’s your turn to state a few examples!

Two basic numbers of all maths are 1 (one) and 0 (zero). These two form the base numbers in Arabic, Indian, Chinese, Roman, Mayan and Egyptian number systems. These number systems all follow the base-10 pattern (1, 10, 100, 1000…) or decimal system. 

The world’s earliest decimal multiplication table was Chinese, dating from 305 BC. Count the 10 divisions on each strip:

Chinese decimal multiplication table made of bamboo strips

Chinese decimal multiplication table made of bamboo strips

Why is the decimal (meaning ‘ten’) system based on the number 10? Probably because we count on our fingers, and our two hands have 10 fingers:

2 hands

 

So, the decimal system was used for counting in ancient times with counting rods, abacus, sand tables and decimal multiplication tables like these below:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Decimal arithmetic was used in a 1-0 binary code in early computer programming as well.

Binary Code of Computer Programming

Binary Code of Computer Programming

The decimal 10-base system can be quite exciting. You can play math games like sudoku and kakuro, which are mathematical crosswords based on this system.

Click on this Online Sudoku Puzzle and complete the numbers from 1-9, horizontally and vertically, without repeating the same number in any row or column.

For older students, click on Interview with Dr. Manjul Bhargava, winner of the Fields Medal in Mathematics and read what he has to say about teaching-learning Mathematics.

Dr. Manjul Bhargava, Professor of Mathematics, Princeton University

Dr. Manjul Bhargava, Professor of Mathematics, Princeton University

Finally, here is a video tutorial on Decimals and Decimal Fractions, explained in a fun way and with great clarity. Watch and learn (or revise) this ancient concept:

This was a long and informative post on Mathematics outside your textbook and I hope it has increased your curiosity and interest in Mathemagic!

Principal

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30 responses to “Maths you live and love

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  15. One thing which was most interesting and innovative was that different people had different techniques to calculate, count, etc., like the multiplication technique of Chinese, normal hand counting technique, abacus and much more. One more thing is that we should be proud to have Dr. Manjul Bhargava, Indian origin foreign professor.
    Thank you.

  16. nice post ma’am…
    cryptology is a field where maths is used and then we have measurements of different organs in our body from the nose to our intestines, creating any kind of structure needs maths and of course in all the music instruments like the piano, guitar and violin maths is used too.
    Also in computers in the keyboard, CPU maths is used.
    Maths is EVERYWHERE!:)

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