Today is the final day of Mathematics and Statistics Awareness month! While these few weeks of celebrating math-focused STEM education and STEM jobs may be over, we can—and should—continue to appreciate mathematics and statistics, and what they do for us.
Here are a few ways you can recognize and appreciate math and statistics all year long.
- Appreciate the math that goes into your technology. Almost all of the entertainment we enjoy wouldn’t be possible without math. Programmers and technologists make access to television shows possible. Ensuring you see shows you like on Netflix happens because statisticians pay attention to overall viewing habits. And, of course, anything you do on a computer, tablet, video game system, or phone wouldn’t even be remotely possible without math.
- Consider the math that makes travel possible. Any travel you do—including walking anywhere—is facilitated by vehicles created by engineers, and roads or trails designed by civil engineers … all using math.
- Don’t take your education for granted. Are you a die-hard art or literature person who thinks math doesn’t impact you at all? Math is what makes our learning possible. The right to a public education is something all Americans have, and we’re able to do this because of math. Math is what makes it possible to figure out how many schools a city will need, what resources they’ll require, and how to provide those resources. So the next time you learn something new in school, or use something you learned in school, thank math!
- Give thanks for math at mealtimes. You may be used to saying grace at mealtimes, or thanking your mom or dad for preparing the food, but did you ever think to say a “thank you” to math? It’s because of math (and the hard work of people around the country) that we are able to get the right amounts of water needed to grow fruits and vegetables on farms across the country via irrigation, and it’s math that makes possible the transportation of these foods to supermarkets or farmers’ markets near you.
- Be grateful for good health. Centuries ago humans had to worry about diseases we hardly even remember these days: smallpox, polio, bubonic plague, etc. Dedicated doctors and scientists have figured out not only how to cure these diseases, but also how to immunize a majority of the population to ensure we never get them in the first place. Math and statistics made it possible for these doctors to research the diseases, keep records of patients, trials, and outcomes, and eventually have their medical breakthroughs. Even now, determining the safe the amount of medication or immunization serum to give a patient is based on a mathematical formula.
Almost every part of our lives are beneficially affected by math. Mathematics and Statistics Awareness month is ending, but our appreciation doesn’t have to. So the next time you text a friend, eat a meal, go for a drive, or even just wake up feeling healthy, say a big “THANK YOU” to the math (as well as the engineers, programmers, doctors, farmers, teachers, parents, etc.) that makes it all possible!