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MATHEMATICS IN DAILY LIFE

MATHEMATICS IN DAILY LIFE

The most fascinating of all knowledge and the most phobia generating subject in the school curriculum is Mathematics. The way in which it is introduced to the learners devoid of its daily application has been the root cause of the present scenario as experienced by everyone in the country. While celebrating Ramanujan’s dedicated life it is pertinent to note the ways in which one experiences mathematical applications in daily life from the time one gets up from bed till one goes to bed in the night. An attempt is being made to illustrate some of these instances in this brief paper, particularly to motivate children to learn this subject with interest and enthusiasm.
M. Mahadevan, Retd, Principal KVS, General Secretary, AMTI, Chennai.
To enlist the all pervasive encompassing role of mathematics in one’s daily life is itself a stupendous task.An attempt is made here which ears can be used to motivate the learner to learn the subject with interest and enthusiasm,
1. When we get up we see the time of waking to verify whether we have enough time toattend to various responsibilities. (Awareness of time, reading a clock / watch, planningone’s routine.)
2. When we brush our teeth the life of the brush, its cost, the paste, its available quantity to get new one come to one’s mind. (Cost accounting!)
3. In this connection, use of water, its availability, conservation, proper use of waste water are relevant to think. (Awareness of environment, nature, preservation of the same)
4. Drinking coffee, tea, milk- the quantity, the temperature balance not affecting the tongue,quantity consumable, proportion of mixes constituting milk, coffee powder or decoction,boiling stage, filtering mechanism, washed cups / glasses ensuring health and a host of things require analysis, reasoning and attention. (Practical knowledge of ratio and proportion in domestic life also)
5. Same is the case with bathing. (water use and conservation)
6. When it comes to wearing of dresses, the size, the make, its durability, its conditionwashed and ironed with creases etc., need knowledge of proportion, geometry.(Measurement of length, skill in transformation of cloth into clothe and other ideasindicated)
7. Taking food as breakfast needs clear knowledge of proportion for preparation to havegood taste- more salt, chilly etc., besides spoiling the taste will affect health too as proper balance has to be maintained. In that connection procurement of raw materials forpreparation of food needs mention which involves calculation, commercial mathematics to study how a dealer measures, calculates and gives change! (Practical study of commercial mathematics can be used as project at various levels.)
8. Attending to one’s place of study or work, duty involves transport, punctuality, comfort proportionate to one’s means, time management and such other skills borrowed from mathematics! (This study is interesting in itself with shades of time and work, time and distance with more in depth analysis as below)
9. Fees / salary got calculated suitably for the person, post, work ethics, work involvement daily, weekly, monthly compared with the international or national or state standardization involves a good deal of mathematics though it may require some units of management and accounting which can be done effectively by a student of mathematics!
10. Leisure management requires a study of total time available, money available, types of entertainments available and taste of individuals to be observed, cultivated and practised involving units of skills needed for each shade of the work. (Ah! Entertainment industry gaining ground in the global economy also needs mathematical knowledge!)
11. Planning for social accountability again requires commitment, universal love, money, mind and man management skills which is something like a corollary for the main theorem of life lived by a human individual. It will add lustre to one’s life to make one enjoy it to the full. In fact such tastes cultivated lead one to realize one’s aesthetic potential to be of enjoyment to oneself as also to others around- near and far by this approach. The subject mathematics offers innumerable opportunities for a discerning person with a good background in mathematics to create new knowledge, to refine existing ones and to enjoy repeating certain structures exclusively for their aesthetic value which is a higher order personality trait. (Solving puzzles, riddles, construction of magic
squares in general, date magic squares studied by Ramanujan, construction of problems of this type are all possible if, taste in mathematics is cultivated and practised.)
12. In short from cradle – weight of the new born - to grave -measurement of burning /burying place – the use of mathematics is unquestionable for every individual. Being the queen of all sciences and the king all arts it offers its coffers in full to all interested who approach it in the proper way with dedication and interest to enjoy its fruition as did the legendary Ramanujan and his likes for centuries together which is perhaps used by most of us for “udara nimittam”
May this occasion generate more Ramanujans from our students in spite of the
environment they learn, with motivation given by people like us at NCERT, AMTI to
identify the capable and encourage them suitably to bring back Aryabhtas,
Brahmaguptas, Madhavas, Bhaskaracharyas and Ramanujans from among them?

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