Math in Everyday Life Essay

This essay has a total of 1082 words and 5 pages.

Math in Everyday Life

Math and many of its aspects are a major part of everyday life. We spend the majority of
our school years studying and learning the concepts of it. Many times, the question of
‘why do we need to know these things?’ has been asked. The following report will explain
the history and purpose of geometry in our lives.

‘Geometry’ means ‘measure of the earth’. In ancient Egypt, the Nile would flood its banks
each year, flooding the land and destroying the farm areas. When the waters receded and
the people had to redefine the boundaries. This work was called geometry and was seen as
a re-establishment of the principle of law and order on earth. (Lawlor, 6)

Geometry is the mathematics of the properties, measurement, and relationship of the
points, lines, angles, surfaces, and solids (Foner and Garraty). An ancient Greek
mathematician, named Euclidean, was the founder of the study of geometry. Euclid’s
Elements is the basis for modern school textbooks in geometry. On the other hand, there
is non-Euclidean geometry. This refers to the types of geometry which deny Euclid’s
postulate about parallel lines. Once Albert Einstein put forth the theory of Relativity
other approaches to geometry, besides Euclid’s was needed. (Kett and Trefil)

Pythagoras emphasized the study of musical harmony and geometry. His theorem was that the
square of the length of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the other two sides. (Kett
and Trefil) Johannes Kepler, formulator of the laws of planetary motion is quoted as
saying, ‘Geometry has two great treasures: one of them is the theorem of Pythagoras, the
other the division of a line into mean and extreme ratios, that is the Golden Mean.’
(Lawlor, 53) There are great philosophical, natural and artistic things which have
surrounded this dimension ever since humanity first began to reflect upon the geometric
forms of the world. Its presence can be found in the sacred art of Egypt, India, China,
Islam and other traditional civilizations. It dominates Greek architecture and is hidden
in the monuments of the Gothic Middle Ages. It then reappears widely in the Renaissance.
The Golden Mean is found wherever there is an intensification of function or a particular
beauty and harmony of form. The Golden divisions contained in a pentagon are shown to
determine the proportions of the ancient mask of Hermes. (Lawlor, 55)

Exponents are shown in the equation spirals based on the roots of 2, 3 and 5. The Golden
Mean spiral is found in nature in the beautiful conch shell or Nautilus pompilius which
Shiva in the Hindu religion holds in one of his hands as an instrument to initiate
creation. Through Pythagorean eyes, however, this form embodies the dynamics of the
rhythmic generation of the cosmos, and through its harmonic principal, represents
universal love. The spiral is found to be overlapping on the foetus of man and animals,
and is present in the growth patterns of many plants. For example, the distribution of
seeds in a sunflower is governed by the Golden Mean spiral. The sunflower has 55 clockwise
Continues for 3 more pages >>