Last Updated on August 15, 2023 by Editorial Team
Do you know who is the father of Algebra? Well, it is Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi, a mathematician. And do you know why he is called so? Because for the first time, he introduced a system of making calculations where the numbers were replaced by variables. He employed this system of calculating for the justified appropriation of property among heirs, to improve maps by enriching them with longitudinal and latitudinal data, and also for making contributions to trigonometry, geometry, geography, etc. So, if you are thinking about why to study Algebra, the answer will be – to become proficient in matters related to everyday life.
Here are some of the most common uses of Algebra in real life that can surely help you understand how it helps you do basic activities like throwing a ball into a basketball net or cooking with the correct amount of ingredients.
Common examples & applications of algebra use in daily life
You will be surprised to know that Algebra enters your life at a very early stage. Though unknowingly, Algebra use starts right at the kindergarten stage when the kids start playing. Let’s briefly overview the examples of Algebra by picking some common examples.
1. Catch the ball game played by 4-5-year-old kids
The concept of choosing the correct trajectory so that the ball reaches the hands of the receiver comes from a kid’s knowledge of Algebra. By making use of variables like force, angle, and speed, the thrower tries to find the correctness of the throw of the ball. They may not have realized it, but there is no denying the fact that algebra knowledge works behind the successful landing of a ball into the hands of a receiver.
Thus, a player can find the probability of scoring a point by doing these calculations in mind. If you are missing the target too often, the best option is to revisit the Algebra concepts and learn the needed.
2. Making a schedule of activities
When you are making a schedule of activities, you actually are dividing the whole day and summing up the times taken to complete the intended activities. So, the simple process of finding whether you will reach the office on time or not if you have chosen to set the alarm at 6 am, is an algebraic calculation that you do mentally. Hours, times taken in various activities, and some new unforeseen tasks are Algebraic variables in real life, that you have to work upon to be on time at the office or any meeting.
Scheduling is common to all. And, Algebra knowledge makes you the true master of your day because of which you know how to use variables and put them in an equation. Thus, you get all things done right and on time due to Algebra playing its role.
3. Preparing the food or doubling or halving the recipe
The kitchen is one of the places where Algebra is used in an interesting manner. Especially, when you are making items like cake, vegetable soups, etc, where the correct combination of the ingredients is very crucial, Algebra comes to your rescue and helps you find the correct quantity of ingredients to make the food sufficient for different sizes of servings.
All quantities of the ingredients and the number of servings make the variables. The cook uses Algebraic intelligence to ensure that not only the food is available in sufficient quantity, but also that it is tasting great. Such is the extent of Algebra use in cooking!
4. A kid developing spatial intelligence
When kids have just started to learn to walk or stand, they need to find the safe height or distance of any object that they can choose to rely upon for standing or walking. Even while using a walker, they are actually using Algebra mentally to find how far the walker will take them before hitting any object, by propelling it at a particular speed. Similarly, Algebra comes into action when the kid is trying to find whether the shape of an object is wieldable or not.
Also, Algebra is there in action when the kids are trying to play spatial reasoning games. They visualize the shapes and patterns and solve puzzles only because of certain Algebraic equations that they may come to know about in later stages of their education. So, though without cognition, kids gather spatial intelligence by applying Algebra.
5. Finding the tax liability
On growing up as an adult, people work to earn. They may require to find their tax liability. The process involves doing calculations like finding the tax rebate cap and proportioning the earnings to find how the income is to be divided into various investment options.
This process of finding tax liability is based on doing algebraic calculations where the variables are income, the qualifying amount for the rebate, etc. Algebra helps the workers to structure their income and expenses and get the taxable salary figure in hand.
6. Astrological calculations
Astrologers predict various events on the basis of planetary movements. they try to establish the relationship between the planet’s revolution speed, its position after a period of chosen duration, and so on.
All these calculations are nothing but Algebra whose concept of linear or quadratic equation balancing comes into play when these predictions are made. The Father of Algebra mentioned in the first half of this section did make use of Algebra to contribute to various findings related to astronomy and astrology in his time.
7. Technological developments
Any innovations around us could not be possible without Algebra. If you decode the functioning of an LED TV and dig into its internal atmosphere, you will find that these TVs are making use of planes, angles, and axes as variables and apply algebraic concepts in the development of various types of screens.
Thus, developmental aspects are a sum total of the materials and their placement within the TV’s environs, allowing users to have a variety of monitors, and other functionalities. The variations in monitor sizes without the problem of distortion of the picture are achieved with the help of Algebra knowledge that allows designers to fiddle with a variety of dimensional options.
Running a family’s or business’s expenses involves a budgeting process. We all are budget planners in some or the other capacity.
And, apparently, we make use of Algebra in structuring the budget so that all expenses, intended investment aims, and the overall cash in hand can be fixed and altered.
The changing conditions like inflation, an increase in the number of family members, etc. are the variables that remind us of algebraic calculations. This is when you may appreciate the learning of Algebra and its use in daily life.
Who doesn’t love shopping? It is the most common activity that anybody does. And, it does involve Algebra quite deeply. Though you may not realize that you have used it, the fact still holds true.
For example, when you are trying to find the correct quantity of purchase of rice, you try to find its per pound cost to know about the real savings you are likely to make. Similarly, when you are choosing between various weights of the product and trying to match them with the appropriate vehicle that could carry it comfortably, you are making use of Algebra in a real-life situation.
10. Doing Interior and Landscape designing
Not only interior planning or landscape designing, in fact, but the whole of the Architecture stream employs Algebra. When the designers are trying to find the correct elevation or try to arrive upon the collection of things required to do a space, they make use of data like measurements of the space and that of the items to fit in.
This is the Algebra used in real life that helps to understand how things are going to amplify the looks of the space and will contribute to the overall appearance of the space.
Similarly, in an office environment, the decisions like moving to larger spaces to accommodate people or designing cabins are some of the premises where Algebraic calculations come into play.
11. Computer Programming
While coding, the programmer is making use of datasets, strings, and variables. They assign conditions in the use of these strings and establish relationships, which ultimately result in an action on the front end.
This activity of coding, assigning values, and pre-defining the functions is actually you applying the knowledge of Algebra that helps you create the codes that work amazingly and help you meet your coding objectives.
Computer programming is done mostly in terms of data sets and variables. The conditions become the variable and the front-end result is the outcome. Establishing a relationship between the two is Algebra happening in your mind.
12. Real Estate Project Planning
Realtors have to find various factors like time, labor hours, the number of people required, and of course, the money needed, to find if the project is going to be available for possession in time or not.
All these factors like labor hour vs. total project time, labor cost, etc. are actually Algebraic variables, which the realtors apply in the equations to find the meaningful and crucial outcomes like overall profits or losses to expect from the project and other surrounding issues. Algebra can help them prepare for contingencies too.
13. Professional Sports
Sports is one profession where various departments employ Algebra. A sports analytics department works on data like Player form, weather conditions, home ground or foreign ground, etc. that are quite similar to Algebra variables. Using Algebraic expressions, the possibility of who has a higher chance of winning is predicted. Players also are doing little Algebra in their minds when they are strategizing on how to score a goal. When they choose a certain shot, it is because of Algebra that they are able to convert it into a goal.
Not only outdoor sports, but indoor games like Carrom, and various card games utilize the concepts of Algebra throughout the gameplay. When you are trying to make a winning hand, it is the Algebraic calculation of hands value that determines the probable outcome. Similarly, the use of Algebra decides how a carrom player is going to score on any board.
14. Estimating Road Trip Costs
Road trips are a lot of fun. But for an enjoyable road trip, everything must be planned well. Right from the places where you will stop for a quick lunch or where you will halt to fill your car’s fuel tank.
When trying to figure out how much gas can fill up your tank, how much it will cost to reach your destination, and how soon you’ll need to fill it up again during the trip, one has to use algebraic knowledge to calculate these unknown variables. By using the information on gas prices and the mileage offered by the car, one can ensure the tank never runs out of gas while on the road.
15. Monitoring Weight Loss Journey
When individuals start their weight loss journeys, they unknowingly employ their knowledge of algebraic equations to arrive at essential numbers that reflect their overall health. Indicators like Body Mass Index (BMI), body fat percentage, and more, all require some form of algebraic calculation.
Based on these numbers, dieticians and nutritionists then suggest necessary caloric requirements that help individuals achieve their weight loss goals. Without these calculations in place, it will be really difficult to meet health goals as there won’t be any markers to monitor how well one follows their diet to manage their weight loss journey.
Algebra is a trusted tool that helps you carry out various activities of daily importance. There is hardly any line of work that does not employ the concept of Algebra. So, next time, when you look at the variables and equation, you surely will not be wondering why you need to learn these. In a nutshell, Algebra prepares you for handling all aspects of life and stays with you right from your infanthood to your adulthood.
An engineer, Maths expert, Online Tutor and animal rights activist. In more than 5+ years of my online teaching experience, I closely worked with many students struggling with dyscalculia and dyslexia. With the years passing, I learned that not much effort being put into the awareness of this learning disorder. Students with dyscalculia often misunderstood for having just a simple math fear. This is still an underresearched and understudied subject. I am also the founder of Smartynote -‘The notepad app for dyslexia’,