By Meaghan Montrose
The continual advancement of technology has many benefits, but there is also a drawback. Having computers and calculators ever present has made many of us lazy. Many people avoid figuring out any type of mathematical problem in their head or on paper and instead choose to let a computer solve even the simplest problem.
Though this technology may be convenient, this is doing a disservice to our intellectual abilities. As the saying goes, “if you don’t use it, you lose it”. A decline in math practice will weaken your capabilities. On the other hand, “practice makes perfect”. The best way to improve your mathematical mind is to use it each day. There are many opportunities in your daily life to do some mental math and keep your brain engaged. The more you think mathematically, the easier it becomes.
Here are just some examples:
1. Figure out the change you should get back from the cashier before the register gives the answer.
2. During commercial breaks, calculate the amount of time left in the show you are watching.
3. Estimate the total of your shopping purchase before you check out.
4. Determine the tip you will leave at dinner without pulling out a tip guide.
5. When in a group of people (like at a concert or sporting event), count a small section of people then use this to estimate the total number of people.
6. Instead of asking someone’s age, ask the year they were born and figure the age out yourself.
7. Determine the number of days until your birthday.
8. When traveling in a car, estimate the distance you have traveled (use your odometer to check your accuracy).
9. Adjust the quantities of a recipe without relying on a calculator.
10. Calculate the number of hours until you leave work/school for the week.
Do you have other suggestions? Please share!