This science Sunday is dedicated to mathematics, the M of S.T.E.M. Math, a dreaded subject for most people It is usually the subject line that most people do the bare minimum in to finish and move on. But, math is extremely important, especially in S.T.E.M. careers as every career path with this group uses math to one degree or another.
Real applications of math start in high school really. Everything leading up to that is the prep work required to learn the basic concepts that advanced math is built on. High school consists of advanced concepts in geometry and algebra and for the brave souls even some pre-calculus and then calculus itself. I admit that I am not the strongest person when it comes to math. I disliked pre-calculus and I barely made it through calculus but I loved algebra and geometry. Those math subjects (algebra more so) in particular helped me a lot in the biology/chemistry field that I am in because of the ability to solve formulas.
So how does math play a role you are probably thinking. Well, let’s break it down for you.
S: Science is all about formula, calculations, and solutions. You need to have a strong math background to determine how much NaCl (table salt) to add to 1 liter of water to make it osmotic. Or, what if you have 26ng/ul of DNA in 3ul and your experiment calls for 2ng/ul. How would you figure out how much to use? An algebra formula where you solve for x.
T: Technology is based on mathematics in every aspect. The basis of coding is math and then of course there is electrical currents, inputs, and outputs. Enough said.
E: Engineering. In my opinion, this is the second most math driven field in S.T.E.M. careers. Engineers are required to have specific measurements and specs for projects in order for things to work properly. If you want to know how long you can build a bridge you have to calculate tension. If you want to know how much concrete is required for that building you need to know height, width, and density. Engineering is nothing but a big math equation from my experience.
M: Mathematics. Well, this areas is pretty self explanatory. You have to know math to be in the mathematics field.
As you can see, even if math is not your strong point or a favorite subject, it is important if you are looking to work in any of the S.T.E.M. fields that you have a working knowledge. How much you need to know and how you go in the subject depends on the field.
What are your feeling about Math?