What Is Math?
Math, or mathematics, refers to the study of numbers, quantity, structure, space, and change. The goal of a mathematician is to use patterns and formulas to understand the nature of the universe and the phenomena that occur within it.
Most people who don’t pursue mathematics or science as a career still need to learn quite a bit about mathematical concepts, from basic arithmetic to high school trigonometry, as they help them navigate various aspects of everyday lives. For an average person, some math knowledge will be necessary for managing money, shopping for everyday goods to find the best price, calculating the time and distance of a road trip, sewing, landscaping, and so much more. Math is even needed in sports to calculate points and in cooking for the measurements for ingredients.
Beyond everyday uses, math is needed for so many industries, fields, and professions. Math is necessary for computer science, cryptology, medicine, insurance, airspace, geology, supply chains, engineering, and pretty much every possible STEM field. Without math, we wouldn’t have any of the technology we enjoy today. We would never have gone to the moon, developed vaccines, or invented smartphone devices.
Subdisciplines of Math
- Applied mathematics
- Number theory
- Numerical analysis
- Statistics and probability
- Set theory
- Euclidean geometry
- Non-Euclidean geometry
- Game theory
- Order theory
- Matrix algebra
How to Approach Learning Math
Math is challenging to tackle for many people, but it is far from impossible to learn. To succeed at studying math, always make sure that you’re practicing every day. The more you study different math problems, the better you will be at absorbing concepts. Take the time to learn from your errors and correct them.
It might seem easy to just memorize processes, but this isn’t very beneficial or effective. Rather, it is better to focus on understanding the core concepts of what you’re learning. Once you understand the concept, you’ll be able to move on to new concepts quickly. When you study, make sure to create a distraction-free environment.
Another great way to approach learning math is to apply math to actual problems in the world. If you can relate certain concepts to different real-life applications, math becomes easier to learn.
Math Student Curriculum FAQs
Middle school students learn various branches of mathematics, a majority of which are elementary or introductory concepts. This includes the number system, equations, introductory geometry, functions such as tables and graphs, and elementary algebra.
Middle school math classes present an excellent opportunity for students to build the foundation for the rest of their journey with math. It would be wise to study more advanced math concepts between middle school and high school to be better prepared once graduation comes.
High school mathematics will still be relatively elementary, but students have many options when it comes to the advanced classes they can choose to take. The standard high school math curriculum will include algebra, functions, modeling, geometry, statistics, and probability. From here, students can choose to enter trigonometry, pre-calculus, and calculus.
High school math classes are critical as they will influence the future math classes you take in college. Students will need to be tested on their math skills via the ACT or SAT, which will determine where a student will be placed in college mathematics.
Typically, placement testing will determine which introductory college math class you need to take during your freshman year. If one does not take a placement test, they will usually be placed in a basic arithmetic class. Beyond that, there are many different classes to choose from. Common concepts taught in college math include calculus, statistical theories and methods, analysis, differential equations, advanced algebra, linear algebra, abstract algebra, statistics, differential geometry, number theory, and finite mathematics. Math also tends to bleed over into other courses taught in college, including computer science, astronomy, biology, chemistry, physics, earth science, environmental science, geology, and many more.
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How Do I Become a Math Tutor?
If you have a passion for teaching others and love math, becoming a math tutor is easy. You need a minimum of a high school degree or GED to start teaching kindergarten and middle school grade levels. You may need a degree in a specialist subject for higher-level math courses depending on the level of practice you plan to teach. The costs of math tutors vary because you will set your pay rates and time schedules depending on your own experience and circumstances.
Your first step will be to decide which topics you’d like to tutor. Then choose the age groups and grade levels you want to teach. Learn the curriculum and critical concepts for those grade levels. And lastly, establish your teaching methods, tools, and eventually, you will create your own course materials over time as you get more experience working with students.
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