Yes, You Do Use Math in Everyday Life

Despite your schoolyard skepticism, you are using math as an adult. Researchers are using it too, to confront some of society's big issues.

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Though we might not always recognize it, math is used all the time in modern life.  Weather forecasts, credit card balances, gas mileage, math is an important tool in many situations.  But what does it mean to be a math researcher?  Three leading Canadian mathematics researchers want to answer that question for you.  From estimating hospital wait times to population dynamics to assessing brain function in premature babies, you might be surprised by what math can do.

Chris Bauch
Applied Mathematics Researcher, University of Waterloo

“Mathematics has been described as the queen of the sciences… because it has such great explanatory power in so many different areas.

You might want to use a mathematical model… to figure out how high the vaccine coverage needs to be to eliminate the disease entirely.”

Mark Daley
Brain Researcher, Western University

“Math for me is just a tool for helping to understand and model our world; it’s not an end in and of itself.

The near future for my research is looking for opportunities to use mathematical modelling of brain function to improve clinical outcomes. The long term future? I really want to understand how the brain works.”

David Stanford
Statistics Researcher, Western University

“…would it ever be the case that the mathematics that I work with could be something which could improve the healthcare system.

So what we do is develop mathematical models [that]… give you the range of possible wait times that patients could be incurring.”


Learn more about Chris Bauch, Mark Daley, and David Stanford’s research in their Orange Chair Interviews. 

Curious about the life of a mathematics researcher?  Check out Chris Bauch, Mark Daley, and David Stanford’s unrestricted answers to our RiR questionnaire.