Whats the Importance of Algebra?

So what is the importance of Algebra? The point is...before we even answer this question, is that, we do not even realize, we are using it all the time. How is that?...

We are solving problems everyday, without even realizing it. So many people tell me how they hated math at school and now their jobs wouldn't survive without math now.

We all know that mathematics is difficult enough with numbers. So, to introduce letters is a huge mental jump, but trust me, the effort is worthwhile.

Most of us think of algebra as solving the unknown, x.

This is where the confusion with people start, because x means the same thing as abc upto z.

It just does not have any connection to math or numbers at all to most people.

If we think of algebra first as solving some sort of problem for example jane is 5 years older than ted. Then:

Jane's age = ted's age plus 5

Thats its. Thats the importance of algebra. Thats algebra. How easy, peasy was that algebra!?

Now we do that everyday of our lives for absolutely everything.

I understand that it doesn't even look like our usual x's and y's algebra.

So, lets make it then, look more algebra-ie. Just replace Jane's age with an x and Ted's age with a y. Replace the plus with an addition sign. Now we have something that looks like algebra:


Or how about changing the x's and y's for a's and b's. So that Jane=a and Ted=b. Then we would have:


The morale of the story, it does not matter what the letters are. As long as we know what we have represented them as.

Now the next time you come to work out how much salt you need in food or something as ridiculus as that, just think about how the algebra is worked into that.

But, What is the Importance of Algebra?

Well, its such a huge topic, that I could say, in the end of the day we use it for our jobs and our everyday lives.

Doctors, nurses, scientists, engineers, teachers, mums, dads, statician's, animators, computer game designers, forensic scientist, astronaut, the list is just endless.

Then how does algebra contribute to the importance of these jobs (I hear you say)? The most important use for algebra is the universal element it represents.

For example, if a doctor were to diagnose a patient, they would need a formula to work out how much medicine to prescribe...in India, Japan, Canada, Australia. That dose will have to be the same for all places, all over the world.

What about a nurse? How does her job relate to algebra. For a start she would have to work out the amount of drugs to give to a patient that a doctor has initially prescribed..in India, Japan, Canada, Australia. Do you see what we are getting at?

An Engineer? Well, this job goes with out saying that it uses the importance of algebra all the time.

That's the job of an engineer, to understand the formulas in algebra.

Animators? Well they need to use algebra to work out how pictures and objects are moved, rotated around and made bigger or smaller. Wow, a cool job such as an animator, even needs algebra. Same rule applies. If you are going to use a formula to work something out in one country you need the same formula somewhere else.

We can carry on explaining the importance of algebra like this with all jobs, the bottom line is, we need algebra to solve problems and to do some of the most simplest tasks.

So, the next time you are doing something trivial, think to yourself, 'Hey, I am actually doing math here, and I don't even realize I am doing it!'

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