Sunday, April 25, 2010

MAM Day 25: Real World Geometry part 2

Today's post was supposed to be about real world applications of math and geometry in certain fields of work such as, but not limited to: construction, architecture, interior design, landscapers, chemistry and pharmaceutical research and development, software engineers and other computer related work, accountants, business, banking, environmental and biology research, etc. The list goes on and on. There are few jobs out there that do not have ANY math related whatsoever. Even my current AmeriCorps position as a volunteer manager is not directly related to math, but I've found I use math in evaluating the program, comparing student grades, and making sure I've got accurate counts of volunteers and students.

This website is a great resource for youth who ask "When will I use math?" - "The top 15 highest-earning college degrees all have one thing in common -- math skills. That's according to a recent survey from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, which tracks college graduates' job offers."

I wanted to focus on geometry and math in construction, architecture, and interior design because it interests me a great deal. I like geometry a lot, and I wish I had the determination to pursue a career in architecture. In college, I went into humanities and the social sciences instead. I like to think that I'm spatially adept, but construction workers, contractors, architects, and interior designers have developed their spatial skills beyond the norm. I'm looking to get an interview with my sister who is studying to become an architect. I'd like to ask her how much math she's actually using on a day to day basis. Unfortunately, she's two time zones behind and probably too busy to chat with me because of all her projects.

The extent of my experience with construction and design is through playing the Sims games. The Sims is a simulation game of "real life" in a virtual world. My sister and I got into it a few years back. You can create your own characters and have them live lives under your control. Our favorite part of the game was designing and building houses. The game allows you to build whatever house you can possibly imagine, and it's really an exciting opportunity to build your dream house.

I've used real world houses and apartments for some of my Sims' characters, and try my best to emulate what the real world is like. You can also do interior design for the houses, and buy furniture, appliances, lighting and decorations for your houses. Unfortunately, there is no math involved in building the Sims' houses, BUT, when I use a real house's floor plan, I estimate to get the dimensions right. It's a challenge to walk through an interesting house or apartment and then trying my best to remember all the details to build in virtual reality.

Floor plans are exciting to me because of all the math and the geometry of it all.


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