I am just wondering why Mathematics is often defined as The study of Structures, Logic and Numbers which I can concur with but still retain various questions in mind.

I am a postgraduate student of Financial Mathematics now and have loved Mathematics even when at bachelor's. Unfortunately, I fail (at the many times I have tried) to give specific reasons for my love for Mathematics.

I am now thinking of what my next step in life might be. I don't feel like sitting down in an office doing Quant work just for the sake of money (I did this program because I thought being a quant was more paying). I have resolved to continue with what I love but I am having problems getting answers to some questions.

I would love to continue doing Mathematics because I think it can literally answer any single question in life. I want to use it to work on the day-to-day problems in the grocery store, taxi, bars, homes etc, I mean in simple life. I feel like Mathematics can answer some unanswered questions that we face nearly every day I am wondering and asking my self these three questions below;

(i) Are there any common real-life activities that employ Mathematics just at their surface. Rephrasing it would mean I say; How can I do mathematics and explain even sophisticated University mathematics to a minor or non-mathematician and get them loving it?

(ii) Talk about phenomena like robbery, drug abuse, domestic violence. Is there any good mathematics exploring or even explaining these areas of life, leave alone social science?

(iii) What good books can I read about Mathematics in Real life? A google search yielded nearly nothing.

Could someone advise? Thanks very much in advance.


closed as off-topic by Alexey Ustinov, Stefan Kohl, Nate Eldredge, Asaf Karagila, Emil Jeřábek May 9 '16 at 16:27

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question does not appear to be about research level mathematics within the scope defined in the help center." – Stefan Kohl, Nate Eldredge, Asaf Karagila
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ I don't want to discourage you, but I think this question is too open ended for this web site. You need to pin down more precisely a mathematical problem that has a specific answer which the readers of this site might know, rather than asking for opinions or for long discussions. $\endgroup$ – Ben McKay May 9 '16 at 15:14
  • $\begingroup$ @Ben, I thought here I could be helped as I don't think it would be fitting at math.stackexchange.com. $\endgroup$ – iLOVEmaths May 9 '16 at 15:18
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    $\begingroup$ mathematics in real life is known as physics or engineering. $\endgroup$ – Piyush Grover May 9 '16 at 15:40
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    $\begingroup$ or computer science, or (soon) social engineering. $\endgroup$ – Andrej Bauer May 9 '16 at 16:33

This award winning web site Panorama - applications of mathematics by Philipp Legner is very well done and could be the type of resource you would direct someone to who asks "what is the use of mathematics?".

Everything in our world follows mathematical laws: from the motion of stars and galaxies to the transmission of phone signals, bus timetables, weather prediction, and online banking. Mathematics lets us describe and explain all of these systems, as well as revealing profound truths about the underlying patterns.

The items are organized by type of math (algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, graph theory, number theory) and type of application (technology, engineering, media, sports, medicine, finance, nature). Nothing goes very deep, but there are pointers to "enrichment sites" and also to career sites. And there's also humor, Mystic Mathematics, for the math of computer games, is my favorite.


Andrea Bertozzi and her collaborators research crime, criminal networks, crime waves, and control and modelling of crime, including robbery and violence, but in the large, so not considering psychological modelling or drug abuse.


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