A lot of people find math pretty dry. If math class is composed of going over pointless problem after pointless problem with very little practical application, then, frankly, I don’t blame them.
My favourite thing about math is its applicability. It can describe anything and everything! If I asked you to think of your favourite thing, I bet math could be used to describe, predict or analyze some part of it.
Don’t believe me? One of my favourite hobbies is crochet (the one that involves yarn, a hook and results in blankets that tend to be made up of granny squares). Now, crochet isn’t something that anyone would typically try to throw math at … unless of course you’re a serious math geek like me.
One day, when I found myself with some free time on my hands and an abundance of yarn, I decided that I wanted to crochet a perfect sphere. I wanted to know the exact number of stitches required in each row to make an ideal sphere. I thought to myself, if I sliced a sphere up into thin, horizontal slices, each slice would look like a circle. The circumference of each circle-slice would represent the number of stitches I would need in each row of my sphere – so that’s what I set out to find.
After I threw a little bit of math at it, I came up with a pattern for the number of stitches required in each row to make an ideal sphere! I posted the pattern on my craft blog along with a description of how I solved the problem.
Voila! Math used in a decidedly non-mathy situation.
Here’s the cool thing: since I posted the sphere pattern, lots of people have used it! Not only did I share with people about how math can be applied to a real life problem, but I also created a pretty basic pattern that people took off with. Lots of people actually shared photos of things that they made using the sphere pattern on a craft website called Ravelry.
If you crochet and are interested in the pattern, here is the link to the pdf.