-By Simran M Karkera.
Mom-the person who integrates the whole family and adds meaning to our lives! Owing to the different roles that she performs, it is not wrong if we call mothers supercomputers. From time management to optimum use of resources, mothers just take care of it all! But while looking at the broader picture, we often fail to realize how they intricately use statistical, analytical and so many mathematical tools daily. This thought is quite unexplored as we often relate Math with complexity and moms with simplicity. Surprisingly, Math is supposed to make our lives easy and moms are by far the most twisted beings for a layman to understand!
This fact was beautifully portrayed in the movie “Mission Mangal”. Right from the inception of the mission, the scientist cum mom used home-science tools. Even as the mission progresses, the portrayal of how moms use unique methods to work within the constraints was just magical. The film was lauded by the audience and critics alike. But they never realized that they may be failing to realize this same magic in their daily lives.
Let’s take it one step at a time. Starting from the most basic or routine work i.e. cooking.
Behold the Euclidian!
Ratios: Be it simple breakfast or complex meals, moms know just the right spice to be added and the perfect ratio of it. It’s no child’s play to balance the strong flavors of every spice! The next time you devour a scrumptious meal and wonder how it is so wholesome and tasty, make sure to compliment your mom for managing her ratios well.
Geometry: That part of math which is believed to be omnipresent is not left out either when our mothers work. Once, when I was moping the floor, my mom pointed out the fact that instead of doing it in circles, I could do it in a line starting from the very end of the room. This way, I don’t end up haphazardly leaving some spaces or falling down by slipping on the wet patches. Although the falling still continues to happen with/without water, mom made me realize how the fundamentals of geometry can used so effectively even in such a basic task!
“Geometry is the art of correct reasoning from incorrectly drawn figures.”Henry Poincare’
Statistician In The House:
For trends and budgets
Oh how we struggle every month with our pocket money! The expenses seem to be never ending and finally there’s no choice but to ask for that “extra allowance”. But for once, think how your mom manages all the expenses every month- right from groceries to our pocket money. But still manages to save some! And all this, without the help of any software to calculate. Mothers will also tell you the previous month’s figure and predict what she expects the next month’ s expenses to be (and they don’t even need a graph or equation for the trend analysis). They also unknowingly use the decision tree concept which helps them determine the best course of action and plan for contingencies.
Arrangement, Permutations and Combinations: Be it a small three sectional cupboard or a huge wardrobe, they perfectly know how to ace the space. Being the messy person that I am, my cupboard is always scrambled or is flowing like a river when opened. Once, my mom made me clean my own cupboard. Half of my time went in trying to figure out how to arrange so much in so less space while my mother could do it in the blink of an eye. After trying various permutation and combinations my mom came to my room. After looking at my baffled expression, with utmost simplicity, she said, “Arrange those gowns horizontally on both sides and then keep your tops in the center”. “Indeed, the perfect arrangement for a small, low -heighted cupboard!”, I exclaimed. But my mom was quick to reply- “There are 2 more ways in which you can arrange them.”
After this incident, I was fully convinced that my mom must have been the brightest math student in her class. For she could easily solve permutation and combination, which majority find quite difficult to understand.
Assignment and Sequencing: This is the most popular and favorite math topic of every child because of its simplicity and ease. The problems related to assignment usually deal with ways to allocate the resources, so as to complete a given task in the best possible way. Everyday, mothers do their work in a fixed pattern. They try to group work like cooking and cleaning in order to ensure optimum use of the resources in fixed time. This simple and overlooked concept is not just an example of effective assignment but also of the multi-tasking and analytical approach that they use in their everyday life.
“Human memory is not merely the repository of information in the brain. It is much more than this, and something that a machine can never be: a power, a force by which we mentally reproduce not just information but also our experiences, by which we shape our perceptions, introspect, interpret and analyze the direction our life has taken.”― Shakuntala Devi.Super Memory: It Can Be Yours.
The alchemy of math is something we can experience everyday in our lives and the best example of it would be – our moms!
The probability of us being able to manage our homes and lives without our moms and magical math is far less than the probability of having a real life Hogwarts built some day! As the previous blog addressed how math haters can turn into math lovers, this blog tries to highlight how math can be used in everyday life with the help of that one person who is the secret superstar of the family. No one else but the one who leads the orchestra of life to create the perfect symphony.