For this post I am going to focus more on what does it mean to do mathematics. I work on campus as a crossing guard and I direct traffic. Some people might say that’s an easy job, but there is a lot that goes into it. I think a lot about how math and directing traffic relate to each other. There are a lot of variables I must take into account every time I direct traffic on campus. There is always a sense of urgency to get everyone through the cross walk as fast as possible. This is hard at time because you have to think about how far away a car is and if you have enough time and distance to stop a car. This was even more difficult during the winter time. Needing to allow more time for cars to stop, but when students are there trying to cross to get to a warm building there are a lot different aspects to considers. I think the most mathematical part of directing traffic is that my brain is doing math and all these calculations for me. I think it’s interesting because it’s just like when you first learn to drive, you don’t have a sense for how much distance you should put between yourself an another car or how much stopping distance you might need to come to complete stop. I think this is an example of what it means to DO mathematics. I may not be out there calculating all the different speeds and distances, but I have developed a skill for direct traffic in the most efficient way as possible. Isn’t that what it means to do mathematics? You have a problem and you must solve it in the most efficient and easiest way.

Consider the scenario in the picture above. This is what traffic looks like at very busy times on campus, usually when afternoon classes get out. You have students waiting to cross and you have cars waiting to turn all in different directions at different times. You also have busses waiting, and they are on a time schedule. But so is everyone else. How do you minimize the number of “turns or moves” so that you can get everyone moving as soon as possible? This is mathematics in real life, it’s like playing the game Rush Hour but there are so many more factors involved. And there are higher stakes involved, don’t cause an accident and make sure students cross the street safely.

http://weusemath.org/?career=air-traffic-controller

http://theconversation.com/stuck-in-traffic-maths-can-get-you-on-your-way-15125

I found a few articles above to support my thinking. The air traffic controller is very similar to directing traffic so I thought that article support

http://weusemath.org/?career=air-traffic-controller

http://theconversation.com/stuck-in-traffic-maths-can-get-you-on-your-way-15125

I found a few articles above to support my thinking. The air traffic controller is very similar to directing traffic so I thought that article support