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MATHS 1013 Mathematics IM : Geometric Fractal

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Your essay must draw upon the course materials and specifically address the following two points:

Define and describe mathematics. Support your discussion with one everyday (maths) phenomenon (e.g. in nature or built environments) that can be explained using mathematics.

For example; the number of petals on a lily blossom is always a Fibonacci number, the way in which fern leaves form a geometric fractal or the symmetry of a butterfly. Other examples may include; the fractions of notes per measure to fit the tempo in music or the construction of the Egyptian pyramids using Pythagorean Theorem.

Define and describe numeracy, including at least one example of where you have used numeracy skills in your everyday life. ?


In many scenarios, people apply mathematics to everyday life activities either knowingly or unknowingly. For example, mathematics is involved in the running of computers, to fly the aircraft, and used to enhance communication in a secured system (Bianco, 2015). However, people underappreciate or underestimate the value and applications of mathematics. This paper discusses mathematics, numeracy and its use in daily phenomena of life.

Despite the significant roles of mathematics in our lives, a majority of the people cannot explain the simple operations or problem concerning mathematics (Bianco, 2015). In most cases, people beliefs that they must take time to calculate a question in the minds or depend on the calculator for a solution. Mathematics remains to have various applications, and no one can justify by arguing that they would not need some branches of mathematics such as calculus or algebra because these principle gets integrated to the human life, appliances, and needs (Bianco, 2015).  Ares and Evans (2014) define mathematics as a branch of science that majorly focuses on understanding quantities with respect or in relation to numbers and other symbols. In other words, mathematics can get described as the language which utilizes the combination of symbols whereby each combination holds a definite meaning that can get proven through applying some logical operation or procedure.  As a result, mathematics as language applies to analyze and offer detailed accounts regarding anything that occurs or exists in the world (Ares and Evans, 2014)  

Numeracy is a term used to refer to the ability to apply the knowledge of mathematics into solving problems or things that occur daily.  According to Eva (2013), an individual is termed numerate if it can get proofed that he or she has the skills and confidence to apply numbers and various mathematical theories in the dynamic life aspects. For example, people do apply numeracy skills at work, at home and other activities. At work, one takes care of the customers, manage finances, at home parents uses the skills to help out children do their assignment and perform other learning activities (Watts et al. 2014). A literate person applies their numeracy skills as a way of facilitating the functions necessary in modern life. As a result, such numeracy skills improve literacy. The benefits of being numerate are that one can logically reason and perform sums (Watts et al. 2014).  The benefits of numeracy are that an individual interprets data by presenting in diagrams and charts, process information, checking of answers, solve problems, understand and explain the solutions offered, and deciding, reasoning, thinking logically (Watts et al. 2014).

Similarities and differences between numeracy and mathematics


Both mathematics and numeracy deal with numerals, quantities, and shapes. Also, mathematics and numeracy focus and operates through understanding the basic skills such as subtraction, addition, multiplication, and divisions. Moreover, both mathematics and numeracy interconnect or interrelate with each other (Ares, and Evans, 2014).


The first difference is that numeracy relates to the ability to acquire mathematical concepts and apply them to solve quantities and various challenges in life (Ares, and Evans, 2014).  On the other hand, mathematics refers to the study of numbers, concepts, and space that correlates quantities to the specified objects (Ares, and Evans, 2014). Also, mathematics teaches specialized calculations that are useful in solving complex problems that emerge in other disciplines of study.

The second difference is based on the fact that numeracy applies mathematical concepts to explain and understand the things that surround our lives (Pedersen, 2017). As a result, a numerate person is expected to acquire more than just the basics mathematical concepts as in order for one to efficiently manage finances at a personal level. On the other hand, mathematics appears as a broad field that constitutes numeracy as well as other skills such as the knowledge to understand the median, means, frequencies, and percentages as a way to enable self-portfolio management (Pedersen, 2017).  

Everyday phenomena for math

According to Keiren (2015), mathematics gets applied in everyday aspect of life. A phenomenon refers to an event that occurs naturally and simulates some mathematical concepts. There are various phenomena that simulate math concepts.  First, the weather patterns display some phenomenon in math that is known as logarithmic spiral (Keiren, 2015). Naturally, areas with low pressures and the band of typical of cyclones topography such as hurricanes display a logarithmic spiral. Also equiangular spirals, occur naturally for instance when an insect is approaching a source of light (Gobithaasan and Miura, 2014).  Secondly galaxies and its arms display some   spiral pitch estimated for 12 degrees. In biology, the bulging of a mollusks shell expands in a similar manner like the logarithmic spiral.

The second phenomena refer to the ripple effects.  In this case, the phenomena naturally occur when gas suddenly get disturbed resulting to rapidly propagating and extended oscillations (Gobithaasan and Miura, 2014).  In daily occurrence, a ripple effect occurs in settings such as water waves. Also, in plasma and atmospheres, ripple effects occur when gas ionizes to form free particles with a positive and negative polarity (Keiren, 2015).

According to Kalman and Mena (2003), the Fibonacci effects occur naturally in both small and d big things.  The Fibonacci sequence refers to a recursive sequence represents the addition of two previous numerals to develop a series. Naturally, Fibonacci sequence appears in the natural chicken eggs, a variety of broccoli called Romanesque, the open disk of a sunflower, and the pinecone (Keiren, 2015).


Mathematics as a study of numbers, shape, and concepts explains and applies in everyday life activities either knowingly or unknowingly. Numeracy refers to the ability to use the knowledge of mathematics to solving problems or things that occur daily.  Both mathematics and numeracy share common characteristics that they deal with numerals, quantities, shapes, subtraction, addition, multiplication, and divisions. However, the differences are evident in that mathematics have a bigger circle that involves numeracy while numeracy deals with understanding and applying concepts in math.  Three significant math phenomena in daily life are the Fibonacci sequence, the logarithmic spiral, and the ripple effect.  


Bianco, M. (2015). Why math is important: the student view. [online] available at Accessed on 2/12/2018.

Eva. J. (2013). Math and numeracy in real world. [online] Available at Accessed on 4/12/2018.

Gobithaasan, R.U. and Miura, K.T., 2014. ‘Logarithmic curvature graph as a shape interrogation tool.’ Applied Mathematical Sciences, 8(16), pp.755-765.

Kalman, D. and Mena, R., 2003. ‘The Fibonacci numbers—exposed.’ Mathematics magazine, 76(3), pp.167-181.

Keiren (2015). The Fibonacci sequence in nature. [online] Available at Accessed on 4/12/2018.

Pedersen, M., 2017. Functional analysis in applied mathematics and engineering. Routledge.

Watts, T.W., Duncan, G.J., Siegler, R.S. and Davis-Kean, P.E., 2014. ‘What’s past is prologue: Relations between early mathematics knowledge and high school achievement.’ Educational Researcher, 43(7), pp.352-360.

Ares, N. and Evans, D.M., 2014. ‘Mathematics and numeracy as social and spatial practice’. Education Research International, 2014.

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