Fortunately, there are a few things that can be done to help ease the stress associated with starting a new school, so let’s take a look at them now.

Firstly, try and establish a dialogue with your child so that they know that they can raise any concerns they may have. You may need to lead the discussion at times, but it’ll be a worthwhile exercise that should allow you both to talk about things that may be causing unnecessary stress. You could also use this opportunity to relate to their situation by referring to your own memories of secondary school and how you managed to cope with the same situation.

While talking with them, remind them that every other student is in the same boat. They may find themselves in different classes than their primary school friends, but that’s just an opportunity to make even more friends. Remind them that they’ll always be able to catch up with their old friends during their breaks.

If your child has a mobile phone, remind them that you are only a text/call away if they need you. Having said that, you should also let them know that during class they should have their mobile phones off or on silent, and they should be paying attention to the teacher.

To help ease the stress, you may want to consider doing some practice runs to and from the school. This will allow you both to establish a routine and assess how long it takes to get to school from your house. Getting your child familiar with the route whether its by car, foot, bike, or bus, can help ease any anxiety they may have.

You should also encourage them to get into a good routine in the morning. Have them set their alarm and get them used to getting cleaned up and ready for school. Make sure that they have the appropriate uniform on, that they have the correct books in their bags, and that they have stationary (pens, pencils, eraser, ruler) too.

If they’re bringing a packed lunch, you might want to consider preparing it with them the night before school so that there’s one less thing to do in the morning rush.

As mentioned above, let them know that you’re only a call or text away should they need you, but you should also discuss a plan for what they should do outside of calling if they find themselves lost or in trouble. Remind them not to panic and that they’re not expecting to know the school halls inside and out. Teachers and staff will understand if students are late to class or if they get a little lost. The teachers and staff are also their to support them, so your child shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help.

Lastly, make sure that you manage their expectations so that they’re not overwhelmed on their first day of school. Hopefully, the secondary school invited your child to a taster day, which would have helped them gain a better idea of what to expect in their secondary school classes.

Many of our students at StudyPug are the younger students that have just made the transition from Year 6 to Year 7. We provide them with additional maths support to help ease the workload and assist them in building their knowledge across the new topics being introduced to them. If you feel like your child would benefit from a little assistance in making the transition, browse our year 7 maths topics. Talk with your child and assess if they feel comfortable tackling the topics covered throughout the year. If not, our videos will do a great job in helping them break down complex maths problems and should help them to feel a lot more comfortable in their maths class.

Not only will there be a jump in difficulty, but the classroom dynamic and atmosphere will be a lot different than primary school too. Your child will be treated as a young adult and they’ll be expected to take on more responsibilities as a result. There will be a focus on them taking ownership of their learning, making sure they take notes in class, and logging homework assignments too. Additionally, disruptive behaviour in class will be met with more severe punishments (detention after school).

It might be helpful to check with your child after school to see how they processed the information given to them. That way you can assess if they were able to keep track of all of the assignments given to them. If not, you can devise additional strategies to help them keep track of everything whilst they’re getting settled.

Hopefully, this article has given you some idea of how you can ease the transition into secondary school for your children. Keep in mind that they’re bound to be nervous and that support from you will be appreciated. Remind them that you went through the same thing at their age and that everyone in class is in a similar situation. In time, they’ll become comfortable in their surroundings and as a result, they should be able to make friends and find some enjoyment in school (if only slightly) haha.

If you have any questions relating to this article, feel free to contact as via twitter @StudyPug.

]]>In an effort to clarify the testing reform and to defend the importance of times tables, Nick Gibb, the Schools Minister, appeared on Good Morning Britain. During the interview, host Jeremy Kyle, asked Gibb to provide the answer to a simple maths question. When asked what 8 x 9 was, Gibb laughed and refused to answer the question. He stated that he wasn’t going to get into this because he has learnt from bitter experience never to answer these kind of questions on live television. His response frustrated the presenters on the program and prompted the question of why is it so important for an 8 year old to prove their times table skills when the Schools Minister wasn’t prepared to do so himself.

This is not the first time this has happened, in 2015, former Prime Minister, David Cameron once refused to answer any basic maths questions during his speech on education. There are countless more examples of political figures refusing to answer basic primary level questions, which leaves me with a question of my own. What’s the big deal?

Well it seems that political advisors have been telling politicians not to answer these basic questions for fear of getting them wrong. One source told The Sun newspaper, “It’s not a formal ban – but we would always advise ministers not to answer questions like that…”It might be OK when it’s just times tables, but it gets trickier when they start having to answer questions about astrophysics!”

In their PR driven mind, getting the question wrong is a lot worse than refusing to answer the question in the first place. As an example, In the late 90s, Stephen Byers, the Minister for School Standards at the time, was asked what 7 x 8 was. Unfortunately, he answered “54” which of course is not correct (it’s 56). This gained widespread media attention, and in a job that is as much about public image as it is about policy, you can see why they might want to avoid looking foolish.

If anything, it shines a light on the insecurity many of us deal with when faced with maths. Being asked to do mental arithmetic on the spot, comes with a level of social pressure and expectation that can lead many to panic and miscalculate. It’s a condition known as maths anxiety and it can take many forms and effects many people from all walks of life.

Research into the subject has revealed that maths anxiety triggers the same fear responses found in common phobias (think spiders, snakes, and heights). When the anxiety strikes, it can severely hinder the person’s abilities to perform in maths, and it’s thought to be a large factor in the underperformance of students in their GCSE maths exams.

Many students and working professionals have experienced some form of maths anxiety and little has been done to help combat it. Traditional classroom teaching tends to focus on the class as a whole and whilst steps have been taken to ensure all students can achieve, there’s just not enough time or resources to give students the help they need.

This is perhaps why so many students are turning to the internet for help. Classroom teaching cannot deliver the personalized care they need and private tutors can be incredibly expensive. Online learning platforms like StudyPug are offering an affordable solution to the math anxiety problem. Students can learn from home in a comfortable environment, free from the pressures of the classroom. They move onto the next topic when they’re prepare to, not when they’re told to. The video format also helps break down complex problems with handy step-by-step examples.

Not just for students, anybody can subscribe to the service and brush up on their maths. There’s content that covers all the topics taught on the national curriculum from Key stage 2 through to key stage 5. An effective tool, StudyPug has helped many students improve their maths grades. It can also do a great job in refreshing former students on the basic maths too. Perhaps if more politicians used this service, they wouldn’t be so afraid of maths.

If you’re interested in trying StudyPug for yourself, there’s a 7-day free trial for new users and a 30 day money back guarantee for new subscribers to the 6 month plan.

]]>Whether it’s a man made construction or an organic lifeform, geometric shapes, symmetry, and the golden rectangle have helped to shape the world around us. With that in mind, let’s take a brief look at how geometry has impacted the world we live in.

Within nature, symmetrical geometry can be found among many things. From the six fold symmetry of snowflakes and the splash of raindrops that cause radial symmetry, to the bilateral symmetry on the faces of tigers or the wings of a butterfly.

Above, you’ll see a beautifully crafted symmetrical shape, which has been lovingly created by a puffer fish. The reason for this is simple, it’s part of his courtship ritual. Much like many other courtships in the wild, symmetry plays a big part. Its aesthetically pleasing to look at and catches the eye of a potential partner (think of the flamboyant feathers of a peacock).

Beyond the wildlife themselves, you can see geometry in the construction of their habitats. For example, the honeycomb structures within the nests of honey bees are made up of visually stunning hexagonal prismatic wax cells.

In the above image, we can see the floral symmetry that exists within nature. The flower to the left is a streptocarpus flower, which has mirror symmetry (much like a human’s face). The flower to the right has radial symmetry, which means the symmetry is present around the central axis (much like a starfish).

There are many sports that utilize geometric shapes to help mark out the specific areas of play. Take a look at the soccer pitch below, the field of play is made up of quadrilaterals, rectangles, 90 degree angles, and circles.

Furthermore, these soccer pitches, tennis courts, and basketball courts have mirror symmetry. Again, look at the soccer pitch, you’ll notice that one half of the playing area (home) is identical to the other side (away).

Beyond the examples of geometric shapes and symmetry within the playing fields, geometry is also used by the athletes themselves. The relative position of figures is a key part of geometry, and an understanding of position and spatial awareness within a competitive sport is integral to success. To know where you teammates are in relation to you and your opponent is to know geometry. It allows you to calculate the space available to you and make more informed decisions in the moment.

Geometry has influenced how civilizations have constructed buildings and stadiums. In Ancient Greece, the “golden rectangle” was used to build aesthetically pleasing buildings that look to be in perfect proportion.

The rectangles shown in the image above, all have exactly the same proportions. This is because the golden rectangle can mathematical replicate itself indefinitely. These golden proportions were not only used in their architecture, but also in their sculptures too.

It’s a design philosophy that would shape the world for centuries to follow. Most notably, the Cathedral of Notre Dame (completed in 1345), is a tremendous example of french gothic architecture and draws inspiration from the ancient greeks and their use of the golden rectangle. Renaissance painters across europe were also fond of using the golden proportions in their work. A good example of this can be found in the famous painting “Mona Lisa” (1503) by Leonardo Da Vinci.

These are just a few examples of geometry in the world around us. If you look at things with a keen eye, you’ll find examples of geometry in almost everything you see. Studying geometry makes us more aware of the world around us, we learn how and why things are constructed, and that in turn, influences are own creations.

If you’re interested in learning more about geometry or if you have homework on the subject, consider using StudyPug. Our collection of geometry videos will cover all the topics your teacher will go over and we have videos for everything you’d expect to find in your exams too.

As an online video platform, our content manages to breakdown complex 60 minute lectures into simple videos that get you learning in minutes. Available 24/7 across PC, tablet, and mobile, its a learning tool that allows you to learn at your own pace at a time that’s convenient for you.

Sign up today and receive your 7-day free trial. There’s no risk and no hassle, just simple math help.

What is maths anxiety? It is the negative emotional response that occurs when a person is faced with mathematical challenges. The fear and feeling of tension often leads to underperformance, a lack of confidence, and can lead to students falling behind in maths. It’s not an uncommon issue either, It’s thought to affect roughly a quarter of the population with around 2 million students in England alone, feeling some form of maths anxiety.

Much maths anxiety research has been done and Vinod Menon, a Professor at Stanford University, conducted some tests to uncover the brain activity of students who deal with math anxiety. What he found was that the anxiety elicits the same responses found with common phobias, suggesting that students are indeed scared of maths.

*“The same part of the brain that responds to fearful situations, such as seeing a spider or snake, also shows a heightened response in children with high math anxiety” *– Vinod Menon, PHD, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Knowing that there’s an issue and understanding how it can affect your child, can help you to provide better support and encouragement. It’s important to note that if they believe there’s a problem with their ability to understand math, it can act as a self fulfilling prophecy, so continued support and encouragement is needed.

As mentioned above, support is key to helping your child combat maths anxiety. You can support them by reminding them to relax and by implementing breathing exercises when they feel overwhelmed. These methods, have proven to be an effective solution in reducing the tension that comes with anxiety. Professor David Sheffield of Derby University, conducted psychological research on the effect of relaxation exercises and its effect on maths performance.

*“We did one study where we got people to do a relaxation exercise and then followed them up. Their anxiety scores had dropped and they were able to solve more problems.” *– Professor David Sheffield

Another way to help your child to relax is to reassure them that you’ll support them no matter what the outcome. A lot of students feel the pressure to perform well for their parents and this expectation can negatively affect their performances. Similarly, perceived stereotypes of maths abilities within specific genders, cultures and races can also affect their performance. This is known as “stereotype threat” and it can induce anxiety during difficult maths questions. The fear of living up to stereotypes or parental expectations, adds an unnecessary level of pressure during your child’s exams. For more information on stereotype threat, you can view this short video below on the subject or read Whistling Vivaldi by Claude Steele.

I’m sure at one point or another, your child has said that maths is “boring” or has asked you “when am I ever going to need this in real life?”. It’s a question you probably asked your parents when you were their age too. It’s also a question that can be used to capture their imagination and get them thinking about maths outside of the classroom and into more practical implementations within their everyday lives.

Your child may find it easier to interpret maths when it’s put into a context they can relate to. For example, if your child is a football fan. You can test their knowledge by using the stats that are presented throughout the game. If Manchester United had 65% of the possession in the first half, how much possession did their opponents have?

You could also bring them along on the weekly shop and assign them a budget for school lunches or dinners. Work with them to check prices and add up the cost to make sure they don’t go over the budget. The added incentive of buying products they want, and trying to maximise what they can get, will encourage them to think about math in a more engaging way and will help to build their competency with numbers.

Sitting with your child as they go through their maths homework will give you a better idea of what causes their anxiety. Find out where their strengths and weaknesses are, and use that information to build out more effective revision strategies.

To assist your child, StudyPug has 1000s of tutorials delivered via easy to follow videos that can be paused, rewound, and fast-forwarded, meaning they’ll never get left behind. It’s a great tool for students to learn at their own pace and StudyPug is a great source for practice materials too. The content in the videos cover all aspects of the Edexcel (Pearson), AQA, OCR, and WJEC curriculums and includes questions that are most likely to appear on math exams.

Sitting with them and spending an hour or two a day on the website can dramatically improve their performance in class and in exams. You can also utilize StudyPug’s content to research upcoming topics or review what your child is studying, so that you can provide more informed and more effective support during their homework sessions and revision.

Many students and parents who use StudyPug, prefer the video format over the traditional textbook based revision methods. This is because the video content manages to convey the same information as the books, but in a much more conversational way that’s easier to follow and understand.

A good way to make your child feel more comfortable and confident with maths is to introduce pop quizzes at home. These can consist of a few questions that test their knowledge and will reinforce their understanding, helping them to retain the information. To encourage them to participate, you could introduce rewards like choosing dessert or having extra time on the games console/mobile phone.

You may also like to use practice papers to sit informal mock exams. Whilst they are informal, you should try to adopt some exam conditions (no phones, no distractions). Try to stick to the time limit and have them answer as many questions as possible. Once they have finished the test, mark the paper for them. Once returned, review their scores together and highlight their strong and weak areas.

The results from the mock exams can be used to inform their revision content and your future pop quizzes. As they progress and sit more mock exams, you’ll hopefully both start to see improvements in their scores and in turn, a boost in their confidence ahead of their actual exams.

These are just a few short tips on how to reduce maths anxiety. Remind them that no matter what happens, you’ll be there to support them. Take the time to sit with them during their homework sessions, and introduce your own tests to further build their confidence.

For high quality revision materials, visit StudyPug today and sign up for your 7-day free trial.

]]>One way statistics has eased into peoples good books is through the happy marriage of computer science and statistics. The world of statistics and computer science have collided and melded together as the practice of statistics has moved onto our electronic devices in the form of programming. Languages like R and Python rank as some of the fastest growing and most used programming languages in the last 5 years. The use of R has grown particularly in academic circles for statistical computing is a well sought out skill and proficiency in R or Python is now desired by many employers especially for those who are pursuing careers in STEM. Statistical tests have come a long way since the beginning and harnessing the power and utility of computers will only see it advance and influence others more rapidly and efficiently.

Another way these bad vibes are being countered is the early inclusion of statistics to educational curriculums. In the USA, statistics has been introduced as one of the core components of K-12 Mathematics, highlighting the importance of the learning mathematical skills of induction, deduction, and communication of data. Such practices seem promising as this year alone we should have hit a 50% increase (approximately 200,000 individuals) of professional statisticians entering the workforce. Learning statistics earlier should provide educators a chance to cultivate an earlier appreciation of statistics and corresponding valuable analytical skills. Educators should not provide students with the illusion that pursuing a career in geology or nursing will end all affairs with statistics because the truth is the pervasiveness of data analysis is far-reaching and only increasing in importance as we rely on the data to advance into the future.

So having chosen to embrace statistics, where and who can we expect to be at the frontier of statistics? The truth is many of you will be at the heart of it before knowing it. As emphasized earlier, statistics is an interdisciplinary study. While often highlighted in sciences, it becomes absolutely relevant and paramount whenever there is a need for research and development. We ask questions, seek for improvements, develop new concepts and need a way to answer or see how these ideas come to life. The next step is to then perform experiments, develop prototypes, run tests, all the while tracking results, recording data. Statistics finally comes into play, helping you assess levels of uncertainty, % of success, project growth or sales rates, where to build houses, or mine Gold. Such is the nature of research and development that involves the application of scientific methods, processes, and systems in order to evaluate and interpret data. Data-driven-statistical- research now forms a fundamental piece of the puzzle when innovating, creating or attempting to progress forward – be it in medicine, academia, business, Information Technology, medicine, economics, or construction.

For example, a biostatistician may be involved in researching the rate of HIV spread and invasion throughout sub-saharan Africa to help identify the countries that will be hit the hardest. In medicine, statistical research may take the form of equivalence testing to compare, improve and examine the effectiveness of new drugs to aid depression. Astronomers may utilize statistical models to support research on the expansion of the universe, while an actuary may look for statistical models to predict risk of financial investments or business expansion. Mechanics and automotive industrialists can apply statistics to constantly improve the quality of their product by constantly minimizing the level of errors in the performance of their product. Perhaps a more familiar example is the collation of government statistics. For years, governments have gathered a wealth of enormous datasets and utilized the power of statistics to inform decisions and research improvements on housing, income, unemployment, minimum wage, healthcare, and education services.

By pre-emptively identifying the statistical test(s) you want to employ to help answer your research question(s), hopefully you know what sort of data needs to be collected. Where statistics comes in handy is helping you identify key aspects you may not have considered in your chosen methods of data collection. Such may come in the form of identifying an additional variable of importance to collect data on. Another pitfall statistics can help you avoid is that of pseudoreplication. Pseudoreplication is particularly dangerous for several reasons: Firstly, it paints a false image of how large a sample size is and ignores the need for “true” replicated treatments (when applicable). Sample sizes are important as they determine the power of your statistical tests and therefore the confidence and scope of your conclusions based on the statistical results. Secondly it fails to highlight that some variables may not be independent. This may mask the true effects of the variables that you wish to be examining independently. Sampling bias can also be avoided when considering the statistical test you hope to use: for example research on the occurrence of domestic violence in households should investigate low-income, middle-income, and high-income neighbourhoods.

*“To call in the statistician after the experiment is done may be no more than asking him to perform a post-mortem examination: he may be able to say what the experiment died of.”*

— **Ronald Fisher**

Without statistical tests there would be no objective way to show whether the data are in support or in disagreement of research questions. Since the burden of evidence (for or against) lies in results of statistic tests, without the use of statistics in research, we would be buried in unknowns, more questions, open-ended conclusions, and more data than we can handle! Without statistical research, we would be unable to credit new discoveries, answer new questions, and confidently advance with new developments. Statistical tests form the basis on each we can trust what the data is saying and make sense of what the raw, volumes of data are communicating.

Data is rarely squeaky clean and more often than not, data is messy, ugly and incomplete: Such is the nature of sampling data, there are answers people do not answer completely, truly, or circumstances beyond our control that prevent us to collect all the data points we desire: e.g. an inaccessible village of HIV+ patients trapped in a war zone, the premature death of chicks in a nest, apparatus failure, or the sudden crash in stocks. Truth of the matter is there is no way to collect ALL data points – this is where inferential statistics saves the day. Beyond those limitations, at the very minimum there is human error in data sampling or collection and with every tool, a measure of uncertainty. Errors can also arise due to uncontrollable circumstances as aforementioned, or due to a limitation of a statistical test. These errors can be accounted for to some degree in statistical models and tests so that we can cut through all the noise and assess our hypotheses honestly.

Using statistics can help us map out those outliers, identify the levels of uncertainty in our results, and help us deal fairly with those errors. No statistical test is perfect and neither is any dataset. Statistics allows us to draw conclusions openly by realizing these limitations from the start.

Having utilized the appropriate statistical test, fair and objective conclusions, implications, can now be interpreted from the dataset. Statistical tests provide us with the means to interpret the dataset accurately so that we can make unbiased decisions on how to proceed knowing what the data is saying. It also guides the way we communicate our results and calls for us to defend why these statistical tests were chosen and how we arrived at our explanations based on a series of numbers. Statistics are also a great way of communicating and condensing large datasets into digestible, bitesize pieces of information easily understood by the masses. These summary statistics are helpful in providing people with an immediate idea of the big picture and whether your conclusions are valid.

Without statistics we would be unable to tease apart the multitude of effects that may be influencing our dependent variable. Furthermore we would not be able to identify which factors are working in conjunction to produce a compounded effect on our dependent variable. Statistical modelling helps us deal with our multivariate statistical questions so that we can assess hypotheses from every possible angle. So for example, how do we know that domestic violence in neighbourhoods of various levels of income are not also affected by ethnicity, religion, and level of education? Some of the factors may be intertwined and using statistics helps us tease apart these details.

With all that being said, it is worth pointing out that statistics can’t solve everything and anything under the sun perfectly. Statistical tests/models are flawed and in themselves have limitations in the way they were designed and formulated. Even using the wrong statistical test can lead to serious erroneous conclusions and overlook the data completely. Statisticians have thus tried to create helpful guides, books, charts and keys to help advise students and working professionals alike how to identify the appropriate tests/models to apply to their data. These resources should help students be more vigilant and aid the appropriate use and digestion of statistics. Combined with a more positive outlook on statistics, early exposure, an abundance of tools, and the knowledge of a ubiquitous need for statistics in all forms of research and development, there is hope that statistics will be shunned no more. Surely if plants can sense and harness the value of statistics, so can we.

*Remember that all models are wrong; the practical question is how wrong do they have to be to not be useful.*

— **George Box & Norman R. Draper**

Photo by Daniel McCullough on Unsplash *Salaries typically range from $45,000 – $110,000+ (Depending on Role, Employer, & Experience)*

Architects require mathematical skills on a day-to-day bases. For example, they use math to design efficient building layouts and to calculate angles for roofing and structural integrity. Without math, the job would be next to impossible and incredibly risky. This is why employers look for candidates who can demonstrate a high level of mathematical ability.

When it comes to applying for an architecture degree, students will need a qualification in calculus. Therefore, students will also be required to be skilled in algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. To that end, we’d recommend taking a precalculus course as that will provide you with the knowledge you need to pursue a calculus course and then a degree in architecture.

If you have a passion for video games and a talent for algebra and algorithms, you may want to consider a career in games development.

Game designers and programmers use math in almost every aspect of games design. From the height of a characters jump to the spawn time of an enemy ship, math is used for it all. Behind every kick in FIFA, shot in Call of Duty, and every drift in Forza, there’s math behind the scenes crunching numbers and determining outcomes. In world building, geometry is used to build incredible worlds and realistic environments to explore. Alternatively, algorithms can be used to procedurally generate in-game assets, offering a level of randomness and unpredictability to the game’s environments.

*Salaries typically range from $50,000 – $125,000+ (Depending on Role, Employer, & Experience)*

AOL placed this job as number 5 on their 10 Best Jobs for People Who Love Math. As an Astronomer, you would use math to test theories and to interpret the data you receive from looking up at the stars. Whether its how much light is being emitted by objects in the sky or the distance between certain planets across space, math is used to figure it out. Additionally, SIN COS TAN is used by astronomers when attempting to calculate the angular distance between two stars based off of their coordinates. With this in mind, it’s not hard to see why many colleges request that applicants to their astronomy programs should be competent in both math and physics.

*Salaries typically range from $30,000 – $100,000+ (Depending on Role, Employer, & Experience)*

If you have a passion for education and want to share your passion for math with others, then perhaps a career as an educator would be a good role for you. Having said that, if you want to teach mathematics at a college level, you’re going to need to know what you’re talking about.

In general, it’s expected that as a high school lecture, you should have a qualification a few steps above your students. As a math professor in college, you should have a masters in the area you are teaching and should be well-versed in a variety of mathematical topics, unless you solely teach a very specific section of mathematics.

You’ll need to plan and deliver lessons that cater to all learners and their varying skill levels, and each lesson should adhere to the set curriculum as governed by the appropriate organizations of that country. This is why it’ essential that you know your stuff. You need to be able to convery how problems are solved in a way that your students can understand and demonstrate in their exams. As you progress in your career, you could take on additional duties and roles to increase your salary (Subject Leader, Head of department, Principal etc.)

*Salaries will range from $45,000 – $100,000+ (Depending on Role, Employer, & Experience)*

In an article by Investopedia, it was noted that the median salary for an Aerospace Engineer is $112,010. It also goes on to discuss how math plays an integral role in the daily routine of the profession.

Whether you’re looking to be an aerospace engineer, computer engineer, construction engineer, or one of the many other disciplines in engineering, it’s safe to say that you’ll need math to help you complete your daily tasks.

Engineers will need to use algebra to help them solve unknowns, they will use their skills in geometry to help them with design work, and will use calculus to determine things like size, acceleration and weight of objects. Additionally, engineers will also use statistics to calculate foreseeable issues in design. For example, an engineer will need to know the typical rainfall stats for the region throughout the year, the varying wind speeds, and other environmental issues in order to construct a building suitable for the environment in which it is set.

Math will be one of the topics covered in your engineering degree programs and a prerequisite in topics like vectors, calculus and advanced functions may be required in order to apply for the program.

*Salaries typically range from $45,000 – $70,000+ (Depending on Role, Employer, & Experience)*

Being good at math will help you tremendously within accountant/analyst roles. As an accountant, you’ll need to analyse accounting records ahead of producing financial statements. You’ll also need to use accounting equations for liabilities, assets and stakeholder equities. If you’re looking to enter into a career as a financial adviser or analyst, you will need to have a strong understanding of statistics and probability to help you make more accurate decisions.

Those career paths mentioned above are just a few ways in which your love for math can translate into a fulfilling career. For a look at more jobs for math lovers, check out Business Insider’s article on the topic. If you’re keen on pursuing a college major or a career in any of these fields, developing your skills in math will be key to your success. Fortunately, there’s a website that can help you, StudyPug.

Through a fun and engaging video format, StudyPug is changing the way students learn. With 1000s of online video tutorials that cover a vast amount of mathematical topics including basic algebra, trigonometry, and precalculus, students the world over are developing effective revision strategies and improving their performance in math.

StudyPug’s content covers all the same information you’d expect to find in modern textbooks, but it’s delivered in a user friendly way that’s much easier to understand. As a subscriber, you’ll have unlimited access to every lesson on their website and each lesson can be paused, rewound, and fast-forwarded, so you’ll never get left behind.

Learn at your own pace and visit StudyPug today to start your free trial.

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This should be self explanatory, but it’s definitely worth mentioning here. Paying attention in class can help you retain the information that your teachers are giving you. Sitting next to your friends can lead to tempting distractions but avoid the temptations, focus on the lesson, take notes, and listen to your teacher. They know what they’re talking about and are there to help you if you get stuck, which leads us onto our next point.

Your teacher will be a useful resource in learning math, not only will they teach you what you need to know, but unlike a textbook, they can respond to any questions you have. If you’re stuck or confused, raise you hand and ask for help.

Understandably, you may be hesitant to stop the teacher during their presentation so you may want to save the questions till the end. If that’s the case, make a note so you don’t forget. Chances are there’s a few students in the class that are just as confused as you are. Don’t wait for them to raise their hands because you may be waiting all day. Be confident and raise your hand first or you could risk falling behind and making things harder for yourself.

Many students avoid doing homework and put it off until the last minute. It’s a practice that leaves you at a disadvantage because you’re rushing to complete the work and you’re not absorbing the information in the most effective way.

Homework is used as a tool to keep you thinking about what you’ve learnt in school and to encourage you to continue exploring problems and solutions. In math, practice makes perfect and setting aside some time to practice math via your homework assignments can help you get into a good study routine which will benefit you greatly in your exams (more on that later).

To better prepare yourself for upcoming quizzes and exams, you must first know where your strengths and weaknesses are. For example, you have a trigonometry test coming up, what areas of trigonometry are you good at and which topics require a little more work. If you’re not sure about this, review your class notes and use practice papers to sit “mock” exams to help you highlight the things you know and the things you don’t.

When taking mock exams, put yourself in exam conditions (no phones, no distractions!) and stick to the time limited of the paper. Try to answer as many questions in the time limit and be sure to stop once time is up. Pass your paper onto a friend or family member and have them mark it for you. Once returned, review your scores and see what questions your answered incorrectly.

This can be a useful exercise to help you identify the topics you know and the topics you need to focus your revision efforts on. Not only will this process allow you to target areas of weakness, but as you progress, you’ll hopefully see improvements in your score and in turn, that can boost your confidence ahead of your actual exams.

Once you’ve established your strengths and weaknesses, you can start to plan out more effective revision strategies. Spend the bulk of your time on areas that need improvement and revisit areas that you’re confident. Doing this will ensure that you’re prepared for any and all questions ahead of your exams.

To assist you, StudyPug has 1000s of lessons delivered via easy to follow videos that can be paused, rewound, and fast-forwarded, meaning you’ll never get left behind. It’s a great tool for learning at your own pace and StudyPug is a great source for practice materials too. Spending an hour or two a day on their site can dramatically improve your performance in class and in your exams.

Many students who use StudyPug prefer the video format over the traditional textbook revision methods. This is because the video content manages to convey the same information as the books but in a much more conversational way that’s easier to follow and understand.

Outside of revision, you should spend time on yourself. Don’t stress too much and don’t feel guilty for enjoying some down time. Play games, go for a run, do whatever you need to do to take your mind off math. Coming back to it later with a clear head can make it easier to digest and retain information.

Also, you should make sure that you’re eating enough and eating healthy too. Eating “brain” foods like blueberries, salmon, avocados, etc. can help your cognitive functionality. You should also drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated. There’s a reason behind the saying “healthy body, healthy mind”. Eat right and you’ll be in a better state of mind to study effectively and perform well in your exams.

When you’re in your exam its vital that you make the most of the time that you’re given. Firstly, you should attempt to answer the questions you feel comfortable answering. If you see a question that looks too hard, skip it for now and come back to it later. Spending time on a question you’re struggling with can lead to you running out of time and missing out on questions you could answer. Once you’ve reached the end of the exam paper, you can always return to the unanswered questions.

If you happen to answer all of the questions with time to spare, don’t just sit there gazing into space. Use the time to double check and triple check your answers. In doing so, you may notice an error you didn’t notice the first or second time around.

Lastly, make sure you show how you arrived at your answers. Many examiners will look for evidence that you didn’t just memorize the answers but can actually demonstrate the method to obtain them.

Showing your working out can earn you additional marks in exams and could be the difference between a B grade and an A grade. If the thought process is correct but you arrived at the wrong answer, you could still receive marks for your working out.

Take the time to utilize these 8 steps and you’ll stand a much better chance at improving your performance in class and in your math exams. Visit StudyPug today and sign-up for a free trial to experience their video content and to see how they can help you build even more effective revision strategies.

]]>With such large quantities at play, I’m sure math played a pivotal role in the making of that pizza, which leads me nicely into our topic. Picture the scenario, You’re at a birthday party and pizza is being served, you approach the pizza and scan the box to find the “best” slice. You know the one, the slice that’s the largest and has just the right amount of toppings on it.

Unfortunately, everyone in the room has the same idea as you. you need to act fast if you want to secure that golden slice, but what if there’s another way. What if i told you that the things you’ve learnt in 6th grade math, like geometry and tessellation, have been used by mathematicians to explore the possibilities of cutting a pizza into equal sections, ensuring that each slice is identical in size.

Below are two disks (let’s call them pizzas) and each one has been divided into equal shapes. The pizza on the left shows perhaps the best way to slice a pizza into 6 equals sections. The image to the right, introduces more slices while still maintaining the equal proportions.

Not content with that, the mathematicians wanted to see if they could go further. The mathematicians in question, were Joel Anthony Haddley and Stephen Worsley from the University of Liverpool. Together they worked on a paper entitled “Infinite Families of Monohedral Disk Tiling”. Using their understanding of obtuse/interior angles alongside their knowledge of algebraic formulas and linear equations, they were able to successfully replicate shapes (tiling) of equal proportions into a disk (pizza).

As you can see from the image above, the pizza to the left is dissected into more slices of equal amounts all of which include the crust. The second pizza however, offers a larger collection of slices and these are separated into crust and crustless. Each slice remains identical in size, offering two different slices of pizza. The middle would be rich with toppings whereas the outer slices would have the crust, making it ideal for dipping.

It’s from here that things can a little crazier. Joel Anthony Haddley comments that “Mathematically, there is no limit whatsoever”. Meaning that the pizza could be divided even further into smaller slices of identical proportions.

As demonstrated in the 3 disks above, you could make some rather pretty looking pizza cuts. The only issue here, is that you may be in danger of diminishing returns in relation to the amount of pizza you’re actually getting. If you were to continue breaking down the pizza into smaller and smaller slices, you would eventually end up with slices that were 100% crust! Again, If you’re into dipping, crust can go a long way, but for me, i’m all about that base…and toppings.

Now, you can argue as much as you like when it comes to toppings. In fact, one of the largest debates in food is based around whether pineapple should be a pizza topping. In my mind, there’s no such thing as a bad pizza and now thanks to Joel Anthony Haddley and Stephen Worsley, we may no longer be bad slices either.

If you’re interested in exploring their paper, I have provided the link here. If you’d like some help understanding the topics they discuss, consider using StudyPug.

With 1000s of online video tutorials that cover a vast amount of mathematical topics including basic algebra, trigonometry, and geometry, students the world over are learning how to use math to solve problems (much like the chefs in 1987 and our friends from the University of Liverpool).

StudyPug’s content covers all the relevant information you’d expect to find in modern math textbooks and is delivered in a conversational way that’s much easier to understand. Subscribe now and you’ll have unlimited access to every lesson on their website. Furthermore, each lesson can be paused, rewound, and fast-forwarded, ensuring that you’ll never get left behind.

Learn at your own pace and visit StudyPug today to start your StudyPug free trial.

Credits:

Infinite families of monohedral disk tilings by Joel Anthony Haddley & Stephen Worsley

]]>Well, researchers at the University of Manchester (in association with The Fine Bedding Company), have come up with a mathematical equation to help us determine how well we’ve slept and what factors we need to change for improved rest. Let’s take a look and see how it works.

**Sleep Quality = [(T x Bt) + C] / [Ha + S + L + (H x D)]**

Okay, this equation may look daunting at first, but with some basic math knowledge and an understanding of the order of operations, we can break it down into smaller chunks. If you need a hand remembering the order of operations, think of PEMDAS. This is an acronym that mathematicians use when tackling algebra. It stands for the following:

**P**arentheses

**E**xponents

**M**ultiplication

**D**ivision

**A**ddition

**S**ubtraction.

You may also use the mnemonic phrase “**P**lease **E**xcuse **M**y **D**ear **A**unt **S**ally”.

Now that we know to tackle the problems in parentheses first, the formula doesn’t look so daunting, but what do the letters within the equation mean?

**T = Tiredness**

This is the amount of hours since your last sleep, minus any naps you’ve taken, plus any hours you worked/exercised in the day.

**Bt = Bedtime **

This is your bedtime divided by your overall average bedtime

**C = Comfort **

The comfort focuses on the pillow, bedding, and mattress. Each one is rated from 1-5, with 5 being very comfortable. Add these totals together and then subtract nine.

**Ha = Hours Awake During the Day**

This is the total amount of time you were awake for before you fell asleep.

**S – Sound (0-5)**

This is the total noise within the room during your sleep, with 0 being soft soothing noises and 5 being loud disturbances (trains, airplanes, cars).

**L = Light (0-2)**

This is the light within the room. Think LED lights on electronics and lights shining through windows. On this scale, 0.1 would be little light and 2 would be very bright lights.

**H = Heat (celsius)**

Temperature of the room, which is calculated by the number of degrees difference from 16 degrees Celsius. Take that number and divide it by ten.

**D = Duvet (0-3) **

Measured in relation to its effectiveness with the room temperature. In this scale, 0 means it compensates perfectly for the overall room temp. The other end of the scale (3) means that it does not compensate well and can leave you either too cold or too hot.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, lets take a look at my last night’s sleep and assess how well I slept. Firstly, let’s tackle the sections in the parentheses on the left hand side.

**[(T x Bt) + C] **

I was awake for 15 hours before I slept, I took 0 naps, and I worked for 7 hours.

T = 15 – 0 +7

T = 22

Bedtime was at 11pm and I usually go to bed at 10pm, so let’s divide 11 by 10.

Bt = 11 / 10

Bt = 1.1

For the last part of the left hand side, we need to work out the comfort score. My pillow, bedding, and mattress are all pretty good. I will rate them all as being 4 on the 0-5 scale. Remember, you need to minus 9 from the total.

C = 4 + 4 + 4 – 9

C = 3

Ok, so now we know that the left hand side of the equation is as follows:

(T x Bt) + C

(22 x 1.1) + 3

24.2 + 3

**27.2**

Now, we move to the right hand side, starting with the problem in the parentheses.

**Ha + S + L + (H x D)**

The room temp was around 16 degrees, so we just divide that by 10

H = 16 / 10

H = 1.6

My duvet is pretty comfortable and never leaves me too hot or cold. I will rate this as 0 (which is the highest score in this instance)

D = 0

Lets move out of the parentheses and onto the additions. I was awake from 7am to 11pm, meaning that I was awake for 16 hours.

Ha = 16

The room was pretty quiet, so I would give it a sound rating of 1.

S = 1

There was very little light in the room with the exception of red standby lights on my electronics. Lets give this a score of 0.5

L = 0.5

We can now complete this side of the formula.

Ha + S + L + (H x D)

16 + 1 + 0.5 + (1.6 x 0 )

16 + 1 + 0.5 + 0

17.5

Which means we can now solve the entire equation!

Sleep Quality = [(T x Bt) + C] / [Ha + S + L + (H x D)]

Sleep Quality = [(22 x 1.1) + 3] / [16 + 1 + 0.5 +(1.6 x 0)]

Sleep Quality = [24.2 + 3] / [16 + 1 + 0.5 +0]

Sleep Quality = 27.2 / 17.5

Sleep Quality = **1.5542857142… **(1.55 when rounded to the nearest hundredth)

So what does this all mean? Well, the quality of sleep is rated from 0 – 2, with 0 being restless tossing and turning, and 2 being a great night’s rest. As you can see above, I scored 1.55, which means my sleep was slightly above average in terms of overall quality.

I can now use this formula to work out what needs to change in order to improve my night’s rest. It’s worth noting however, that you shouldn’t take this formula as fact. Here’s what Dr. Penny Lewis, researcher at the University of Manchester, had to say about their formula:

*‘It is always fun to try and boil down a very complicated process into something really simple, and that is what we have attempted with this equation. *

*‘We wanted to keep things easy, but sleep is complex and there are lots of factors that we haven’t included, for instance the psychology of how you feel about the room you sleep in. *

*‘Also, the extent to which the things we have put in influence sleep varies hugely from person to person, so this equation really should be viewed as a guide that may make people think about some simple ways they might be able to improve their sleep.’*

Try it out for yourself and see how good your last night’s sleep was. If you need help tackling equations or the order of operations, remember PEMDAS, and for help with anything else relating to math, visit studypug.com.

]]>Now these games of yesterday are still fun games, but they’re relatively simple by today’s standards. Nowadays, there are so many games to play and games like Call of Duty, FIFA, and Forza Motorsport offer much more immersive and in-depth experiences to a much wider and broader demographic.

While the games industry has evolved dramatically, there’s still one key thing that the games of the past share with their modern-day counterparts, math. Whether it’s the time between spawning enemies in classic arcade shooters, or calculating the bullet drop in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, math can be found in practically every video game ever made.

With that in mind, let’s breakdown how video game designers use math in games to make them much more fun for you to play.

Math in video game design helps programmers to construct beautifully realized worlds. Using basic geometry, designers can build isometric backdrops that give the illusion of a 3D space. They can also use geometry to build more complex 3D worlds and characters. Almost everything in the games world is made up of things called polygons. These polygons form basic shapes that when combined together, form practically every item you see in game. Trees, cars, birds, people, weapons, soccer balls, they’re all made up of polygons, or “polys” as they’re often called.

The more polys within a model, the more detailed the model will be and as video games become more powerful, designers can produce higher poly models, making them look better and more realistic. Before high powered games consoles, designers would need to make lower poly models in order to make the game run smoothly and efficiently, which is why games of the past don’t look as detailed as modern day games.

Outside of geometry, game designers also use math to calculate the space between objects and the distance a player can travel. Math helps designers to correctly place ledges and platforms in the right places for players to reach. It also allows them to determine how high to make walls or how far to make gaps, in order to block off certain areas of the world. Without these calculations, players could go anywhere in the world and potentially ruin the experience or even break the game in interested and unusual ways (see games done quick).

Instead of building a specific world for players to roam, game designers can also build procedurally generated worlds that offer different playthroughs each time the player enters the games world. Using this method, designers create data (in-game assets) using a mathematical algorithm to place items in the right places and to build out a brand-new world from scratch. Games like spelunky have utilized this procedurally generated method to great effect, adding a certain level of unpredictability and excitement to the gameplay.

Without math, the characters wouldn’t be able to function. Objects wouldn’t move and the worlds would be lifeless. Mathematical vectors are used within games to assign direction to objects and the length of the magnitude will dictate the speed at which they will travel. Using X and Y, basic formulas are constructed and each one of these helps to breathe life into the world.

Mathematical formulas help programmers determine player acceleration/deceleration. For example, lightly squeezing the trigger in a game like Forza, will result in the car accelerating slightly. Pulling the trigger down completely, will result in the car going faster. Similarly, pressing the other trigger (the breaks) will result in the car decreasing in speed. Calculating the impact of these button presses, allowing you to race through cities at breakneck speeds, making those perfect turns, and breaking at the right time, is all made possible through math.

Beyond just controlling the movement speed of the player, formulas can also be used to inform player actions like jumping. In a game like Super Mario (yes, there’s even math in Mario!), the height of a jump will be controlled by a pressure sensitive button presses. A light tap, results in a short jump, and pressing the button down for longer, results in a much larger leap. This is all made possible through formulas behind the scenes.

Games like Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Tekken, and other fighting games, rely on math to determine who will emerge victorious. At the beginning of each battle, players have a full health meter (100%) and over the course of the battle, the players health can decrease depending on the attacks used by their opposition. Each attack is assigned a value (hit points) and if landed successfully, these attacks will deduct points from the opponent’s life bar. This continues until one player reaches zero (no health) and is defeated.

Math directly informs how players interact with the game. They will subconsciously build basic algebraic formulas in their heads to help them win. If the opponent’s health is at Y and this move deals X amount of damage, the outcome will be success! This is true for many other games too as they all require problem solving in real-time. In a way, being better at math means you could be better at games.

Fighting games will need to be balanced so that no character is too powerful and that each moveset has a fair balance of strong and weak attacks. Once again, this process is made possible by math!

Fighting games also have “special meters” that are built up through dealing damage and taking damage too. How they are built up and when they’re available for use, is determined by in-game formulas that calculate damage dealt and received and how that translates to special meter power.

This method is also used within action RPG games. These games often offer stat boosts or special moves in certain scenarios like low life or after a successful combo. Formulas behind the scenes, trigger certain abilities that are available to the player. For example, when the player’s life is below X (25%), trigger Y (special move).

If you’ve made it this far, you now have a basic idea of how math is used in video game design and you should be able to answer the following question:

*Does video game design require math?*

Yes! It’s clear to see that there’s different types of math at the heart of practically every video game available today. We’ve demonstrated algebra in video games, calculus in video games, vectors in video games, and that’s only scratching the surface.

Math is integral to the building of games and to the playing of them too. Knowing how and when to land a move in Street Fighter, drive a car in Forza, and jump in Mario, it’s all math.

If you play games, you’re using math, and if you dream of making your own cool games, you’ll need to know various elements of math. With this in mind, take advantage of your math classes in school and build your understanding of the subject matter, it could lead to a career in video games!

To assist you, use tools like StudyPug. It can help you revise for exams and is a great online support for your studies. Whether you need help with trigonometry, calculus, basic algebra, or any other math related topic, StudyPug has a range of helpful step-by-step videos that are incredibly easy to follow.

Try it today for free and prepare yourself for that future career in games development.

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