Ever take an Algebra or Trig class and ask yourself, “When in the world will I ever use this stuff?!”  Well, I’m happy to report I finally found out. –I just completed one of the most practical courses I’ve ever taken:  Mathematics for Sustainability, with Dr. Anne Dow and Dr. Maxwell Rainforth.

I’ve come to realize that within the field of Sustainability it is crucial to be familiar and comfortable with certain mathematical tools, because the need for their implementation will arise again and again.

Examples include:   The use of trigonometry  for the purposes of surveying and solar power, and the use of linear, quadratic, power, rational, and exponential functions in the modeling of natural phenomena–as is done in various permaculture techniques.  There are also certain formulas which will be used quite often and so should be committed to memory.  Examples include:  the formula for determining heat loss,  and also formulas for determining the surface area and volume of particular shapes and spaces.

My studies in sustainability focused math have helped me to develop  a more systematic, orderly, efficient, and even abstract way of thinking which I know will serve me well in my future endeavors within the field of Sustainable Living.


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