What is Mathematics?

Mathematics is the study of numbers, shapes, patterns, and relationships. It encompasses a vast area of study and is a critical component of many different fields, including science, engineering, business, and many more. Math is also an important tool that has been used to solve problems and help people understand the world around them for centuries. Ancient civilizations relied on it to build pyramids, create calendars, and navigate the world in which they lived. The technological devices used today rely on mathematical concepts to function. Because math can be used to solve so many practical problems and explore abstract concepts, it is a very important and foundational area of education.

Since mathematics requires analytical thinking and can involve various abstract and practical problems, it is crucial in the development of problem-solving skills. There are several branches in mathematics that one can choose to study, each requiring different types of analysis and problem-solving. These branches include basic math, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, statistics, and more.

There are some concepts and operations that overlap across branches, but each branch has its own set of concepts and theories. For example, the basic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division extend across all branches of math. There are some algebraic concepts that may be used in geometry while some geometric operations may be needed to solve problems in trigonometry. Identifying and applying these overlapping ideas to a variety of problems while diving deeper into certain concepts specific to each branch makes mathematics a challenging but rewarding subject to study.

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Math Topics

Math Resources

Numerous resources are available to help students at all levels. Study.com offers a variety of math tutorials and videos, affordable online tutoring, and help with math homework to assist students in learning math. Browse Study.com's resources below, including math lesson plans for teachers.

Math Courses

Study.com has an extensive library of math courses covering all major topics in mathematics. These engaging courses are designed to assist learners of all ages and allow them to strengthen their math skills in various areas at their own pace. The Study.com math courses can also act as supplemental lessons for educators and help teachers stay up-to-date on the best instructional practices in math education.

Math 101: College Algebra

Students who complete this course can gain college credit to be transferred to thousands of colleges and universities. This course, led by talented and experienced instructors, teaches learners the core algebraic concepts needed for college math courses.

Math 102: College Mathematics

Learners taking this course will receive expert instruction on a variety of college mathematics topics. The course offers students three transferable credits and consists of engaging educational videos, self-paced lessons, and helpful practice tests.

Math 103: Precalculus

This credit-offering course sets students up for success by helping them master the geometric, algebraic, and numerical concepts needed to solve problems in calculus. The course is self-paced and includes over 120 lessons taught by an expert instructor.

Math 104: Calculus

Study.com's Math 104: Calculus course offers students up to 6 transferable credit hours and will help them master the core concepts of calculus. This engaging course will give an understanding of derivatives, functions, integrals, and limits at one's own pace.

Math 98: Math for Everyday Life

This course helps learners master everyday math skills and topics. Learners will study and practice topics such as voting, statistics, problem-solving, probability, and personal finance with educational videos, self-paced lessons, and quizzes.

For teachers and parents

Math Lesson Plans for Teachers

Study.com also provides math lesson plans for teachers to assist in their curriculum planning. These lesson plans cover numerous math topics and are developed by experienced math instructors. Each course consists of lesson plans, video lessons, lesson transcripts to be used as study guides or class notes, and quizzes and tests to assess student growth and understanding of math topics. Study.com has lesson plans and resources for elementary math, high school algebra and geometry, and business calculus.

Lesson plans
  • Algebra Lesson Plans & Activities

    These algebra lesson plans and activities simplify instructional planning for algebra teachers. The course of resources and lesson plans were created to ensure that the curriculum is engaging and meets educational standards.

  • Business Calculus Syllabus & Lesson Plans

    This resource will assist instructors in planning course content to teach a business calculus course. The comprehensive materials include engaging videos, quizzes, and notes to help teachers guide their instruction.

  • Elementary Math: Lesson Plans & Resources

    This set of lesson plans and resources gives elementary math teachers a head start on curriculum planning. This resource gives teachers access to engaging math activities, lesson outlines, quizzes, and worksheets.

  • Secondary Math Lesson Plans

    Use Study.com's Secondary Math Lesson Plans to structure a classroom curriculum for secondary math topics. This guide gives instructors all the helpful tools they need for a secondary math class.

  • Geometry Resources & Lesson Plans

    This resource gives instructors effective lesson plans to enhance their students' understanding of geometry concepts. This guide allows teachers to access class activities, video lessons with transcripts, and quizzes.

Math Skills & Practice

Study.com's Math Skills and Practice section can be used to practice important math skills from a variety of courses and grade levels. This section compiles mathematics standards from multiple states and expected skills for college math and other levels.

After, all, the field of mathematics covers a wide range of topics. Using and understanding math concepts to solve problems has become a crucial part of everyday life. Mathematics can be used in everything from home improvement projects to computer programming to business and personal finance. Therefore, it is important for one to continually practice and refine their math skills. Students and lifelong learners alike can use the skills practices below as a refresher for something they have learned in the past or help prepare for an upcoming test or project.

Teachers can use this resource for a number of reasons. The grade-level standards included in the resource can help teachers plan their instruction and curriculum while ensuring that their students are meeting state and grade-level standards. Study.com has the state math standards for Florida, Texas, New York, and California Common Core, making it an extremely valuable resource for educators — whether they are new to the profession or looking for ways to modify their instruction. The skills practice questions below allow students to practice their math skills independently, which gives teachers a more engaging alternative to worksheets and textbook assignments. The skills and practice questions can also be a nice refresher for a teacher who has not recently taught a specific math concept or type of problem before leading a lecture on the topic.

Students, teachers, and professionals can all benefit from Study.com's Math Skills and Practice resource. Students can use the resource to prepare for upcoming tests such as the ACT or to reinforce concepts learned in class. Teachers can use the resource to prepare for lessons, plan engaging curriculum and instruction, and ensure that their students are meeting state standards. Professionals can use the Math Skills and Practice section to practice skills they haven't done in a while or learn a new skill in preparation for a new job or project. No matter the purpose, Study.com has it covered.

Browse Study.com's full selection of math skills below:

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Math Homeschool Curriculum

Study.com also has a great library of homeschool resources for middle and high school students. These resources provide parents with a complete homeschool mathematics curriculum for their learners, full of engaging lessons, fun practices and assignments, and parent guidance resources. The high school courses include Algebra I, Geometry, and even AP Calculus, among others. Parents of middle school students can find a complete homeschool curriculum for their students, such as 6th Grade Math: Homeschool Curriculum.

Homeschool solutions
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Study.com is an excellent program that can help my children learn anything. The incredible library of videos is more than I could have ever hoped for.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the seven branches of mathematics?

    Mathematics has expanded to over seven diverse areas of study. The main branches of mathematics include: Number Theory, Algebra, Geometry, Arithmetic, Combinatorics, Topology, and Mathematical Analysis.

  • What is mathematics in simple words?

    Mathematics is a science of order that includes general math, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, and statistics. It is the discipline of using numbers and symbols to deal with magnitudes, forms, and the relationships and attributes of numbers and symbols.

Math in Real Life

School supplies used in math

It's a cliché phrase that students often wonder whether what they're learning in the classroom is something that will actually help them once they graduate. Whether you're at work and need to make a decision or trying to decide if you can really afford that vacation, learning math can really come in handy more than you might think. Check out our roundup of articles about all the ways having a little math knowledge can take you a long way:

Coolest Job You Can Do With Your Math Major

There are probably a few specific jobs that come to mind when you think about majoring in math. But dedicating your time in college to the study of mathematics can take you a lot of places, not just a classroom or an office. Check out some of the coolest career paths you could open up with a math major:

  • Medical Researcher: Have you always wanted a career where you can really make a difference? Medical researchers help conduct experiments and trials for disease cures and other human health issues. A swiftly growing field, medical researchers might work for pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, non-profits, and any other type of organization dedicated to learning more about diseases and public health.
  • Cryptographer: Are you someone who loves solving puzzles, breaking out of escape rooms, or keeping up your word puzzle solving streak? Cryptography might be for you. Using your affinity for problem solving and the math skills you'll learn in school, you'll be able to spend your days cracking codes or creating them. Everyone is worried about keeping their information and data safe, and you could be on the front lines, making sure that happens. The field of information security is growing much faster than other areas, making it a great time to become a code cracker.
  • Astronomer: Another field that's growing faster than average, astronomy is not just looking at the stars. (Although if the night sky is something that you've always enjoyed, this could be a great choice for you.) Astronomers use math to track the movement of objects in space like planets, suns, and moons. You're probably not going to avert a global catastrophe by diverting a rogue asteroid, but you will definitely be a part of exploring the unknown.
  • Rocket Scientist: Okay, the official title for this job is more like Aerospace Engineer, but if you dream about visiting the stars instead of just looking at them, this might be the career for you. While not many people get the chance to become astronauts, there are lots of jobs available to help design and build all the machinery necessary for both manned and unmanned missions that are out of this world.
  • Information Research Scientist: Maybe your curiosity is more about the world around you. Information Research Scientists use data and technology to solve problems in all sorts of industries. A career in this area will give you the opportunity to to use your creativity and be on the forefront of innovation. It also gives you the option to marry it with other interests, as just about every industry can benefit from someone with the skills to leverage technology to improve outcomes.
  • Mathematical Modeler: Another job that's growing faster than most, mathematical modeling involves using statistics and probabilities to predict the future - or at least a potential version of it. You also might use those skills to create advanced computer simulations to be use for anything from gaming and entertainment to business and science.