Did you know April is Mathematics Awareness Month?

I bet that sentence alone has evoked some type of visceral reaction that brings you back to your calculus class in high school. As I am writing this, there are students sitting in their various math classes impatiently tapping their fingers on the desk, daydreaming and more than likely complaining out loud “I’m not going to use this stuff ever again!!!” Having a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics, I can attest that chances are you’ll never (ever!) have to graph a linear equation, or solve a radical equation in the workplace but the skills and logic you learn while trying to solve these problems will most certainly last you a lifetime.

The power of math lies in its ability to show us that we can reach a desirable outcome if we follow a certain analytical process and complete each step in its particular order without making a mistake. If we make an error at any step of the process, we can easily start over, changing our strategy and method at the exact instance where we messed up. Unfortunately, life doesn’t allow us to redo anything most of the time, but when it comes to the stuff we do over and over on a consistent basis, we are allowed to change things in between attempts.

Think about this very morning as you were getting ready for work. For most of us there is a process in place consisting of waking up, showering, getting ready, having breakfast, and then finally getting to work. These steps put together consist of our morning routine. If just one step is missed or delayed, the entire day can be thrown out of whack. Snoozing through the alarm can result in less time to get ready, a missed breakfast, and perhaps even worse, a missed meeting! 

Math is also significant because even without realizing, we use it in many of our daily activities are. For example, following a recipe involves fractions and ratios of how much of each ingredient to put in a dish, calculating monthly bills involves budgeting, even making a schedule to fit in your TV shows, lunch dates and dentist appointments requires math.

So this month, as you go about your daily routine, I urge you to think about those critical problem solving skills that enable you to analyze life’s situations logically, and determine the proper solution based on the circumstances before you. Advancing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Education for underserved youth has been a long term focus of SAP’s Corporate Social Responsibility Program. We are committed to empowering children and young adults in their pursuit of these fields. It doesn’t take a PhD in mathematics to inspire, just a passion for helping someone grow.  This April, we encourage you to make a commitment and donate your time and skills to any one of the organizations we support. To view upcoming volunteer opportunities please click here.

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