PUMAS (poo' • mas) -- is a collection of brief examples showing how math and science topics taught in K-12 classes can be used in interesting settings, including every day life.
The examples are written primarily by scientists, engineers, and other content experts having practical experience with the material. They are aimed mainly at classroom teachers, and are available to all interested parties via the PUMAS web site.
Our goal is to capture, for the benefit of pre-college education, the flavor of the vast experience that working scientists have with interesting and practical uses of math and science.
- Ralph Kahn
Pumas Editor and Founder
Logarithms: Taking the Curve Out by Lin Chambers
Logarithms are very handy when dealing with numbers at lots of different scales (see related PUMAS example: Just What is a Logarithm, Anyway?). But they also have another useful feature: they help us average measurements of physical phenomena that have nonlinear behavior. A common example in my field of study relates cloud “albedo” to cloud optical depth (Fig. 1); but similar examples may be found when examining many natural phenomena.
(view this example)
We are always looking for neat examples of Practical Uses of Math And Science.