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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

Featured PUMAS Example

Square Root of 2: Irrational, Yes! Impractical, No! by Ramakrishnan Menon
For the mathematically inclined person, irrational numbers such as √2 are fascinating, both from a historical perspective, and as a classic example of using the reductio ad absurdum proof, to prove the irrationality of √2. However, the majority of students, when introduced to the irrational number √2, might be excused for not being fascinated by it, and might believe that √2 has not much practical use. For instance, how many would believe that something we use everyday, like standard sizes of paper (the “A” series), have a very close relationship to √2?
(view this example)

View the Examples

There are currently 90 examples in the PUMAS Collection.
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We are always looking for neat examples of Practical Uses of Math And Science.
Please contribute!