Remember sit­ting through high school math class while the teacher droned on about poly­no­mial equa­tions and thinking there wasn’t a chance you’d ever use any of it in life? Well, if you’re like most Amer­i­cans, chances are your 17-​​year-​​old self was absolutely correct.

As it turns out, less than a quarter of U.S. workers report using math any more com­pli­cated than basic frac­tions and per­cent­ages during the course of their jobs. The graphs below are based on survey data com­piled by North­eastern Uni­ver­sity soci­ol­o­gist Michael Handel. Handel sur­veyed about 2,300 workers first from 2004 through 2006, then again between 2007 and 2009. The catchall cat­e­gory of “any more advanced” math includes algebra through cal­culus. And as you can see, most workers aren’t doing a whole lot of high-​​level computations.

Read the article at The Atlantic →