Bodmas and its Practical Life Applications – Math Used When Traveling

It’s quite amazing how often we use math and BODMAS while traveling. In the industry, math is used to help design aerospace vehicles, calculate how many passengers a plane can accommodate, organize flight schedules, and more. For commuters, math is used to calculate foreign exchange rates, convert metrics to standard or kilometers to miles, or simply determine how much time one needs to get to the airport. Math is a real-life tool that we use every day.

Most of us have learned about BODMAS and the significance of the order of operations in our school life. You might have wondered about its real-life applications. We will discuss how this simple rule plays an important role in various practical aspects of our life and what is the significance of the order of operations.

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BODMAS is an abbreviation that is used while calculating mathematical operations. It stands for:

  • B – Brackets
  • O – Order of powers or indices or roots
  • D – Division
  • M – Multiplication
  • A – Addition
  • S – Subtraction

It simply means that a mathematical operation with various operators needs to be solved from left to right in the order of abbreviation, which means that the brackets will be solved first and carried on by order of powers or roots and subtraction last.

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Significance of the Order of Operations

The order of operations means the order in which mathematical operations must be solved. BODMAS is an acronym that helps students remember the order of operations that needs to be followed while solving a particular sum in mathematics. It is of great significance since it assures that people around the world can all read, understand, and solve a problem in the same way. If you do not follow the order, you might get a wrong answer.

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Real-Life Applications of BODMAS

Let us now understand how this simple yet important rule of Mathematics is applicable in real life.

1. Calculation Purposes

BODMAS is a rule of Mathematics that is followed by everyone. Thus, apart from using this rule to solve sums, it is used in everyday life by retailers, merchants, common people, and so on. Let us take an example to understand how:

Let us assume that you ordered 5 pizzas online that cost Rupees 450 each and now you want to split the total cost among 6 people equally. To determine how much each person needs to pay, you need both, the use of addition as well as division.

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You can use a calculator to get the needed amount. So, you push it as follows: 450 + 450 + 450 + 450 + 450 ÷ 6, and then you push the = button and your result is Rupees 1875. The cost per pizza is Rupees 450 and how come each person needs to pay Rupees 1875?

Well, very soon you understand that your calculator has followed the process as 450 + 450 + 450 + 450 + (450 6) which is equivalent to 1875 because it follows the order of operations. What you need to do is calculate the total by adding and getting a whole value and then dividing that value by 6 which will result in Rupees 375.

So now you can see how important BODMAS and the order of operations are in everyday life.

2. Use in Spreadsheets

Various online platforms like Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, Quip, WPS spreadsheets, Zoho Sheets, and so on follow the BODMAS rule of arithmetic to determine the order in which calculations in any given formula are to be performed.

3. Use in Programming Languages

The rules of order of precedence for mathematical operations followed by most computer programming languages are similar to that of BODMAS. However, computer programming languages have a lot more operators than addition, subtraction, multiplication, or exponentiation. The standard order of operations like BODMAS is followed by a few computer programming languages like Java, PHP, JavaScript, and so on with the help of additional operators.

BODMAS and the order of operations as we have seen above come in handy in various practical aspects of life.

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One thought on “Bodmas and its Practical Life Applications – Math Used When Traveling
  1. Thanks for this article. My last math class was almost half a century ago, so I’ve never heard of BODMAS. However, I received a 758 and an 800 on the math portions of the SAT and GRE tests, respectively, so this shows I’m not a total “slouch” when it comes to math. I learned various “properties” in 7th grade, such as the “distributive property of multiplication over addition”. Upon seeing the example presented here, I would obtain the sum of the 5 pizzas, and then be certain the division is performed as a completely separate operation by re-entering the sum before dividing by 6. I believe I understood these concepts more or less intuitively without having the mnemonic. During my grade school years, there was some discussion about something called “new math” and apparently some students had difficulty with it, I never understood what was “new” about it–I simply did it without any problems. However, I would like to look it up to see if can learn what the issue was!

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