Everyday Variables

Have you ever asked the question “when am I ever going to use math in my life”? Seriously, when do you use mathematics outside the classroom?

We actually use mathematics everyday since it stems from logic and structure but we don’t notice it because it is so common. In mathematics, a “variable” is a name we give to a value, set of values, functions, and other objects.  In computer science, specifically, the name of the variable is called an “identifier”.  In other words, in our lives, we interact with each other, things, ideas, and so on and to make things easier, each person, creature, thing,.. has a name; a variable name or identifier.

We identify each other by name.  For the moment, think of three friends.  What are each of their names? What are some fun memories you can think of with your friends?  Perhaps, you watched movies together, played games, and just simply hangout.  Good memories, good times!  Now imagine cannot call them by name or anything close to suggesting their name.  Chances are, you probably would describe a few things about your friend to let them know you are talking to them.  “Hey, _____, do you want to play a game on XBox?”  “Tall girl with brown hair, brown eyes, do you want to go see a movie?”

This would be incredibly frustrating to communicate with more and more people you know.  In order to make things easier, we make use of names, variables, and identifiers to concisely convey information to ourselves and each other.

And now for something cute!  This is my dog, Ellie.

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She’s been my loyal dog for about two and half years now.  But, in order to house train her and make sure she behaves herself, I have to refer to her by her name.  How else would I let her know specifically that I don’t approve of her chewing up my shoes? :-p

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