World Maths Day

As anyone with children will know if they don’t like a subject there is always the question “When will I ever use this when I’m a grown up?”. Obviously for simple addition and multiplication there’s an easy explanation, but what about the other things? Given it’s World Maths Day, here at Merlin we’ve been having a think about the maths that we still use today.

As a geologist I’m always impressed I still use trigonometry, remember SOH CAH TOA?  Understanding true vertical depth down a well is key to being able to understand how different wells correlate. Sticking along the triangles theme our graduate geologist also uses Pythagoras’ Theorem for calculating structural dips in cross sections. Yes, we can always put it into a software package but sometimes it’s good to actually check what something equates to.

Pythagoras' theorem
Pythagoras’ theorem

Our subsurface staff use probability and statistics all the time to evaluate fluid volumes, be they hydrocarbons or CO2. All the work we do is interpretive and as such each input to volume calculation has a distribution, all of which have to be defined. How likely (or unlikely) will something occur?

Finally, our geophysicists are always converting between the time and depth domains, so algebra (specifically Speed = Distance / Time) gets used a lot. This often includes rearranging these equations, which aren’t always that simple, to extract the required term.

I know there are many more examples but these are just a few that came to mind when thinking about the maths we use every day, proving just how important it is to get a good grounding in mathematics at school. We would love to hear your opinion on how you still make use of your maths education, so have your say on our LinkedIn post.