If you or your students are interested in understanding ways that math can be applied to problems outside of academic / school settings, this recent article from “I Quant NY” is an absolute must read. Hat tip to Patrick Honner for pointing it out to me:

So much of what is important in mathematical problem solving is on full display in the piece – noticing, wondering, basic number sense, and tons and tons of persistence.

oh, and no equations more complicated than calculating a 20% tip.

I’d guess that students ranging in age from middle school to graduate school can get something – and probably quite a lot – out of this article. The analysis, methods, and conclusions shared in the article provide such valuable lessons that I honestly can’t think of a better starting point to understand what quantitative analysis can bring to the table in the mythical “real world.”

If you want one little sound bite / takeaway, let it be this passage:

“ When Doing Data Science, Look at Your Raw Data. If there is one thing I have learned doing data science, it is to always look closely at your raw data in addition to your aggregate statistics. It would not have been possible to figure this out without looking at a subset of individual rides.”