You have probably come across math trivia related to birthdays once a week if you are on social media – and wondered why it’s so popular. The reason is obvious – most children show keen interest in any trivia related to their birthdays. As adults, we may often fail to recognise how explaining any trivia related to your child’s birthday helps them integrate math into their real life situations – and not view it as just a ‘subject’.
Given the importance your child attaches to their birthdays, you might want to dole out some birthday math trivia. The results might surprise you – in a good way!
The birthday math trivia*
The question is: Is your child’s birthday unique? We can attempt to answer this only in comparison to the universe your child identifies with.
For example, your son (Samit) was born on the 14th of January. Samit’s class has 40 students. What are the chances of any of Samit’s classmates sharing his birthday?
At this point, you can delve into the concepts of probability and the pigeonhole principle. If the criteria (uniqueness) is less than the universe your child identifies with, then probability comes into the picture. On the other hand, if the criteria is greater than the universe your child identifies with, the pigeonhole principle comes into the picture.
Given that there are 365 days in a year and 40 students in Samit’s class, there is a 10% chance ((1/365) x 40) that another student shares his birthday. This is probability – where the universe 40 is smaller than the criteria (365 days).
However, if Samit’s school has 3000 students, what are the chances of him sharing his birthday with his schoolmates? Since the universe has changed from previous 40 (limited to his class) to 3000 (his school), chances are at least 8 other students ((1/365) x 3000) share their birthdays with Samit.
His uniqueness is, therefore, reduced as it is the function of universe you identify him with. This is the pigeonhole principle – where the universe (3000) is greater than the criteria (365 days).
The Cuemath Method
At Cuemath, we ensure that your child learns math as a life skill through presenting different scenarios similar to the aforementioned example. One of the ways we do so is by helping children develop creative reasoning through intriguing puzzle cards. We have carefully designed our puzzle cards with proprietary content (designed by IIT and Cambridge alumni) to pique your child’s curiosity and help them build reasoning skills.
At Cuemath, children understand the WHY behind the What of math concepts that helps in applying math in everyday life.When children learn math by reasoning, they learn better and faster.