Applied Mathematics is the use of mathematics to solve problems from the physical world. It is unique among leaving cert subjects as it is based entirely around problem solving. The skills you learn - to analyse a problem, to put maths onto it, to solve the maths, and then to see what this means in real life - will make you useful, intelligent, employable and glad for a lifetime that you chose this subject.
This is a subject for those who like solving problems through the medium of mathematics, who have a taste for physics (though you don't have to study Physics to enjoy and understand Applied Maths) and who like to work things out for themselves. It helps you towards all careers - every job requires problem solving and analytical skills. Applied Maths is like Engineering for beginners. Also architects must know some applied maths. But many Applied Mathematicians get jobs in the business world, because they have analytical and problem-solving skills which can be applied to the money markets, the stock-exchange, economics, etc.
Oatlands College students have the option to take Applied Mathematics as a Leaving Certificate subject studied over 2 years.
The Applied Maths syllabus covers 10 topics:
1. Uniform Linear Acceleration: this topic is about particles (cars, trains, cyclists, runners etc) which move in a straight line and accelerate uniformly.
2. Relative velocity: this topic involves looking at the world from a different perspective asking questions such as how will a rivers’ current affect a swimmer, when will two ships be nearest one another in the ocean or how will the wind affect an airplane?
3. Projectiles: this topic is about objects which travel through the air under gravity asking questions such as what is the maximum height a rugby ball can reach, what angle should you launch an object to achieve maximum range?
4. Newton’s Laws: this topic is about objects which are connected by strings such as pulleys, and objects which travel across surfaces (horizontal and inclined).
5. Impacts & Collisions: this topic investigates what happens when two spheres collide with each other or against a barrier.
6. Circular Motion & Simple Harmonic Motion: this topic deals with motion of objects in a circle such as pendulums.
7. Statics: this topic is about objects which stay where they are and focuses on centre of gravity.
8. Moments of Inertia: this topic is about objects which spin on an axis (such as helicopter blades)
9. Hydrostatics: deals with objects in liquids.
10. Differential Equations: focusing on calculus and integration studied in the maths course also.
Subject Teacher: Ms S. Harrington