How Is Math Used in Engineering?

In engineering, math is used to design and develop new components or products, maintain operating components, model real-life situations for testing and learning purposes, as well as build and maintain structures. Math is a core component of every engineering field and is also widely used in research.

Mathematics is a wide discipline and has many forms. In the various engineering fields, different forms of math may be applied to achieve a specific solution. For instance, linear algebra is widely applied in electrical engineering to design electrical circuits. Boolean algebra is the basis of digital logic design, a key component of building computers.

In civil and mechanical engineering, geometry is used to design structures and ensure that they perform in a safe and meaningful way. When designing a bridge, civil engineers may use differential equations to calculate the approximate size of the supporting piers needed. They may also use complex mathematical modeling to predict the lifespan of the structure to be constructed.

Industrial engineers use calculus to find the rate at which certain variables will change in a given operation. Industrial engineering routinely entails making approximations and safe estimations to ensure that all processes are properly controlled. One or more forms of mathematics are used in these approximations and estimations.