How Are Polynomials Used in Everyday Life?

According to the iPracticeMath website, many people use polynomials every day to assist in making different kinds of purchases. The site points out that people are often unaware of how and when they are using algebraic polynomials.

The site points out that one common use of polynomials in everyday life is figuring out how much gas can be put in a car. If a person has a fixed amount of cash, such as $15, that person may do simple polynomial division, diving the $15 by the cost of each gallon of gas.

According to iPracticeMath, a more advanced scenario would be determining how many shopping bags are necessary to accommodate items of similar shapes and sizes. This, too, uses polynomial division because the shopper must divide the number of items by an average number of items that can fit in the bag, rounding up to add a bag for any leftover items.

The site’s final scenario involves having to shop for a dozen eggs costing $10, three loaves of bread costing $5 each, and five bottles of juice costing $8 each. Instead of manually adding everything together, the site points out that it can be quickly solved by using the polynomial equation a + 3b + 5c. Input the known values and the answer is clear: $10 + 3($5) + 5($8) = $10 + $15 + $40 = $65.