Mathematics is a subject that is difficult for a lot of people. Many find it confusing, or simply don't understand how interesting it can be.
Little tips and tricks can not only make math easier for people, they can also show them the fun side of the subject.
Percentages are especially difficult for many people, and also something that frequently need to be calculated in daily life.
Ben Stephens (@stephens_ben) shared a fairly simple trick to figuring out difficult Percentages on Twitter, and people were amazed that they had never been taught to do it that way.
He explains that the concept of x*y = y*x applies to percentages too!
Fascinating little life hack, for doing percentages: x% of y = y% of x So, for example, if you needed to work out… https://t.co/Jp7S8L8eDI— Ben Stephens (@Ben Stephens)1551612075.0
It really works guys!
Someone wanted to know why it works, and Ben was happy to explain.
"It works for the same reason 3 x 5 is the same as 5 x 3. They call it the commutative property-- it doesn't matter which order the terms come in."
"A percentage calculation (x% of y) could also be thought of as; x * 1/100 * y In any order...same answer."
Quite a few Twitter users thanked Ben for sharing the tip.
@stephens_ben @JeriLRyan Someone please hug this man for me, or fist bump, whatever feels more comfortable for all parties.— Megatron (@Megatron)1552408952.0
@stephens_ben @dustinmoris This is a nice application of the commutative law, also applies to addition. Simple exam… https://t.co/zeuShrcRIR— Gerard (@Gerard)1552394198.0
@stephens_ben Er...ben...you've changed lives mate. Cheers.— Abby Oliveira (@Abby Oliveira)1552467006.0
Several people were shocked that nobody had ever explained this to them (or that they hadn't realized it themselves) before.
@stephens_ben Thanks!! Never realized this.... I work with percentages almost daily.... This is helpfull! Greetings from Colombia!— MIGUEL el Ángel (@MIGUEL el Ángel)1552412744.0
@stephens_ben @JeriLRyan Jesus Christ, how am I 38, a financial regulator and only just knowing this?!!— redordead (@redordead)1552411910.0
There were a few people who insisted on taking the patronizing route and questioning why everyone hadn't magically figured this out on their own.
Stephens wasn't having any of it, though.
@stephens_ben I can't believe this tweet has made the news (in the form of the Metro website, at least). To all tho… https://t.co/yhUcoolwIG— Elliott Manley (@Elliott Manley)1552311347.0
@Schmunzie Thanks for putting us all in our place. Would you like me to take the tweet down?— Ben Stephens (@Ben Stephens)1552311448.0
@stephens_ben Those of us who studies basic arithmetic at school are scratching our heads as to why this is a revel… https://t.co/Rqa6Le9baD— Ozoda (@Ozoda)1551783426.0
@OzodaM Cool. Thanks for helping get people enthusiastic about maths. You won't believe this, but a lot of people f… https://t.co/wHzlIBQ6VP— Ben Stephens (@Ben Stephens)1551783571.0
@stephens_ben It’s super basic though. You don’t get people excited about languages by telling them how to spell...— Ozoda (@Ozoda)1551784046.0
@OzodaM @stephens_ben It wasn't super basic to me. I had no idea, nor how it could work. Sounds like magic. OK I se… https://t.co/9cU6i09FVw— ❄️ Let it Jo, let it Jo, let it Jo ❄️ (@❄️ Let it Jo, let it Jo, let it Jo ❄️)1551870799.0
@OzodaM @stephens_ben Sincerely, this tweet and the replies it generated got me excited about math for the first ti… https://t.co/8CEV4y3mqx— DaveHimslef (@DaveHimslef)1551786473.0
These people had to be ignoring the fact that mathematics are largely treated as a big, confusing, esoteric subject by American schools. If you don't "get it" without really being taught, you aren't going to be encouraged to pursue math.
Ben also shared a quick tip to help calculate tips at restaurants too!
@EdmundsClaire Nah. For that you just move the decimal point, round down and double it. $19.60 > 1.96 > 1.90 > 3.80— Ben Stephens (@Ben Stephens)1552411467.0
Mathematics doesn't have to be this big, scary thing that we begrudgingly learn the basics of and then try to use as little as humanly possible. With teachers who are willing to engage their students, and a pretty big shift in perception, math can actually be pretty fun.