Sometimes I think about basic ideas in mathematics that that the general public would greatly benefit from. In particular, I think that mathematicians often take for granted that these things are natural to us, and that to most people it’s almost like having a super power. Please augment this list!

1. Computing how long it will take to pay off a balance on a credit card, with interest.

2. How to balance a checkbook.

3. The concept of instantaneous rate of change vs. average rate of change.

4. Basic laws of probability.

5. How to add and multiply fractions, and compare fractions (as in, is 5/9 larger than 9/45)?

6. Basic logical reasoning, in particular understanding “if-then” statements, and converse/contrapositives of such statements.

Good luck with the rest of your semester, and have a great holiday break!