**Have you ever studied the relationship between quality and quantity? **I’ll bet you have. In fact, there is hardly an American over six years old who hasn’t. And, if you have a high school education, no matter how well you did in school, you have formally studied the relationship.

**Before I go any further with this, consider the following question.** “What do we call the mental act of quantifying quality and qualifying quantity?” A confusing mess! :-) Yes, it might be confusing, but I believe it’s something you do everyday. What?? Let me explain.

**Once, I asked a critical thinking expert (Richard Paul):** “*What is mathematics?*” He responded by asking me what I thought it was? I responded by saying: “Mathematics is the logical study of shape, arrangement and quantity.” That was the definition of mathematics I had memorized and used since I was in college. He then said: “Well, your definition is fine, but is it what you think, or is it what someone else thinks and you are just using it?” I told him that I wasn’t really sure, since I had been using the definition for such a long time that it seemed to be a part of me. He then said: “I think mathematics involves both quantity and quality – put those two together and you have mathematics!” I said: “How about quantifying quality and qualifying quantity?” He said: “Sounds reasonable.”

**That conversation has been in my mind for the past fourteen years.** I think the, “*quantifying quality and qualifying quantity,*” description is a short and *to-the-point* way of viewing this thing we call math. Having stated that, I must admit that when I share this description of math with others, I often get a confused look for a response. I think it is such a different way of viewing mathematics that most find it lacking any *concrete meaning*. That doesn’t make it bad – it just makes it interesting.:-)

**Ok, so where am I going with this?** Well, recently, I was looking at some *fun and interesting* statistics. As I was reading through a list of statistical facts, the above description of math came to mind. You see, statistics is where I think we can see the “*quantifying quality and qualifying quantity”* vividly illustrated in our minds.

**Let’s explore this view of mathematical thinking using the following statistical statement:** “*Although everyone knows how many divorces there are, only 12% of married people thought they would get divorced.*” If we leave out the quantity words of “*many*” and “*12%*,” then we have the unquantified qualities of *divorces *and* married people.* If we leave out the quality words of “*divorces*” and “*married*,” we have the unqualified quantities of “*many*” and “*12%*.” When mathematical thinking is being used in real life situations, it’s difficult to separate the *quantity *and* quality *and still have a meaningful thought.

**Have you ever studied the relationship between quality and quantity?** Answer *yes*, if you’ve ever studied mathematics. :-)

**I will end this post with some fun and interesting statistics and let you mentally watch your mathematical thinking.**

**The number of mobile phones eaten by dogs in the U.K. every year: 1 million

**Percentage of those who leave their spouses and then go on to marry the person they were having an affair with: 10

**Did you know that 3 billion people worldwide live on less than $2 a day?

**Percentage of divorced or separated Americans who believe marriage should be for life: 80

**Number of calories you burn by kissing for one minute: 26

**Did you know that 3.7 million Americans claim to have been abducted by aliens?

**Five Americans are injured by shopping carts every hour.

**Percentage of third marriages that end in divorce: 90

**Number of people who could be provided with sources of clean drinking water per year for the cost of a submarine: 60 million

**Percentage of children born to cohabiting couples who will live with both parents until the age of at least 16: 36 (compares with 70 for the children of married couples)

**Number of miles driven by the average American car before it emits its own weight in carbon dioxide: 10,000

**U.S. still spends $96 million every day on nuclear weapons.

**Percentage by which you are more likely to get ill if you are in an unhappy marriage: 35

**Women own only one percent of the world assets.