Mathematics is used to conceptualize problems in order to optimize solutions! In school one learns to memorize the formulas. But in the field, what is most important is logically quantifying and measuring the work!
In another words; making a formula for estimating work. But one has to understand what the formula /equation does!
Example: Unloading a truck with 30 bags, place in designated area. One bag per trip. Return to truck empty. 30 loaded trips truck unloaded. total trips 60 each trip one minute. So 60 minutes to unload truck. Next step is checking ones logic is it sound? There are several ways!
1. Use deductive reasoning step through the process.
Step (1) I am not going into detail here for subject of logic is broad, strongly recommend taking more than just one course or reading several books on it and practice it! It becomes very useful, in learning programing and analysis!
Here is a graph the arrow length represent time.
Note! The different length of arrows, each length coresponds to a measured time. Each arrow can be called a element or task.
Elements can be further broken down to parts or have properties. Like walking with the bag if the method of walking with bag has been recorded. We could use this element to estimate accurately another job for example moving the bags to another position on the job site
Lets take it one step further!
We are guessing or measuring not accurately for each trip, lets say we are off by 30 seconds on each trip So now it takes 90 minutes to unload the truck. To be off by 30 second is not much but huge when the error is cumulative. One can get a pretty accurate result by increasing ones accuracy, or improving how one picks up the bags, or reducing distance traveled, or improving how one drops off the bag! Now one is the territory of Industrial Engineer!
Want to know more see the topic Excel.