Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Why Florence Nightingale is So Dang Cool!

I posted this picture of my classroom bulletin board to my Facebook, and my friend Matt left a comment beneath it that questioned, "Is it just me or does that Florence Nightingale poster seem really random?"

HAHAHA!! I was waiting for someone to notice and wonder that! Here's why Florence is so dang cool to us mathematicians:

If my memory serves me correctly, she was a nurse in the French Revolution. While caring for the soldiers on the battlefield in little makeshift hospitals made of tents, Florence began to notice that all these soldiers were dying from small injuries which SHOULDN'T have killed them.

This lead her to conclude that unsanitary conditions were causing the spread of disease. So she developed these really awesome pie graphs to quickly convince her superiors in the military that money needed to be spent on better medical supplies so that soldiers with minor injuries weren't needlessly dying from them!

Her pie graphs were these special kind of pie graphs where the slices of the pie don't all come from the same sized circle. Anyway, she presented critical numerical data in a visual way that was easy and quick to understand, thus convincing her superiors and saving lots of human lives!

That girl ROCKS the math right outta my math textbook!!!