I suppose I don’t have to mention why you’re hearing the phrase “exponential growth” a lot these days, as we’re all doing our best to care for ourselves and our families, as well as keeping our businesses, libraries, and research programs afloat amidst a pandemic. As always, being informed is important, and you can find below an excellent explainer video, essentially a math lesson on what the experts mean when they describe the spread of the disease in this way. Stay safe.
6 Thoughts on "What Does “Exponential Growth” Mean?"
Excellent mix of graphical and mathematical illustration! Thanks for sharing!
The closing statement is profound. “If people are sufficiently worried, then there’s a lot less to worry about. But if noone is worried, that’s when you should worry.”
When someone mentions how “fill in the blank” is increasing exponentially, I always ask them what the exponent is. I’ve never received an answer – they usually just stop and go into what looks like a trance.
Just a technical math answer–exponential growth is about the base of the exponent not the exponent itself. For example, a real-life money application in compound interest, if you had a base of 1.1 you are getting a 10% compound interest compared to a base of 1.005 you are getting 0.5% interest rate. Your exponent is simply how often the interest is calculated, but the base is *much* *more* *important*.
This was fantastic and so interesting!
Great teaching tool! Cuts through all the B.S. going around. Thanks.