## Wednesday, February 21, 2007

### Holy definite integral, Batman!

Applied math

Even the smartest students occasionally get stumped during an exam. A physics problem concerning the trajectory of a proton caused one young scholar to give up and use the remaining time to devise (and solve!) an original problem. There's no sign that the student was rewarded for his or her endeavor. The fruits of this student's labors, however, have been launched into the tubes of the Internet, where it may find a kind of electronic immortality. This morning it was forwarded to my campus mail box. This afternoon, I post it on my blog. Who knows where else it has appeared? Where will it appear next?

Behold as calculus is used to unmask the Dark Knight! (Observe that the diligent student did not omit the crucial d(bat) from the integral.)

Brainslug said...

But... but... he is using the variable of integration as an upper bound! I'm so confused!

Lifewish said...

Yeah, he should use Robin as a dummy variable. Which would be rather apt really...

Anonymous said...

Actually, the two bats are slightly differently drawn, so clearly the bound is the "bat beacon" silhouette that police commissioner uses to summon Batman, while the d(bat) is the more complex "true" bat. Similar to using x and x' in a problem.

Seriously though, when plowing through a wretched stack of exams, any bit of humor like that is deeply welcome.

Zeno said...

I once had the pleasure of reading through a problem set in which the solver had paused for a bit of fun. In the margin, he had written "Hey, kids! Why not create your own economic theory? (Hint: Try to use functions and derivatives!)"

Oliver said...

In case you guys never studied calculus, this integral will result into (Batman^2)/2

An incredibly awesome batman that would kick crime so far down that no one would even think any criminal thought.

Anonymous said...

actually, after a long academic discussion we agreed, that more suitable would be to derive Batman accoring to (bat) to get Bruce Wayne