Monday, May 27, 2013

Gunderson Harrison Calculus Comprehension Curve (2008)

Gunderson-Harrison Calculus Comprehension Curve

Recent intensive studies on the inability of the human mind to grasp certain concepts in mathematics have brought to the attention of the researchers that there is a simple ingredient that can often be used to soften up the mind, gently allowing a greater understanding of the concepts that have for hundreds of years perplexed the general populace of our world. Although we are pretty sure that this has been tried, and used with great success in the past it seems that no one had ever taken the time to actually evolve past the stage where they were just unconsciously practicing these methods and actually write them out, and put them to use as a real-world strategy and theory. However, in the fall of 2008 two researcher, namely Erin Gunderson and Jeff Harrison, actually took the time, and determined what the proper curves were when it came to the level of understanding of the obtuse calculations in calculus when graphed against consumption of alcohol in a controlled environment.
For the purpose of this study the preferred form of alcohol was Pabst (r) Tall-Boys, a common and readily available American lager which also comes in convenient six pack quantities. These supplies were gathered retail from the Safeway (r) food chain which happened to be a convenient three blocks walk (or stumble depending on if the experiment was on-going) from the researchers home. The environment for the studies was the living room of the house where the researchers happened to be working on the subject of the study which was some nasty college level calculus homework assigned, in this case, by Portland State University, hereafter referred to as PSU.
The determination made by the two researchers was that there was a profound increase in the calculus comprehension made by the individual who was trying to grasp the concept contained therein when the calculus was imbibed with particular quantities of Pabst (r) beer. Further studies over the following weeks began to show startling correspondences with the understanding of calculus versus Pabst (r) consumption, and eventually a graph was able to be created that very closely matched the observed results. Upon further studies of the graph the equation was determined to be a very simple one indeed, as the percentage of calculus that is grasped corresponds, almost exactly to the function, ƒ(x)=100 - 4(x-3)².

This of course corresponds to a graph which is closely approximated by the graph in figure (a). The graph shows how the understanding of calculus, on the Y axis rises from a starting point around 64% until it tops out at 100% after the consumption of three cans of Pabst (r). It is notable that the calculus comprehension starts dropping off rapidly after a consumption of 4 Pabst (r) and seems to hit zero, or even less that zero after the consumption of eight Pabst (r) beers. This is not considered to be an anomaly, however, because previous studies have shown that after the consumption of eight Pabst (r) tall-boys even standing on one foot and counting backwards from ten is a challenge. Certainly it would never be recommended to attempt something as stupid as to drink an excessive amount of Pabst (r) and derive.

Figure A.

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