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Calculus Is Going to the Dogs | Vidya Sury, Collecting Smiles
Here’s a very interesting snippet I received fromDr B Sury in the mail. (Who’s Dr Sury, then?I am married to him :-D) Calculus Is Going to the DogsJuly 21, 2008 This year’s MathFest will welcome many respectedmathematicians as well as some up-and-coming mathprodigies. But the most widely recognized attendee atthe meeting may well be a dog. Tim Pennings and hisWelsh corgi Elvis will demonstrate the canine’s abilityto do calculus at an MAA Special Session titled“Do Dogs Know Calculus? Bifurcations at the Beach”on Saturday, August 2 at 2 p.m. While at the beach five years ago, Pennings was simplyplaying catch with Elvis when he realized that his dogwas taking the shortest possible route to the ball eachtime. This observation reminded Pennings of afirst-year calculus problem that he often used andgot him thinking about Elvis’ ability to do math. A short time later, Elvis showed off his calculus skillsagain when he began doing bifurcations. When Penningswould stand in the water with Elvis and throw the ball,the dog would decide whether it was faster to swim allthe way to it, or to swim to shore, then run downthe beach before jumping back in the water after the ball.Pennings wrote papers on each of …