Mathematics history was made this week when a man in the Manchester area used calculus in his everyday job. It remains unclear whether it involved differentiation or integration but there have been confirmed reports of lots of little ‘dx’ symbols having been spotted in the vicinity of a small business in Stockport.
Advising his Year 11 class of the news, ecstatic Maths teacher Reg Willard of Stockport Comprehensive was reported as saying this was a great day for teaching. ‘I feel personally vindicated’, he said to a bemused audience of teenagers. ‘For years I have been telling my pupils about the many and varied uses of calculus, and this has conclusively proved my point.’
Apparently the last reported use of calculus outside of a classroom was almost nineteen years ago by a man reportedly working as a ‘Constant Force, 1kg Mass Pusher in Space’ since when over twenty million children have left school and not once used a skill that takes several years to master. But when word spread that the mathematical method was being used in the workplace, thousands of Maths teachers converged on the company to witness this historic event, forcing the entire business park to close down for the day. Police with dog handlers had to be called to quell the mob of angry mathematicians desperate to see the workings out for themselves, as wild rumours spread that logarithms, linear algebra and polynominal long division were also being used in nearby offices.
The excitement comes only weeks after news broke in South Wales that someone had been given a highly paid top job for just knowing about rock strata and drumlins and being able to draw a cross section of a leaf.