An ode to maths

Image: Euler’s equation

So as we approach Burns Night, in celebration of the life and poetry of Scottish poet Robert Burns, we would like to share the poems our students have created to remember facts, equations and rules as part of their Mathematics for Physics 1 course.

Teaching Assistants cast their vote for the best entry and ‘Aphorisms on limits and differentiation’ came out top:

Aphorisms on limits and differentiation
(i) A derivative is the time that withers the petals of X.
(ii) A vertical asymptote is la femme fatale in the pub of functions.
(iii) A horizontal asymptote is the ethereal caress of infinity.
(iv) Applying the chain rule is like following the trace of matryoshkas on the snow.

We also like this one from a student reflecting on their learning journey:

Eulanor Rigby
Euler’s equation, picks up numbers
in the checkpoint where a question has been,
lives in a complex plane,
waits at the workshop, getting the help
from the friendly TAs,
it helps a lot .
All the checkpoint questions
where do they all come from?
All these strange equations
Where do they all belong?

(TAs = Teaching Assistants)

And this one about…. well look at the first letter of each line to tell you…

Knowing your…
Forever fun, whether increasing or decreasing, continuously they flow
Ugly and hardly rational
Neatly even
Cursing composite calamities
The seductive symmetry you fall in love with
If you’re faced with a difficult question that makes no sense at all
One sketch may lead you to salvation
Now you might ask what does this all have in common
So solve the problem, oscillate once more, it’s a periodic poem after all

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