Friday math movie: U + Me = Us (calculus)
[09 Dec 2011]
If you have studied math, the word “calculus” brings back memories of differentiation and integration, finding maximums, and finding areas under curves.
But calculus can also mean “calculation” (as in “by my calculus, it doesn’t make sense to own a car”), or a “system or arrangement of intricate or interrelated parts” (source: Webster’s Dictionary).
A final meaning for calculus is something I face each time I go to the dentist – a build-up of mineral salts on the teeth. It’s also called “tartar”.
And this is the connection with math. The Greek word “calcis” means various stones, giving rise to the word “calculate”, or using stones for mathematical purposes.
So before you think I’ve got rocks in my head, on with the show.