In the fall of 2019, the University’s Department of Mathematics at the College of Engineering took on a new challenge.
A year earlier, the department had hired former MIT math professor and future NASA engineer, Jonathan Davis.
He had just launched a graduate program at the university, but Davis wanted to do something different.
He wanted to teach calculus.
Davis would have to convince students to take calculus courses, a goal he had previously struggled with in his career.
And he would have no trouble getting students to accept it.
But he also needed to convince them that calculus was a real discipline, one that required real skills.
To do that, Davis and his team had to prove to the department and its students that they were up to the task.
“We’re not just going to go out and make a PowerPoint presentation on the topic,” Davis said.
“If we’re going to make a presentation, we need to put the students in the position of actually doing it.”
Davis and the department’s math faculty met twice a week for four weeks in May and June.
Their goal: to convince a student of the importance of calculus, to motivate them to apply the skills they learned in the classes, and to provide them with a framework to use when they applied those skills in their careers.
Davis and other math faculty at the college had been trained to teach math to undergraduates and to train graduate students.
But the department needed a different approach, one they hoped would help them get through the coming academic year.
This was the first year in a decade that the math department had no new math professors.
But that didn’t mean the faculty was without experience.
Before the department hired Davis, its math faculty had been a little bit different.
It had a small group of mathematicians who worked together to do basic work, but the department didn’t have many experienced math professors, and the faculty members weren’t very experienced.
But this new department at the engineering school was different.
The department’s faculty had a lot of experience with computing, but there was a gap in its curriculum, said Paul Ahern, a math professor who has been the department chairman since the mid-2000s.
And as the department developed its calculus curriculum, Ahern said, it was hard to find enough instructors who were competent to teach it.
So Ahern and other mathematics faculty decided to help the department by hiring Davis and making him a part of their program.
Davis was hired in December, and by early May, the math faculty and the math program were all in place.
Davis had been an instructor at the school for more than a decade, but he had never taught calculus.
But as he watched the department expand its curriculum and expand its faculty, Davis thought: “What if I’m not in the classroom but in the lab?
What if I can actually help the students to be better mathematicians?”
Davis started working in the math lab the first week of June.
The next week, the class of 2019 was called to a conference room to learn how to use a new algorithm called the Markov Chain, which can simulate the process of finding the smallest unit in a data set.
Davis explained that the algorithm had been developed by MIT’s mathematicians in the 1960s and was based on the idea that some numbers are infinitely large.
The math department’s algorithm could use this principle to calculate the smallest number that can fit into a data-set.
The problem was that, when a number is very small, it doesn’t fit in a large number of boxes.
So the algorithm used the fact that the numbers that are very large are in large numbers to get the largest number that fits in a smaller number.
But to do this, the algorithm needs a bit of computing power, and this power is limited by the number of inputs the algorithm can handle.
In order to find a number that is in the range of 1,000,000 to 100,000 digits, the system will need at least a million bits of computation power.
To solve this problem, the computer has to do more calculations than can fit in that many bits of computing.
Davis asked students to use the system to try to find the smallest possible unit of a list of integers.
The students were asked to select the smallest integer in each list, with the first number chosen for the largest digit.
Students then used the Markova Chain to calculate how many of those smallest integers fit into each of the boxes.
When a student’s input is smaller than the box, the number that the student’s computer is able to fit into that box is greater than the number they have to work with in order to solve the Markovo Chain.
To keep the students motivated, Davis told them that the next task in the class would be to find out which numbers are in the middle of the box.
After the class finished, Davis sent them to the lab.
The team was able to make their mark in a matter of