7 Poems Found in Advanced Calculus

| November 18, 2013 | 2 Comments

The following poems were found in my advanced calculus notes, my professor’s words in lecture, and my state of mind as I prepared for a big midterm.


photo by Cecilia Weddell

photo by Cecilia Weddell

Partial derivatives of higher order, section two point one five.
Higher derivatives of composite functions, section two point one six.
I understand what it is to continue to derive once, twice, maybe three times.
But looking out at the way the sun is shining on the river and the trees of this integral city in the middle of this cliché of a season –
I also understand Crayola’s plight and frustration and fight
for more unattainable descriptors.
And yet even more, I understand why (64, 96, 120-and-a-built-in-sharpener tries later)
they keep trying to derive a word from those unapologetic rays,
Once, twice, maybe three times.

***

What It Means To Transform
If T is given by a matrix, then it is linear.
If T is linear, then T is given by a matrix.
Together – if and only if.

***

photo credit: dullhunk via photopin cc

photo credit: dullhunk via photopin cc

to solve, verb
The solution y=f(x) works
within some interval around x,
maybe large
maybe small

***

Not only does mathematics describe the universe,
but it is quite possible that mathematics is the universe.
There is nothing wrong with being an engineer;
Most of their bridges don’t fall down.

***

photo credit: Akash k via photopin cc

photo credit: Akash k via photopin cc

v, u, x, y
There was once a mapping of the form
x=f(u,v) and y=g(u,v)
And such, an inverse mapping too,
defining vee and you
in terms of ex and why.
The Jacobian matrix of the inverse mapping is
simply the inverse of the Jacobian of the mapping.
And doesn’t that seem simple, really?
Just an inverse from vee to you
to ex and – why

***

photo credit: monteregina via photopin cc

photo credit: monteregina via photopin cc

An Isolated Direction
a directional derivative in an isolated
x direction;
y direction;
z direction;
whatever you can see direction;
is just a partial derivative

***

outline of a section not on the syllabus
making approximation tables ew
so many tables
is there even a real answer to this?

Wait – no –
you don’t have to know this
nope not at all
goodbye carry on next section

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Category: featured, Poetry, Prose and Comedy, Science and Technology

Cecilia Weddell

About the Author ()

Cecilia (or Ceci—not Cece, not Sassy) is a senior and co-Editor-in-Chief of Culture Shock. She is a Comparative Literature major and a math minor. Her time is spent speaking in and thinking about Spanglish, reading poetry, running (both with and without a basketball), and doing her best to smash the patriarchy. Tweet knock-knock jokes at her: @CCWeddell

Comments (2)

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  1. Tino Bratbo says:

    I always liked the phrase “if and only if”

    The way I read your mathematics/engineer poem was as a subtle burn to engineers. As in, “your bridges are pretty good, but my field literally is everything. Burn.” I don’t know if that was your intent but I was amused.

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