“Mathematics in History”

From Ben Rushing, Professor of Mathematics.

I’m a mathematics professor at a publicly funded school in Louisiana. I have a passion for great music, for teaching, and for aviation.

Here’s a bonus assignment I gave my students.


“Mathematics In History”

There was a tragedy.
There was a discovery of a new process.
There was mathematics.
There was an airplane.
There is music.

Answer the questions based on your research.

What tragedy occurred? Give a brief review of the events of the tragedy.

What new process was discovered? Give a brief review of what was discovered and by whom.

Outline and explain the mathematics that was involved in the analysis of the tragedy. Include information about how velocity was an important aspect of the analysis. Summarize the mathematics involved.

What airplane was involved? Outline how it was used and provide any pertinent information about the airplane. Be brief.

What about the music? Author? Lyrics? Recorded by?

Offer any additional thoughts or comments about what you discovered.

Hint: “Cold Missouri Waters”

The quality of your report will be reflected in the quantity of your bonus.


So far, one student has turned in their work. It was outstanding, by the way.

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