Differential Equations Fuels Up on Math

Traveling through a boat’s pipe system, examining electric screw designs and delving into countless layers of rock sediment, students in Differential Equations were in awe at the sight of their math homework coming to life.

The Differential Equations class took a field trip to the Exxon Mobil Upstream Research Center, Oct. 31. They listened to a series of presentations at one of the center’s 3D visual centers, some of which required 3D glasses.

“Apart from the students thinking that it was all cool and exciting, I’m planning to incorporate some of the things they showed throughout the rest of the course,” Differential Equations teacher Dwight Raulston said.

This is the second year that Raulston has taken his class on a trip to the research center, and he hopes to continue them annually.

Researchers demonstrated efficient use of oil wells through holographic images of the underground process. Other presentations included lectures about systems of equations, as well as pendulum and drilling constructions.

“They can model a lot of things they do, whether it’s marketing or building oil wells, through differential equations,” senior Jacqueline Simmons said. “It shows that what we do in class has real applications in life.”

One of the highlight demonstrations was a virtual 3D tour of a boat. Students stood in front of the stage as a screen displayed a complete walkway through each part of the boat.

“Literally every detail was shown — even the interior between the walls,” senior Andrew Chung said. “For me, it was the most exciting demonstration.”

The class learned about real-world applications of differential equations.

“It was pretty inspiring because it gives an end goal beyond schoolwork,” Chung said. “You can see yourself aspiring to this after taking the class.”


Amy Liu
Staff Writer

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