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Pursuit Curves for the Man in the Moone

by Andrew J. Simoson

Year of Award: 2008

Award: George Polya

Publication Information: The College Mathematics Journal, vol. 38, (2007), pp. 330-338

Summary: The author uses calculus to determine the consistency of flight times from a 1638 story by Francis Godwin called The Man in the Moone, about an astronaut who harnesses a wedge of swans to fly to the moon.

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About the Author: (from The College Mathematics Journal, (2007)) Andrew J. Simoson has chaired the math department at King College in Tennessee since 1980. He currently is pursuing Spanish literacy, so far passing two semesters in the same class as some of his students. Earlier this year, the MAA published his Dolciani book Hesiod’s Anvil: Falling and Spinning through Heaven and Earth and awarded him the 2007 Chauvenet Prize.

 

Subject classification(s): Calculus
Publication Date: 
Wednesday, October 22, 2008

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