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Brownies, Icing, M&M’s, and Calculus

By Colin Capenito, Jack Eames, Boyd Hall, Lennon Isaac, and Kerrie Verbeek, VI Form

Brownies, Icing, M&M’s, and Calculus

Step by step, movement by movement, the task became a disaster. The lack of clarity in unison with a rudimentary understanding of an instructional lexicon, allowed only a few to complete the task at hand. It is not often that you are asked to create a dessert while following instructions verbatim, especially in calculus class. In efforts to shine a light on the importance of communication in calculus, Ms.McBride’s Advanced Calculus class was tasked with the job of creating an instruction sheet to make a brownie that was cut in half and covered in icing, then to have a member of the class follow the instructions in the most literal way possible. After almost every group failed, the message became clear: clarity is paramount in calculus. Like making an intricate dessert by hand, effective communication is paramount in the realm of calculus. One must be able to inscribe their thought process on paper as they surmount difficult problems not only to prove the legitimacy of their work but to show their reader a fully translatable math problem. (more…)