CTK Insights

16 Dec

Mathematics and Physics in the car market

Going through the old issues of the Mathematics Magazine, I have stumbled on the following note by Dawn Lindquist (Vol. 78, No. 3, Jun., 2005, p. 245)

Mathematicians in the market for a car today have many choices. While analytic geometers might be drawn to the Ford Focus and algebraists may assume the Isuzu Axiom is for them, graph theorists would probably still choose a Nissan Pathfinder. For linear drivers, there's the Toyota Matrix, but if its dimensions are too large, the Honda Element is an option. Though the Oldsmobile Delta 88 attracted analysts in the past, Infiniti currently offers them boundless choices.

Alas, my heart is set on a concept car, the Lincoln Lemma, but I'm waiting for them to work out the details.

After a quick search I found that Ford turned its attention to graph theorists with its Edge and to M. Gardner's admirers with the newer Flex. Nissan went after high school geometers with the Cube and broad stratum of undergraduates with the Maxima. KIA's Optima was clearly designated to appeal to the specialists in Calculus of Variations.

While my attention was directed to the mathematical facets of the car market, I could not fail to notice that the automakers minded other theoretical sciences, mostly pondering to physicists. Here's just a short list: Chevrolet' Avalanche, Equinox, Sonic, Spark and Volt; Dodge's Charger, Dart, and Nitro; Ford's Fusion; Jeep's Compass; Mitsubishi's Eclipse; Suzuki's Equator, not to mention the electric Tesla, with 0 tail-pipe emission.

I leave it to scientists in other fields to check for themselves popularity of their subjects among the automakers.

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