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When mathematics is plain sailing

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Visit this site: http://www.maa.org/devlin/devlin_11_99.html

Author:Keith Devlin (Devlin's Angle)
Description: In the ocean waters off New Zealand, an intense mathematical olympiad has just begun: The America's Cup - a yacht race, the premier international event in ocean sailing. Competition is fierce. The technical challenges are enormous. And the costs are huge, with teams spending up to $15 million on the design and construction of a single boat. The mathematics comes in because it can provide the crucial innovation that can mark the difference between winning and losing. John Marshall, who has been designing America's Cup boats for over twenty years, lays it on the line: "This sport would not be possible today without mathematics... To cross the line first, a boat must be skippered by a strategic genius, and the crew must be honed to a finely tuned machine. But the best skipper and crew can't compete successfully without a winning boat..."

Levels: High School (9-12), College, Research
Languages: English
Resource Types: Articles
Math Topics: Fluid Mechanics, Sports

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