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Edward

USE THE SQUEEZE THE SQUEEZE MAN. We know 0 <= y^4/(y^4 + x^4) <= 1. Multiply everything by absolute value of x. Then do them limits and you get a big fat juicy 0.

Stuntman526

Edward is wrong, and bald..

This is Stuntman526 replying to Edward replying to Batman’s solution of Chapter 14 #16.

Batman seems to have an answer to every question in Stewart Fundamentals of Calculus 8th Edition, and for this problem, they used an unconventional method to obtain an answer.

Edward advises Batman use the Squeeze theorem, a principle from any Calc III class. Unlike Edward Nigma, also known in the DC Universe as the Riddler, this Edward has good advice for our hero Batman.

Stuntman526 is not referring to any particular mathematical principle, but rather a brash comment on Edward. I can neither confirm or deny the state of our Edward’s hair, but I can say that in the The New Batman Adventures, Edward Nigma was depicted completely bald.

***

I’m reading this at 3:14 a.m. Monday morning after I just stumbled through my first problem set of the night, and I am now getting knee-deep into my second. To my sleep-deprived mind, this interaction leaps off the dim light of my computer screen, and my eyes cling to it as a reminder that there is a world beyond partial derivatives. The home of this refined academic debate? Shrouded in a gray box with dark gray text, introducing: Slader’s comment section.

Ask anyone in a calculus class at Columbia, and they have probably used Slader at one point this semester. For those strictly humanities students unfamiliar with Slader, it is like Yahoo Answers for textbook problems. Most problems I have encountered have an answer, either in the meticulously typed proofs or solutions or locked away in the comment section. This comment section isn’t incredibly obvious, it’s easy not to notice it, and 90 percent of the time, the comment section is fully math-specific, but sometimes flames start to fly.

In a forum built for structured discourse, the comment section provides a space for human interaction. It is really easy to feel overwhelmed and unattached from the impersonal world of upper-level calculus. In the first week or so of my time in Calc III, Slader quickly became my close confidant. Something about the nine sliding blackboards and 40-plus bolted wooden seats in Math 312 makes it especially hard for me to understand the proofs when my professor teaches them. But when Slader does the same proofs, accompanied by the humor and character within the comments, stuff starts to make sense.

These comments are reflections of a culture very far from academics. A critical part of almost every conversation I have with my little brother involves his trying to explain recent developments in internet culture to me. Sometimes he rambles and provides me with a cheat sheet to pass an exam on meme literacy; other times, he serves as a translator—a conduit through which the nuances of trolls, comments, and Redditors can be fully understood.

On almost the exact opposite end of the spectrum are the conversations I have with my math professors and TAs. Aside from occasional dad jokes, these are most often filled to the brim with jargon to the point where it almost feels like they’re speaking another language.

But Slader is unique in that it provides both academic translations and quippy internet commentaries. Through the latest nights and longest problems, when I feel far removed from the world of math superstars, the comment section shows math through regular people’s eyes. People who can be mean, funny, excited, and enraged—all over an addition mistake. These people remind me to take a step back and relax. Processing the foreign language of my textbooks feels a bit easier with the help of Batman. As Jacob puts it:

Jacob Gomez

The hero we need, but not the hero we deserve. I made so many connections on this problem alone because of you. Gotham thanks you

Enjoy leafing through our seventh issue!

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