Campsite being calculated

Since eighth grade, Zoe Hubbard has known she wants to design video games, but not for nightly episodes of “Fortnite” or “League of Legends.”

She wants her games to help people with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, ADHD and other brain conditions. Studies have shown that activities in a virtual world can help with memory, comprehension, awareness and, therefore, overall physical and emotional health.

But first, the games have to be fun, she says.

“You can use video games as a form of education, and a lot of educational games aren’t very good, so you disconnect and don’t learn much,” Ms.

Hubbard, who plans to major in computer science when she arrives in the fall semester as a freshman at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Her lifelong goal is why she signed up for the calculus prep camp this summer at UTC.

“All coding runs on basic math,” said Ms. Hubbard, a graduate of Renaissance High School in Franklin, Tn.

Now in its second year, the camp is a collaboration between UTC’s Department of Mathematics and the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Although it’s a two-week summer camp, no one eats hot s’mores or makes macaroni art, although stringing together the number beads needed to solve the equations of arithmetic can be considered an art form because not everyone has the talent.

Its purpose is to help students bypass a pre-calculus course, which is usually required before a student can take a calculus course. Most math, engineering, and computer science students must take calculus courses to graduate.

At the end of prep camp, students — who must have an ACT math score of 24 or higher to be accepted — take an exam and, if successful, can jump straight into college calculus.

The 16 calculus campers this summer are pursuing majors that require calculus, said Tracy Hughes, a lecturer in the Department of Mathematics and one of the camp instructors.

“We want them to pass the test and pass, but we also want to make sure we’re really preparing them,” she said.

“For many of their courses, calculus is a prerequisite; so if they don’t start their first year in Calculus One, that means there’s a whole host of courses they can’t take until their second year,” Ms Hughes explained.

This summer, all campers are UTC freshmen, but that is not a requirement.

Camp is free, as is room and board if students live on campus for both weeks. Costs are covered by the College of Engineering and Computing.

The camp includes classroom lessons, lectures, practical exercises and homework using computer software. Students also take chaperone trips around campus and downtown Chattanooga.

Attending camp isn’t just about skipping a single class. Not having to take pre-calculation can save UTC students around $1,650 each in tuition and fees.

The world has calculus, the mathematical study of many changing variables, to thank for the solutions to its engineering and computer science problems, but it’s not for everyone. For non-mathematicians, a lesson in the classroom may seem to be taught in the language of the planet Saywhat.

“What happens if we have this equality in time? We will have to add six. All sides, right? So we’re going to have negative three less or equal to four B less than and, if I add six here, we get 18, yeah? asks Mrs. Hughes.

Expressions such as “compound equality”, “improper fraction”, and “interval notation” appear.

Levi Miller understands the lessons well enough to correct Mrs. Hughes on a few points. He’s right, she admits.

A graduate of Sequatchie County High School in Dunlap, he’s known since sixth grade that he wants to be a civil engineer, he said. He’s not entirely sure how calculus combines with civil engineering, he just knows it does.

“I need at least some calculus-based knowledge,” he said.

With a four-year graduation plan, precalculus would slow that goal, he said.

“I have to keep all my credit hours, so the pre-calculation would leave me behind.”

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