Math and Science are Everywhere

I served as the math and science consultant for a series of commercials that premiered during the 2007 Masters golf tournament in April, and for a related portion of the ExxonMobil website, entitled "The Science of a Drive." The ads and web site were described in the following summary taken from the Math Digest column of the AMS.

Phil Mickelson's golf swing, with equations

"Eraser" and "Swing" ExxonMobil ads. The Science of a Drive, April 2007.

"Math and science are everywhere": This is the topic of three ExxonMobil commercials that premiered during the 2007 Masters golf tournament in April. One of the commercials features golfer Phil Mickelson playing golf while a voice-over describes work he and ExxonMobil are doing to support math and science education. In the other two commercials, one a shorter version of the other, a series of images (one of which is below) is tied to a voice-over describing the importance of math and science in meeting current technological challenges. In each case, content-related graphs and equations, including Navier-Stokes, Fourier Series, and Maxwell's equations, appear everywhere, superimposed on objects and actions, making the point that, indeed, math and science are everywhere.

Bridge with equations

On the ExxonMobil website, meanwhile, the math and physics underlying the drive is presented at an elementary level on a series of web pages entitled "The Science of a Drive." Different parts of the drive---the club swing, the impact of the club head on the ball, and the flight of the ball---are explored. The viewer can vary the perspective and the speed of the action in each module, as well as play a game finding the range of a drive by varying the club head speed and initial launch angle of the ball.

To view the ads, go to the ExxonMobil web site and select the commercials entitled "Eraser" and "Swing." (Images courtesy of ExxonMobil)

--- Claudia Clark

Douglas N. Arnold