Author Topic: Sliced bread RE-discovered  (Read 2732 times)

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Offline JurijD

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Sliced bread RE-discovered
« on: December 05, 2010, 11:30:35 AM »
PZ has reminded the skepticosphere of this rather ancient news item (in internet time)

Medical researcher discovers integration, gets 75 citations

... So you’ll have to excuse me when I stuck out my tongue and blew a big raspberry to the medical community after I heard about the following paper:

    A mathematical model for the determination of total area under glucose tolerance and other metabolic curves. M.M. Tai. Diabetes Care, Vol 17, Issue 2 152-154

(Try removing the phrase “glucose tolerance and other metabolic” if you find that title daunting.) I encourage you to take a quick look at the abstract, whose stated objective is this:

    OBJECTIVE–To develop a mathematical model for the determination of total areas under curves from various metabolic studies. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS–In Tai’s Model, the total area under a curve is computed by dividing the area under the curve between two designated values on the X-axis (abscissas) into small segments (rectangles and triangles) whose areas can be accurately calculated from their respective geometrical formulas.

Hint! If you replace phrases like “curves from metabolic studies” with just “curves,” then you’ll note that Dr. Tai rediscovered the rectangle method of approximating an integral. (Actually, Dr. Tai rediscovered the trapezoidal rule.) To top it all off, Dr. Tai decided to name this “Tai’s Model” and the medical community cited this paper 75 times.


As a medical professional myself... I am glad to know this tidbit has not pervaded the pop culture... if it had, we'd never live it down.

NEVER

Just like that astronaut chick who dropped a toolbox in space. Yeah, I suspect her life has to suck at cocktail parties :D

(or perhaps this horrible tale hasn't penetrated into the public consciousness because of the general public's ignorance of science and math... finally some good has come from that)
« Last Edit: December 05, 2010, 11:33:52 AM by JurijD »

Offline Bunsen

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Re: Sliced bread RE-discovered
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2010, 11:43:36 AM »
Looks like it's time for me to publish my long-awaited paper,  A mathematical model for the determination of the total sum of one group of integers combined with another group of integers.

Offline GhostOfPerdition

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Re: Sliced bread RE-discovered
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2010, 12:51:00 PM »
LOL! Reminds me of:



Mouse-over text: "YEAHHHHHHH!"

http://xkcd.com/626/

Offline stands2reason

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Re: Sliced bread RE-discovered
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2010, 02:09:51 PM »
LOL! Reminds me of:



Mouse-over text: "YEAHHHHHHH!"

http://xkcd.com/626/

Love how the not-yet-invented sunglasses appear out of nowhere.

Offline Apellosine

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Re: Sliced bread RE-discovered
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2010, 05:21:18 AM »
so should we all start publishing our papers?

- A mathematical model for discriminating between two distinct states in an effort to represent data of varying sizes.
- A method for exploiting the rapid oxidation of complex organic molecules in an effort to derive kinetic energy.
- Tomato....Fruit or Vegetable?

Offline pandamonium

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Re: Sliced bread RE-discovered
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2010, 05:25:05 AM »
so should we all start publishing our papers?

- A mathematical model for discriminating between two distinct states in an effort to represent data of varying sizes.
- A method for exploiting the rapid oxidation of complex organic molecules in an effort to derive kinetic energy.
- Tomato....Fruit or Vegetable?

I propose a new classification for tomatoes and their friends the avocado:
Frugetable.

Should I write a paper?
I am become destroyer of biology.

Offline Apellosine

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Re: Sliced bread RE-discovered
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2010, 01:05:32 AM »
always liked the distinction between intelligence and wisdom regarding tomatoes:

Intelligence is knowing a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is knowing not to put it into a fruit salad.