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

(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)