Sinusoidal Curve -- A Mathematical Love Poem





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Published on Jun 29, 2010

A "tame" version that may be considered more appropriate for a classroom is here: https://youtu.be/dLNTVkf3zew

Huge thanks to students Charley Whitman (director/editor), Adrian Womack (original music), and Evan Eyer (general on-set assistance) for bringing this video to life. Who knew math could be so steamy? I remember writing this poem last summer and wondering whether any of the C.A.M.A.L.S. (Certificate of Artistry in Media Arts at Lusher School) students would be willing to make a video with me. These talented young dudes produced something that far exceeded what I envisioned. Watch for their names on the big screen someday.
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Sinusoidal curve, you got some nerve swingin' that thang all up and down the x-axis
Now lemme ax' this: Have you ever strutted your stuff on the catwalk?
Yeah, on the catwalk?

Up and down, down and up
Make up your mind; I'm trying to find
Which way you're goin'; Cause I ain't knowin' the rules
but I bet you be bendin' em; Your mood swings like a pendulum
Whose simple harmonic motion like the waves of the ocean
can be described by your very equation

Speakin' of which: y = a * sin(b(x-h)) + k
That equation's got some size man; You give most men the Heisman
But I'm a wise man and I open my eyes and
See you for what you really are: Powerful and beautiful, like a star

So sinusoidal curve, I've been checkin' out your form and here's what I observe:

Parameter a gets ample dues for providing your amplitude
causing mountains to soar and valleys to plunge in a colossal vertical stretch
or collapsing the entirety of your landscape in a cataclysmic vertical shrink

Parameter b baffles brothas constantly
'cause it stretches and shrinks horizontally
in a manner contrary to what intuition might imply
but at least we see it has the decency to calculate your frequency
when its absolute value is divided by 2-pi

Parameters h and k,
We've discussed this combination in previous transformation conversation
in relation to the causation of relocation in the form of horizontal and vertical translation
Now is that adequate confirmation of my mathematical dedication?

Sinusoidal curve, I'm buildin' up my nerve
I wanna slither and slide all up and down your slippery slopes while I subtly grope
the negative crests with the positive second derivatives and
the positive crests with the negative second derivatives
Man, it be so confusin' but I ain't one for losin'
So I just be infusin' my passionate views in this numerical cruise

And at the end of my ride I wanna lay back and glide, back and forth
Like a precious pearl rollin' between the increasing and decreasing intervals of your being
before surreptitiously settling in the small of your back
nestled amongst majestic mounds of mathematical marvel

Sinusoidal curve, you dip, dive, and swerve,
I wanna feel your gravity as we switch concavity at every single point of inflection and then change direction and cross another x-intersection
my initial objection giving way to affection 'cause I feel such connection to your mathematical perfection

Sinusoidal curve, I got what you deserve.
A lot of these fools, they don't get your appeal
But every time we get close sweetie I cop a feel
So I know those ain't implants; your domain is all real!
Now can I get into your range? Holla back, what the deal!

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