Car Racing and Math Collide

On Monday, December 14 and Tuesday, December 15, alumnus Trevor Green-Smith ‘11 visited four sections of Branson math classes, including Dave Reiter’s AB Calculus, Kenny Rabin’s AB Calculus, and Dave Reiter’s Linear Algebra, to speak with students about “doing math for a living.” 

As a performance engineer in Indy car racing who competes with Andretti Autosport, Trevor truly does math for a living. Trevor talked about how he uses calculus and linear algebra every day, running simulations and analyzing data that is constantly used to fine tune and tweak his team’s strategy. 

Trevor explained how he builds mathematical models to analyze tires, shock absorbers, fuel consumption, and more. He also highlighted the need to verify models on the track to make sure they are valid, and the importance of clear communication between the engineers and the driver.

Kaya Dierks ‘21 reflected on Trevor’s visit to her Linear Algebra class, writing "I really liked the presentation! I thought it was cool to see how the math we are learning right now applies to a real world concept. The graphs demonstrating how integrals and derivatives affected the speed and function of the race car were especially cool!"

We love having alums back - especially to talk about how high school subjects play a part in their every day!