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ExxonMobil Ads for the Masters Highlight Mathematics

The Masters brings together a host of the world's top golfers for four days of intense competition. This weekend, broadcasts of the tournament will feature three ads from ExxonMobil that spotlight the critical role of mathematics—in golf, in energy production, in science, in life. Thirty to sixty seconds long, the ads explicitly promote mathematics, in both dramatic and whimsical ways.

Defending Masters champion Phil Mickelson stars in the ad "Swing." ExxonMobil's other math-promoting ads are "Eraser" and "Try." The message? "Math and science are everywhere." Along with ExxonMobil, Mickelson and his wife Amy created the Math and Science Teachers Academy, where elementary school teachers can learn new ways to inspire their students.

The consultant behind these ads was mathematician Douglas N. Arnold of the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications, at the University of Minnesota. Viewers can't really see the mathematical equations in the smaller versions shown on the web, but if they tune into the Masters Tournament, they can catch glimpses of the Navier-Stokes equation, Fourier series, Maxwell's equations, and more. Arnold also recommends the accompanying web page on the "Science of a Drive."

ExxonMobil's support for mathematics and science was also highlighted in the Math in the News article of March 19, 2007, titled "National Initiative Hopes to Improve Mathematics Education Even More."—H. Waldman

News Date: 
Friday, April 6, 2007