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Math 508 Midterm Literally Just Getting Crushed by a Falling Anvil


Photo by tmib_seattle / CC BY-SA 2.0

With midterm season in full swing, many Penn professors are looking for innovative ways to make things more interesting for themselves. For example, one Wharton professor replaced her midterm with a class game of monopoly where only the winner received a passing grade. 

The upcoming midterm for Math 508 is no exception. Instead of the traditional, proof-based exam, students will instead be getting hit by a falling anvil. 

The avant-garde midterm is the brainchild of 508 professor Joel Kevins. In a recent interview, Kevins described how the idea actually came from the students themselves.

“You know the comments on my course on that website? Wait, what’s it called... Penn Horse Preview. Ah, no, it's like Penn Course Review, right, yes. A lot of reviews about my class say that it’s like getting hit by a truck. So okay, I thought, let's lean into that. Now unfortunately the department’s budget couldn’t afford an 18-wheeler like the one in my vision, so we had to settle for anvils instead. Students can think of it as if we’re just cutting out the middle man!”