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Students Watching Math 104 YouTube Videos Extremely Educated About Fetterman’s Campaign


The freshman experience at Penn is not about the Quad. It's not about homecoming, parties, or even making friends. It’s about watching countless hours of Robert Ghrist explaining Math 104. It’s about that naughty, mischievous smirk he gives when introducing a trick to make a problem easier. It’s about wondering how on Earth the graphics are so good in each video. Where is he getting this funding? Does he make these on iMovie? Is he eligible for an Emmy?

This year, things are a little different. As you may have heard (maybe), 2022 is an election year. Pennsylvania is home to two of the country’s biggest races, as governor and a seat in the Senate are up for grabs. As upstanding American citizens, then, it is of the utmost importance that we become educated on these candidates and what they stand for. Thankfully, Math 104 seems to be doing the work for us. 

It is nearly impossible to access Ghrist’s wealth of knowledge without first getting yelled at by a deep, off-screen voice as black and white images of Mehmet Oz or Josh Shapiro flash across the screen. At this point in the semester, any student in the class knows John Fetterman’s campaign better than any strategist in D.C. Nationwide polls released last week show that the most informed demographic of voters is any student at the University of Pennslyvania still confused on what a Taylor series is. 

The repercussions of this barrage of messaging are far-reaching. T.A.s report that over half of the answers on the last Friday quiz made a mention of Doug Mastriano being “too extreme for Pennsylvania” when the question was actually about finding local maxima. Students can correctly answer how long Oz lived in New Jersey, but have zero clue what the chain rule is. Scores are dropping, and many discouraged freshmen are ending their STEM careers for majors in PPE. Then again, that’s usually how it goes. So long, Calc Green. At least we can scroll TikTok without these ads, right?