Sunday 16 December 2018

This student was studying calculus when two Star Wars themes came right out of her pencil

A long time ago, in a maths lesson far, far away…

Star Wars fans dressed as Stormtroopers, and a mathematical calculation (John Giles/PA, Dani Ochoa)
Star Wars fans dressed as Stormtroopers, and a mathematical calculation (John Giles/PA, Dani Ochoa)

By Max McLean

Maths teachers throughout history have worked hard to make the subject fun, but, for Star Wars fans at least, one student might just have cracked it.

Dani Ochoa, 19, is the mastermind behind it all. While tackling some mathematics the student working towards a degree in optical engineering noticed that the problem she’d been working on sounded somewhat familiar.

Be prepared to have this stuck in your head all day.

It started with x+4… and I couldn’t unhear it. Instead of doing my math homework I figured out what the Cantina Theme would sound like if your instrument was a pencil. from StarWars

“I was in the middle of a math problem, and I had written the term “x+4″ about three times when I realised ‘hey, that definitely sounds like the beginning of the Cantina song’,” said Ochoa. “I sent a recording to some friends, who encouraged me to expand on it, which I did over the course of an hour until it sounded just right.”

It’s a special discovery alright, but it doesn’t end there. Ochoa also managed to recreate the Imperial March, composed by John Williams.

Hey, thanks, u/smokay83 for making this sub! Now I have a place to put the IMPERIAL MARCH! from pencilmusic

The force is strong in this one.

“The Cantina Theme came first,” said Ochoa. “After posting to Reddit, people kept asking for more. Being an indulgent procrastinator, I happily obliged.

“These equations aren’t anything significant, but my area of study does involve mathematics, and a ton of it. I’m working toward a degree in Optical Engineering. I was in the middle of studying calculus when this whole thing began.”

Star Wars Dancing GIF by Cheezburger - Find & Share on GIPHY

So is Ochoa a huge Star Wars fan? Well, it turns out she’s familiar with the Cantina Theme in particular due to something else.

“The reason I know the Cantina Theme so well is due to the Star Wars Pod Racing game on the N64,” she said. “That game was my favourite! I think I would really enjoy Star Wars though, I’ve been meaning to have a marathon!”

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