The purpose of the Maupertuis expedition was to measure the length of a degree of latitude along a meridian near the North Pole. By comparing their measurements with similar measurements near the equator in South America, Celsius and Maupertuis were able to settle a longstanding debate regarding the shape of the earth. They proved (after a lot of argumentation) that Newton was correct in his theory that the earth was "flattened" at the poles.
Today, we also celebrate the achievements of a family friend, Lord Sunflash, who has just been offered a full scholarship to Missouri University of Science and Technology. Congratulations, Lord Sunflash! May your reign be peaceful and profitable, for all your loyal subjects!
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Brian and Melanie Fulton both earned doctoral degrees in mathematics at Virginia Tech. They formerly taught math at the university level, and now run a hobby farm while accuracy-checking collegiate mathematics texts. They homeschool their four children, frequently employing the aid of chicken, dairy goat, cat, and dog tutors.