Top 5 Structures Where Math is an Integral Part of the Design
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Top 5 Structures Where Math is an Integral Part of the Design

Math is everywhere! And, in most cases, your life depends on it. Here are our math department’s favorite structures that use math in their design.


The Daniel Hoan Bridge: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The Daniel Hoan Memorial Bridge is a tied arch bridge.  In the Tied-arch bridge, the outward-directed horizontal forces of the arch, or top chord, are borne as tension by the bottom chord (either tie-rods or the deck itself) rather than by the ground or the bridge foundations.


The Bixby Creek Bridge: Big Sur, California

Bixby Creek Bridge is a reinforced concrete open-spandrel arch bridge in Big Sur, California.  A spandrel-braced arch carries the deck on the top of the arch.


The Gateway Arch: St. Louis, Missouri

One common misconception is that the St. Louis arch is a parabola.  The arch is actually a shape called a catenary.  A catenary is the shape made by a chain that is freely hanging between two supports.  The Finnish-American designer of the Gateway Arch, Eero Saarinen, know that a parabola was not the best shape for such an arch, therefore a catenary was used for the model.


Milwaukee Art Museum: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Santiago Calatrava, a Spanish born architect, has designed many bridges, train stations, stadiums, and art museums across the world. He often pushes the boundaries between architecture and engineering, as discussed in this article by Arch Daily.

“In 1996 he took all of this a step further with his design and construction of an extension to the Milwaukee Art Museum. It consisted of a long glass-and-steel reception hall with an eighty-foot ceiling, all shaded by an enormous moveable sunscreen on the roof. The screen had two ribbed panels that opened and closed like the wings of a giant seagull, putting the entire edifice into motion, and giving the sense of a building that could take flight.” 



Do you love the thrill of being on a roller coaster?  Every time you get on you are putting your faith in the engineers that designed the roller coaster.  Even the slightest mistake in math could be a matter of life and death for the riders! Roller coaster engineers have developed the perfect loop, one that is fun without causing riders to pass out, and they use the formula ac = v2⁄ r to do it!

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    Hoy Padre Norberto Sandoval, junto con la Latino Student Organization, celebró una hermosa misa en honor a la Virgen de Guadalupe. En 1531, la Virgen de Guadalupe apareció al pobre campesino indígena, Juan Diego. Ahora la Virgen representa la esencia de México – la fusión de la España católica y lo indígena de México. Los miembros de LSO presentaron baile folclórico y azteca para celebrar estas dos culturas.

    Today, Fr. Norberto Sandoval and STM’s Latino Student Organization led the school in a beautiful celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe. In 1531, the Virgin of Guadalupe appeared to the poor Indian peasant Juan Diego. She now represents the essence of Mexico - the fusion of Catholic Spain and Indigenous Mexico. Members of LSO performed folklore and Aztec dances in celebration of these two cultures.
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    4 days ago

    St. Thomas More High School

    Members of the STM Green Club spent a couple of hours on Saturday morning on a project to protect newly planted trees for the winter. Wire cages were placed around each tree and then filled with dry leaves to keep out the bitter winter cold. A total of 26 oak saplings and 3 young maple trees were serviced on the property. A project for the spring will seek students and faculty to "adopt" a tree for ongoing care and the right to provide a name.

    Special thanks go to student helpers Henry Barksdale and Sierra Cruz for their hearts and hands on Saturday; Mr. Lalko for the inspiration for the project and the tree location map; and Mr. Doan for keeping the many bags of leaves safe until Saturday. We are looking forward to these trees providing beauty, shade, shelter, and clean air for many years to come!
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    School Information

    St. Thomas More High School
    2601 East Morgan Avenue
    Milwaukee, WI 53207

    Phone: (414) 481-8370
    Fax: (414) 481-3382
    Email: [email protected]

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