A math expert at the University of Mobile is looking to take some of the guesswork out of decorating your Christmas tree.
Troy Henderson is a professor of mathematics at the university. He has developed and released a free online calculator that anyone can use to determine the optimal way to string lights on their Christmas tree. Henderson's calculator takes the dimensions of the tree and the length of lights available and uses calculus to determine the optimal spacing.
Henderson says says his students were especially excited by the calculator, because it applies calculus to a real-world problem.
"So many times in some these classes, even the examples we have seem almost contrived. But this was a real-life example that came up just from decorating a Christmas Tree."
Henderson says he was motivated to create the calculator since he and his wife could never figure out a way to evenly drape lights around their Christmas tree.