Tim Pennings noticed that his Welsh corgi, Elvis, seemed to follow the optimal path when chasing a ball thrown into Lake Michigan — Elvis seemed to realize that he ran faster than he swam, and so could minimize his retrieval time by racing intelligently along the beach before jumping into the water. But how did he make these judgments?

“We confess that although he made good choices, Elvis does not know calculus,” Pennings wrote. “In fact, he has trouble differentiating even simple polynomials.”

I took his class. The dog came in a few times to demonstrate his optimal path fetching

@noelle Elvis (and lifeguards) don't need to know calculus (differential algebra), just the principle of refraction (Snell's Law).

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