James Vanayos used some quadratic equations to make some serious money, $60,000 worth. James is a senior from North Andover High School and he won a renewable $15,000 scholarship to Merrimack College for civil engineering. The contest? Use a homemade catapult to toss an egg in a frying pan.
You can read more of the details at the Eagle Tribune. Why mention it? Because although Math study can and should be motivated by learning more about the world, occasionally you can use Algebra (and Physics and some other academic pursuits) directly to accomplish something. And James Vayanos is a prime example - he's going to college for a lot less by using what he's learned in a very direct way, building an egg catapult.