Posted by Phil Price:
In Tai’s Model, the total area under a curve is computed by dividing the area under the curve between two designated values on the X-axis (abscissas) into small segments (rectangles and triangles) whose areas can be accurately calculated from their respective geometrical formulas. The total sum of these individual areas thus represents the total area under the curve. Validity of the model is established by comparing total areas obtained from this model to these same areas obtained from graphic method (less than +/- 0.4%). Other formulas widely applied by researchers under- or overestimated total area under a metabolic curve by a great margin
Yes, that’s right, this guy has rediscovered the trapezoidal rule. You know, that thing most readers of this blog were taught back in 11th or 12th grade, and all med students were taught by freshman year in college.
The blogger finds this amusing, but I find it mostly upsetting and sad. Which is sadder: (1) That this paper got past the referees, (2) that it has been cited dozens of times in the medical literature, including this year, (3) that, if the abstract is to be believed, many medical researchers DON’T use an accurate method to calculate the area under a curve.
Things gets reinvented all the time. I, too, have published results that I’ve later found were previously published by someone else. But I’ve never done it with something that is taught in high school calculus. And — I’m practically spluttering with indignation — if I wanted to calculate something like the area under a curve, I would at least first see if there is already a known way to do it! I wouldn’t invent an obvious method, name it after myself, and send it to a journal, without it ever occurring to me that, gee, maybe someone else has thought about this already! Grrrrrr.