From a physicist's point of view, differential equations are the language of the universe.
Knowing how to integrate elementary functions is like knowing how to spell. Many
students struggle in calculus-based introductory physics course, not due to any difficulty
understanding physics, but due to lack of facility in calculus. Conscientious physics
educators have to do something to help students direct their efforts towards the
proper ends. The UW Integration Bee was started in 2004 and is modelled on a similar
competition held at MIT at least as far back as 1989 (please email
Jim Reardon if you know more Integration Bee
history). Students compete for prizes by solving integrals in head-to-head
competition at the white board. All integrals can be solved using elementary techniniques
(ie those taught in Math 221 and Math 222).
Grand Integrators of Madison
Look at integrals from past years' Integration Bees: