No one liked algebra in high school. 3xy - 400x + 904 = 43x(18xy -12)? That is an actual algebra problem I have no idea how to solve.
Now high schoolers don’t need to figure out how to answer those equations thanks to a new app called PhotoMath. Users of PhotoMath can scan their math problems on their smartphone and the app will show them the solution and how to get there. The video below shows how it works:
The creators say this helps cut down on homework time since students don’t have to flip to the back of their textbook on particularly tricky questions. And by showing the process, the app acts as a teaching aid that can help people struggling to understand certain concepts.
That’s a noble intention, but we all know how it will really be used: Cheating. Kids these days grew up on cell phones and know all the tricks to using them in class without being noticed. Unless they own an iPhone 6 or Galaxy Note 4 or any other unwieldy phablet, high schoolers will be using this app to cheat.
PhotoMath is currently available on iOS and Windows Phone. Don’t worry Android users, the app will be released for you in 2015. At least you’ll have time to think up a plausible explanation for how your C+ in Algebra turned into an A overnight.
Joseph Misulonas is an intern at Playboy.com. He was originally accepted into the advanced mathematics program at Northwestern University, but decided to study journalism instead. When not regretting his life choices, he can be found on Twitter at @jmisulonas.