"The Great Calculus" - Aida Calculus App

Web Design | App Development | Animation Ideation | Illustration | Storytelling | Content Creation | Production | Ideation | Relational Framing | Neuroscience | CQ™ | Communication Design | Sound Design | Edutainment The problem: One in five students fail calculus at university level and therefore can't get into STEM careers. And/or they are in STEM careers and struggling. Pearson, in collaboration with Doberman, approached BoxMedia to help deliver the first advanced AI-driven calculus learning app in the education space. Our task was to do what we do best; use cognitive science, CQ™, neuroscience, and AI to disrupt the legacy calculus content that has become outdated. We joined the project at the ideation stage. Collaborating with mathematicians, animators, scientists, and storytellers, we were able to deliver over 30 short scripts to teach learning points in a creative way on very complex and often misunderstood areas of calculus. Find out more on: https://thegreatcalculus.com/

We had to challenge the way calculus was taught and find new, fresh examples with a new direction. The end goal was to ignite the curiosity of the learner, respect their time, and keep reaffirming that what they're learning is fun but also has a real-world application - something they can use both now and in the future.
"Calculus is an unseen barrier to STEM careers. It's a leak in the pipeline,"
- Milena Marinova, Senior Vice President of AI Products & Solutions at Pearson

The Problem & The Solution

In a world where technology is forever at our fingertips, old ways of teaching just don’t work - they leave young learners frustrated and bored. By harnessing the power of AI through a convergence of different technologies, Aida Calculus offers a truly personalized tutoring experience for each and every student. By understanding what areas of calculus they’re exceeding in, and where they need more practice, Aida Calculus keeps students focused and motivated.  Combine this unique learning experience with truly captivating, modern and beautiful explainer videos, and you’ve got a combination that’s first in its class.

The AIDA Calculus App

Aida Calculus is an AI-driven, personalized tutoring experience and the vision of Milena Marinova. The app uses AI to tailor the lessons to what the student knows and where they need to build strength. It works by harnessing a student’s specific knowledge and performance. The app is able to instantly assess the student’s work , and they’re then provided with the opportunity to see a hint or to view additional content. By including plenty of real-world examples, Aida Calculus helps spark students' curiosity by connecting the dots between the maths they are studying and the real world. ​​​​​​​

Relational Framing | CQ™

#CQ #CommunicationQuotient #CommunicationIntelligence

At BoxMedia we are harnessing the power of relational frames to create depth, precision, and focus in learning. Our in-house writers, communication intelligence experts, and neuroscientists use storytelling to build links between the desired learning points and real life. Today, everyone  consumes enormous quantities of information. Relatable content makes it easier for people to absorb and understand complicated ideas. This is called Relational Framing.
Calculus is a subject that is notoriously difficult to relate to - in fact, many people struggle to understand how these numbers and letters relate to anything in real life.  We knew this subject needed to be reimagined. So, along with Aida and our own in-house experts, we brought in a specialised team who were highly skilled in math and science. Together we took the existing frames, broke them down, and rebuilt them using our relational framing structure.  We concentrated on the top 34 most difficult areas, producing 34 short mixed media films.  This project recently won the Fast Company 2020 Innovation Awards in Education.  It is working!

Bringing Maths to Life

We knew that Newton’s apple wasn’t going to enthrall a modern audience, and that old ways of teaching didn’t stack up against the technology we use everyday. So we worked closely with maths experts to reimagine the way students learn Calculus. From showcasing Nasa scientists creating the first images of a black hole to rockets, hoverboards and even bees, our team of animators took the fantastical real world and applied it to Calculus. The result was an animated wonderland that entertained as well as educated.

Meet the Characters

We created a plethora of characters to help us deliver videos with engaging storylines. These characters help to increase information retention by adding depth to the story-telling. Follow Brigitte the dog as she explores space and learns about video game coding. Meet Luca the rocket maker; Digit the Shakespeare writing monkey; Cosima the hoverboard explorer; Dylan the Robot; Peia the climbing elephant; Milena the mathematician conductor.  And of course our own 8bit squad: Harlow, the untitled sheep; Blackhole spaghettification chef; Punk T racer and many more.

Black Holes

Accomplishing what was previously thought impossible, a team of scientists at NASA have used limits to help capture the first ever image of a black hole which is millions of lightyears away from earth. Limits are used by scientists around the globe to help us understand the mysteries of black holes - a thing so mysterious, from which nothing, not even light can escape! How much does a black hole weigh and what happens if you’re sucked into one? Take a journey down a mathematical rabbit hole and discover how to find unknown values when they are infinite or even when they do not exist!


Find out how derivatives are used within video-game coding to create entirely new worlds. From finding the right rate of change for your tomato catapult to simulating a realistic collision with a rubber duck on the racing track, derivatives can help. Learn how VR and AR are changing how we experience movement. Video game coders use derivatives all the time to create realistic game play, and with Aida Calculus you’ll understand it all too.


Rockets are a great example of how integrals are used in real life to create something really cool. From the 1969 Apollo 11 mission to creating an amateur rocket in your backyard, integrals are used to calculate velocity, acceleration and even surface areas of rocket fins. Companies around the world are using the same math concepts to change the future of travel altogether - hoverboards and commercial rockets could be a closer reality than you might think.

Tech for Good #Tech4Good

Far away galaxies, black holes, rockets and gamification are exciting subjects but let’s also focus on something a little closer to home, our world and environment. Learn how derivatives are being used to make a difference in our ever-changing world - stopping elephant poaching, monitoring bee populations and minimizing wastage of resources in manufacturing.
At BoxMedia we seek out projects that push the barriers around innovation and critical thinking, communication design, creativity and quality. We work with top talent across all our disciplines. After all, creating paradigm shifts is not easy and certainly not done by one brain. It’s the collective and collaborative process that eliminates mediocrity and paves the way for impact.  Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make this project possible. We look forward to sharing with you all our next adventures.

Project Tags


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    • Education & Research