Engineering Riddle – No. 1 (Math) “I may cross once, I may cross twice…”

I may cross once, I may cross twice, I may cross never, but never thrice.
When starting up, I finish down, I finish up, when starting down.
I have three parts, some friends would say, One straight, one curved, one same all day.
With time and place and rate of flight, I’ll tell you where you’ll be tonight.
And when you throw a ball up high, I’ll tell you when to close your eye.
I’ll use my shape to bend the light, And take you close to stars at night,
And if you want to talk to friends, Transmit/Receive, I’m on both ends.
Now if my name you still can’t state, Just draw a line, then integrate.
What am I?

About Kenneth Richard Hardman

AncestorClips are very short stories about very real people. Each clip nurtures awareness of a time, a place, and the character of a man or woman who cultivated a path for our life. The reader feels the good, the obstacles, the happiness, the sadness, and the overcoming. They cheer us, make us resilient when challenged, give us purpose, and connect us to our multi-generational family. Each story is followed by reflections from the author and readers sharing how the story strengthened or inspired them. Ken Hardman is a son, a brother, a grandson, a great-grandson… He is also a husband, father and grand-father. Ken is a professional engineer, engineering mentor, technical writer, and associate technical fellow at a major aerospace company. He is a writer of engineering and family history stories. Please join Ken in reading, reflecting upon, or writing #AncestorClips
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6 Responses to Engineering Riddle – No. 1 (Math) “I may cross once, I may cross twice…”

  1. John Christiansen says:

    Parabola was my guess as well, but that is incorrect based on the above response. How about “quadratic function?” That seems to satisfy the “one straight, one curved, one same all day” criteria with the three components of the function.

  2. tony granillo says:


  3. Anonymous says:


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