“God used beautiful mathematics in creating the world.”—Paul Dirac
The derivative gives the rate of change of a function at a particular point. Second and third derivatives give the rate at which the rate of change is changing and the rate at which the rate of rate of change is changing, respectively.
Hugo Rossi wrote: “In the fall of 1972 President Nixon announced that the rate of increase of inflation was decreasing. This was the first time a sitting president used the third derivative to advance his case for reelection.”
Mathematics Is an Edifice, Not a Toolbox, Notices of the AMS, v. 43, no. 10, October 1996.