Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Crocheting Adventures with Daina Taimina

Last Thursday, we had the honor of hosting in #Vizmath a presentation by Daina Taimina. Her slides were amazing- such beautiful color and curvature. But, what was even more impressive was the fascinating way that these works of art also spoke to us of mathematical ideas, specifically hyperbolic planes. 

I encourage you to listen to her presentation, which we've now put on YouTube:

And, now I have her book, Crocheting Adventures, thanks to Amazon.  Once you hear her on the video, you'll probably want the book as well. It includes patterns to try for yourself!  

After we stopped the recording part of the session, we continued a discussion among participants in the webinar. Part of the discussion was about geometry instruction in the schools. Yes, we probably did need to reduce the amount of time spent memorizing proofs, but we should have replaced memorization with these fascinating concepts.  The beauty of Daina's work with crocheting hyperbolic planes is that it can be approached from many levels. We had children in a class in the session.  What better way to excite children about math! Then, for those with more math background, they can be challenged to rethink what they know about curvature and space. Why do we ignore the power of the tactile in learning mathematics? When the senses are all pulled in, deeper learning can occur.

So, thank you, Daina, for helping me see this beauty of negative curvature and hyperbolic space around me. Now, let's share this with the world!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Apostolos Doxiadis

For our first session today of #Vizmath, we had Apostolos Doxiadis. author of several books, including Logicomix. He was delightful.  All of his answers were full of great reflection about math and narrative. And, the participants asked great questions! He talked about how his organization, Thales + Friends sponsors book clubs for reading mathematics in Greece. What a great idea! He also recommended some books and websites, which we will share on the VizMath site. He mentioned the book, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, which I have on my Kindle.  He also mentioned some organizations that deal with fiction and mathematics. 

It was a wonderful start to VizMath.  Next week, we have Daina Taimina, who will talk about crocheting and hyperbolic space.  I can't wait!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

VizMath begins!

Carol Yeager and I are doing a new MOOC, called #Vizmath.  Tomorrow, we will be joined by Apostolos Doxiadis, author of Logicomix and other books.  We will discuss math and narrative.

And, Daina, our speaker for next week, just told me that it is Gardner's birthday tomorrow!  How exciting!