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!

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