Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Art of Math

Included below is the recording for week 6 and I will link it in the week six page, as well.

This is an overview with links to take you to pages you might find of interest. Most of the images and copy have been extracted from Wikipedia, with their offered links.  The next two weeks will feature a presentation on M.C. Escher followed by one on Origami. The Art of Math will have been well represented! Feel free to add your own observations, comments blogs and/or Facebook postings.

Here's hoping you played around with perspective drawing and if you do not wish to include in your own blog, perhaps you would do so as a reply here to my blog.  Thanks ... I will return to the regularly scheduled live Blackboard presentation on M.C. Escher, 6 December 2012. 

The Art of Math presentation is HERE

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Data and the Real World ...

As I read today's NYTimes article on computers, data formulas and equations and real world conditions, numbers took on a far greater importance than intuition.  This is akin to what happened to data and presidential poll predictions, even after the majority of the votes had been counted and logged into "maps". The visualizations of data tend to interest me and tend to stick longer in my memory than mere numbers.

Even as a wordsmith, when we went to international icons, I found the visual shorthand more attractive and easier to use than what I might learn of a foreign language.  Early pictographs on the caves of Lascaux, and others, are a constant reminder of visual communication.  Perhaps visual mnemonics are a better form of recognition than words; although, it is helpful to use words in sentences for more concise communication.

HERE is an interesting animated series of data visualizations.

As I indicated earlier, many of the election pundits and politicians seemed to rely more on their theories of poll numbers, rather than the obvious visuals.  So where and when do we exercise our visual recognition and when and where are visualizations a better fit!

An article I read recentlys piqued these ideas and questions.  Keep in mind that the answers are not nearly as intriguing and interesting as the subsequent ??? they engender. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Symmetry in a Bee (quilting bee)

This past week we delved into symmetry and visual representations of symmetrical examples.  In the back of my mind I was thinking quilts and the amazing skills our early forebears developed in designing them.  A quilt is functional as well as beautiful.  It may be complicated and encompass geometry as well as symmetry, or not.

Today I found a piece about quilts and symmetry that includes some simple activities ... or, you can gather a group of folks and start a quilting bee!

Please let us know what you did, or what you think after perusing this website.  Thanks.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Visualizing twitter through data

I found this blog post tonight and am fascinated by the movement of the data that tells so much about social networks and their development over a particular time span and discussion topic.

While I was a bit hesitant to venture into the Twittersphere a year ago, I have recently come to appreciate both the immediacy and the connectivist nature of its use.  And so, now I am fascinated by any software and data gathering mechanism that can transform this into a visual with which I can more readily relate.

Take a look and let me know what you think, and if you have others, please post in your blog ...



Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Mathematics and What It Means to be Human

As posted in the CMC11 Facebook group by Vanessa Vaile:
"In May 2009, Michele Osherow, an English professor at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County and resident dramaturg at the Folger Theatre, in Washington, invited her colleague Manil Suri, a mathematician at the university, to act as mathematics consultant for the Folger's production of Tom Stoppard's Arcadia. The play explores the relationship between past and present through the characters' intellectual pursuits, poetic and mathematical.That led to a series of "show and tell" sessions explaining the mathematics behind the play both to cast members and audiences. In the fall of 2011, the two professors decided to take their collaboration to the classroom and jointly teach a freshman seminar on "Mathematics and What It Means to be Human." 
and here is a link to the article ...  Mathematics and What It Means to be Human
 by the way, Oulipo, mentioned in this article, is one of the narrrative mathematics Apostolos gave us  to check out ...
Having now read installments 1 and 2. I eagerly look forward to the students striking back in the 3rd installment! 
I am hoping someone else will become interested in the narrative and math and what it means to be human ... and carry forth on their reflections ...

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Where do I start with Math in Narrative ...

 words? numbers? characters? Perhaps I should start with something simple, like a game called Rummikub that a few geriatric geezers I knew played every evening.  I am sure the addition and subtraction of the number combinations have some clue to the tenacity of their relationship with one another. 

It has been said that one should write of what they know best ... and I knew the geriatric geezers very well; and, have a functioning knowledge of Rummikub.  What I am not sure of is how to work the numbers to move the story line forward.  Apostolos Doxiadis made it sound so easy.  It does not seem easy to me.

And so, I offer a challenge to all who dare to try a connective and communal writing project.

We have an elderly couple we shall name Marie and Tom.  They are both in their late 80's and have a compulsion to play Rummikub every night after dinner. First, however, all of the dinner dishes must be washed, dried and put in their proper storage slots.  Then, the game appears on the dinnig room table and    ...

this is where someone can pick up and find a way for math to help move the story line forward .... I look forward to seeing where we go with this tale  :)


Thursday, October 18, 2012

First Date with Math Broadcast

Today was our first live session in Blackboard Collaborate.  I am always a tad apprehensive as to the technical challenges and whether participants will be engaged with the presenter and each other.
I need not have been apprehensive today, and truthfully, really was not too apprehensive.  My co facilitator had all well laid out for the potential technical glitches (of which there turned out to be none for the Broadcast).  Her questions and exchanges with Apostolos Doxiadis were stellar, and the participants had a number of cogent and interesting queries of their own ... even yours truly stepped up to the mathematical plate and posted a few queries. Whew!  Opening Day went well!

The linking of mathematics to a narrative was something new for me, save for the  Brown book, The DaVinci Code.  I now have an additional  list of authors and some treatises that use mathematics to move a story line forward.  Not only are we visualizing math, we are reading for better understanding of mathematical concepts.  I do enjoy learning new things! I never, in my wildest imagination, thought I would look forward to mathematical concepts beyond the basics.  Exciting and new adventures are just around the corner.

While I have added the recording to the VizMath template under the first session, I am going to include it here, and in tomorrow's newsletter: