Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Mathematics and Digital Images

During the past several weeks I have been teaching a graduate level course for elementary and middle school teachers in mathematics and technolgy at our local univeristy, Minot State U.

As we have covered digital photography I have tried to make it relevant to mathematics. We did this by taking pictures of geometric shapes, etc. (Actually it was surprising that the students did some of their homework in local evening establishments, and that they found good geometric shapes in those establishments.

One of the first sessions that I attended here at NECC was “Digital Imagery in the Mathematics Curriculum” by Brian Sharp from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

This session opened up many more uses for digital photography and video. They imported pictures into Geometer’s Sketchpad and used the measurement tools to analyze the pictures.

They took a picture of a house from the end, and then measured the slope of the roof using the line and measurement tools.

They took a picture of a long hallway and found the “vanishing point” by drawing numerous lines along the floor, ceiling, etc.

They used images of famous artwork and found the vanishing point and also “golden rectangles” in the artwork.

They had students write about the math found in these examples.

Using digital video, you can capture more than one frame from the same video (falling object) and use the tools in Geometer’s Sketchpad to make the measurements.

They are doing more sessions on digital imagery in social studies and science later today that I hope to drop in on.

There is a new book coming out in July available through ISTE titled “Teaching with Digital Images: Acquire, Analyze, Create, Communicate” by Glen Bull and Lynn Bull.

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