Virtual Mathematics Update

vmlogoFollowing on from last term when the bulk of the discussion on web tools to disseminate mathematics happened, this term is where the individual projects are developed and produced (with a deadline for final submission over the Easter vacation). There is still a weekly seminar, but now only an hour, and primarily to discuss how everyone’s project is coming along and to share ideas, maintaining the collaborative nature of the module. Yet again, I may have underestimated how much time we needed and they feel very rushed, but hopefully this will encourage more discussion online, where the reflective blogs are continuing, but now concentrating on the experiences of project development.

The most recent seminar each student gave a brief presentation on the progress they were making, and it’s really pleasing to see the variety of ideas and approaches already coming to the fore. It’s going to be very difficult to mark them at the end of the project since I have a feeling they are all going to be both excellent, but also all very different offerings with unique facets to each other.

Projects being developed include Prime Numbers for G&T, Chaos Theory for public understanding of science and Non-Standard Analysis for Undergraduates. Other topics being covered include fractals, hypercubes and fractions, so it’s a real mixed bag! There is also varied use of technology with Prezi, Jing and Second Life being heavily utilised in a variety of ways.

Must admit I’m already getting excited about running this module again next year and opening it up to larger numbers. There have been no major issues with using several different platforms on the server, and everything should scale up quite nicely (he hopes).

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Dave

Mathematician at the University of Warwick in the UK with research interests in equivariant bifurcation theory and applications, especially in modelling of insect locomotion. Teaching interests include online learning and innovative teaching methods. Also occasionally creates material for the University’s “International Gateway for Gifted Youth”. He has been active on the Internet since 1995, initially though his UFO and Michael Schenker website, but now through a multitude of projects.

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