The International Association for Development of Information Society (IADIS) sponsored its conference on Cognition and Exploratory Learning in Digital Age (CELDA 2013) in Texas this year. Mike Eisenberg presented a paper on Math on a Sphere, contributing to the conference’s aim to address issues involving learning processes and supporting pedagogies and applications in the digital age. To our delight, our paper won best paper award! Find the paper on our Publications Page .
On Saturday, October 26th, the public visitors to the Lawrence Hall of Science got a first hand in making a cat, pumpkin, spider web, or jack-o’-lantern using Math on a Sphere, and then seeing their designs on the giant Science On a Sphere. By changing different values of variables in the computer program, visitors turn their black cats into pink cats, added bigger eyes to pumpkins, and drew spider webs on the Sphere. Sherry Hsi took turns with adult volunteers and staff members at the Hall, facilitating and being “the DJ”, using a microphone to announce the designs as they appeared on the ball and projecting the code to be shown on a second large screen behind the SOS. Teen interns from the Hall’s TechHive program helped children with Math on a Sphere, while “Prof. Mike” Eisenberg was on hand via Skype to help with children’s questions. Families enjoyed the background music playing fun Halloween music from different genres and periods of time. Visitors also made their own 3D faces by drawing onto a balloon. Their faces were captured from an iPad and computer projector onto the balloon’s 3D surface. Designs can be found in the [a href=”http://ponder.org.uk/weblogo/client.html”>sample designs menu.
Wishing everyone a Happy Halloween!
You’re invited to a Google+ Hangout with Science on a Sphere® and the Lawrence Hall of Science! No matter where you are located or your age, we invite you to write code and create designs using the Math on a Sphere software. On June 20, see your design displayed on the big Science On a Sphere exhibit in person or from the Internet via a Google+ Hangout!
What do I do?
To participate, use the Math on a Sphere software to create a design. The client software is available here:
Once you have created your design, use the following submission form to Submit Your Code
See your designs live on Science On a Sphere!
Join us on June 20 to see all the designs. If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, we invite you to come to the Lawrence Hall of Science . If you are not local or unable to come in person, watch our live broadcast online. We will host a free Google+ hangout. For details about the program visit .
What are the deadlines?
Deadline for final submissions: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. PDT
Live Broadcast: Thursday, June 20, 2013 at Noon, PDT
What if I need help?
Check out Resources for help getting started. If you still have questions, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who knows of any middle school students who like to wake up early in the morning to do math? We do! The students at Casey Middle School in Boulder, Colorado met before their school day began to be creative using Math on a Sphere. Students received some instruction in thinking spherically and learned some basic geometry and turtle commands facilitated by Hilary Peddicord, a NOAA Affiliate and Mike Eisenberg from the Craft Technology Group at CU Boulder. Within three meetings at school, each a bit over an hour at weekly intervals, students were able to learn how to instruct the turtle to move around the globe. Students traveled to NOAA in Boulder at the David Skaggs Research Center for their final meeting, where students could see their wildly colorful designs on the big SOS in a gala celebration.
Math on a Sphere has been used with kids as young as 10 years old! To learn how to program using the Math on a Sphere environment to create spherical designs, please check out our topic pages posted under the Teaching Resources page. These are guided step-by-step tutorials to help you master different drawing commands. Imagine different patterns, colors, and motifs that you can spin on a sphere. Email us if you get stuck, need help, or want more tutorials on different topics.
Here are some photographs of the Turtle Temari designs taken at the Lawrence Hall of Science in the early hours before the museum opened. The code was taken from the examples in Mike, Antranig, and Hilarie’s recently submitted article. In the traditional way of making Temari balls, wide ribbons are first wrapped around the ball, then details are added upon the first layer. When watching the turtle cursor draw out each pattern, you can begin to see the repeating patterns it takes to get spherical symmetries on Platonic solids.
Temari balls are mathematical craft objects in which patterns of multicolored thread are
wound around a spherical surface to create intriguing, sometimes remarkable patterns. This is a picture of one that I happen to see at the Annual Obon Festival in Palo Alto. The Math on a Sphere team just submitted a paper where we demonstrate an interactive programming system, Math on a Sphere (MoS), that enables users to create and explore temari-like designs on a spherical surface represented on a computer screen. Here, you will find some more examples of the Math on a Sphere language and designs. We also posted a second publication that was submitted to the Pervasive Displays conference which will be taking place in Mountain View, California at Google in July 2013.
Teen Volunteer Interns, a program at the Lawrence Hall of Science, receive training every second Saturday of the month. In addition to community building and reflection on practice exercises, training includes better ways to communicate science to public audiences, as well as how to facilitate different exhibits and demonstrations. In today’s session, a group of the TechHive teens also received a brief overview of Math on a Sphere, learned some basic commands, and then were turned loose to create a design of their choice. Teens also began to write up their ideas into instruction cards to be used in future camps for younger children. There was a Pokeball under construction and a great seasonal pumpkin appeared! Here is a short video of a Rainbow Wheel made by a pair of teens.
Mike Eisenberg and Sherry Hsi headed to sunny Long Beach, California on November 6-8th to speak at the 5th annual SoS Network Meeting sponsored the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Taking place at the Aquarium of the Pacific along side tanks of baby sharks and sea otters, the workshop was the largest since its history gathering 115 people representing 52 institutions including countries as far as China and Korea. The newest Science on a Sphere was recently installed in Mexico! Mike first demonstrated the latest Math on a Sphere software showing how one could progressively create more sophisticated designs from longitude and latitude lines to spherical cubes. Sherry presented on the second day’s education panel sharing two formats for introducing MoS to children and showing some preliminary data from the front-end survey given out to the field. So far, few institutions allow visitors to create digital content as part of their public programs, but there is a high interest in doing so in the future. Two other colleagues from the Lawrence Hall of Science provided more examples of how a Science on a Sphere could be used to engage audiences in viewing near-real time satellite data (Bill Mitchell, PhD candidate) and scientifically-informed, artistic visualizations of hostile and habitable planets from NASA’s Kepler mission (Toshi Komatsu, Director of Digital Theaters). All in all, it was jammed packed workshop with storytelling tips from collaborator demonstrations, practical how-to sessions, inspirational keynotes, and even a fireside chat with producer Jerry Zucker. He entertained us with personal stories about he started the Science Entertainment Exchange to help bring scientific accuracy to Hollywood’s storytelling to the public.
Welcome to the Math on a Sphere blog! The Math on a Sphere project team will be using this blog to document our work, share on-going insights, and post the results of our work.