Visualizing Functions Summary

Monday - Friday, July 4 - 8, 2005

Phew! A four day week but filled with "n" days worth of activity!

The "sick" group started by clarifying their project's goals - using the S-I-R model to discuss recurrence relations, graphing and tables. They researched the differential equation model and modified it into a recurrence relationship and then used Excel to play with the parameters. Then, they designed a game to play in the classroom so that students (and teachers!) could get an idea of disease spread. Finally, as the week wore on, they focussed on developing worksheet and open-ended questions for students to discover and expand the S-I-R model at a pre-calculus level.

The "soundful" group tried hard to fit the sine graph into their project but adjusted slightly to incorporate general periodic functions. By designing and constructing a simple musical instrument, they began to play with using a computer-based sound recording device to produce waves and analyze them. We also depend on them for the delivery of food stuff during the afternoon.

The "comical" group (sorry, conical) worked on developing and expanding their own GSP skills but also began to work on a sketch that would show all of the conic sections in one sketch, and moving through them all dynamically.

The "French" group umm, found the Lissajous curves a mathematical Maginot Line ... so they switched topics early in the week and went back to a more manageable function. They are coming up with an activity that can expand across the Calc & Precalc curriculum by finding zeros of various functions using Newtons' method (and others) using GSP.

We look forward to the completion of the projects next week... some amazing work has been done this week!

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under DMS-0940733 and DMS-1441467. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.