Project

Back to overview

Bridging the gap: an invitation to the hidden side of mathematics

English title Bridging the gap: an invitation to the hidden side of mathematics
Applicant Parlier Hugo
Number 145616
Funding scheme Agora
Research institution Département de Mathématiques Université de Fribourg
Institution of higher education University of Fribourg - FR
Main discipline Mathematics
Start/End 01.03.2013 - 28.02.2015
Approved amount 173'114.00
Show all

Keywords (4)

modern geometry; mathematical litteracy; interactive books; tablet based workshops

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Les mathématiques jouent un rôle clé dans le monde qui nous entoure, de par leurs rapports avec les sciences et les processus de pensée rationnelle qu'elles impliquent. Alors que les mathématiques modernes se développent à un rythme étourdissant, le grand public est généralement laissé dans l'obscurité, séparé par un énorme fossé du monde des professionnels.
Lay summary

Parmi les problèmes rencontrés quand on tente de combler ce fossé, on trouve la nature abstraite de la matière, le fait que c'est une science constructive, les mauvaises expériences scolaires ayant entraîné des blocages, ainsi que l'acceptabilité sociale de l'échec en mathématiques.

Ce projet vise à vulgariser certains aspects de la recherche moderne en topologie et géométrie à l'aide de nouvelles technologies interactives telles que l'iPad d'Apple, qui permettent d'intégrer dialogues, vidéos et jeux interactifs suivant une structure non-linéaire et un rythme personnalisé. Notre approche pédagogique repose sur la conviction que l'on peut apprendre en faisant. La vulgarisation traditionnelle des mathématiques (livres, conférences, etc.) consiste en comptes rendus de tiers ; dans ce projet, au contraire, nous souhaitons immerger le public dans la réalisation des mathématiques, le guider pour lui apprendre à faire de vraies mathématiques, même si c'est à un niveau élémentaire.

Concrètement, nous allons élaborer des documents interactifs sur un certain nombre de sujets choisis afin d'illustrer des caractéristiques importantes pour la compréhension de la recherche mathématique. Ces documents serviront de supports pour des ateliers proposés dans des cadres divers tels que cafés scientifiques, nuits de la science, etc. Ils seront par ailleurs développés sous forme de livre interactif autonome.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 11.05.2015

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Mathematics plays a key role in understanding the world around us,both through its connections to science and in its processes ofrational thought. The pace of development of modern mathematics is staggering and yet the general public is by and large left in the dark, leaving a huge gulf between the world of professionals and the general public.
Lay summary

Among the problems faced in attempting to bridge this gap are the abstract
nature of the subject, the fact that it builds internally on itself,
the bad experience many have at school leading to math block and the
social acceptability of failure at mathematics.

This project aims to popularise certain aspects of modern research in topology and geometry by using new interactive technology such as Apple's iPad which allows the possibility of embedded dialogue, video and interactive games and which permits a non-linear, self-paced structure.  The pedagogical approach is based on the belief that one can learn through doing. Traditional popularisations (books, lectures etc) are third party accounts about mathematical topics, whereas in this project we wish to engage the audience with the actual mathematics itself. The way to do this is by guiding the audience in doing real mathematics, albeit at an elementary level.

The project team will develop interactive materials on a number of
carefully chosen topics, each illustrating one feature important for
the understanding of  mathematical research. Once completed they will
use these materials for leading sessions of face-to-face interaction
within a variety of frameworks such as  cafés scientifiques, nuits de
la science etc. The same materials will be also assembled into a
stand-alone interactive book.


Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 11.05.2015

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Dr. Paul Turner Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof. Thomas Steinmann/Tombooks Switzerland (Europe)
- Research Infrastructure
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Talks/events/exhibitions Jubilé de l'Université de Fribourg German-speaking Switzerland Western Switzerland Italian-speaking Switzerland Rhaeto-Romanic Switzerland 2014
Other activities Multiple Workshops Western Switzerland 2014
Talks/events/exhibitions Nuit de la Science, Genève Western Switzerland 2014

Use-inspired outputs

Software

Name Year
Mathema 2015


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
153024 Teichmüller spaces and simple closed geodesics 01.09.2014 SNSF Professorships
128557 Teichmüller spaces and simple closed geodesics 01.09.2010 SNSF Professorships

Abstract

Mathematics is a notoriously difficult subject to popularise. The pace of advance in modern mathematics is such that professionals have an expert grasp of only a small fraction of the whole and explaining to a general audience the results of current research is something very few even attempt. Yet, mathematics plays a key role in understanding the world around us, both through its connections to science and in its processes of rational thought.The project proposed here is an attempt to bridge this mathematical gap by using new interactive technology to transmit to a general audience some aspects of the applicant’s research into hyperbolic geometry and topology and geometry as a whole. The technological tool is the iPad which allows the possibility of embedded dialogue and video, interactive games and potential for developing a non-linear, self-paced structure.The pedagogical approach is based on the belief that one can learn through doing. Traditional popularisations (books, lectures etc) are third party accounts about mathematical topics, whereas in this project wish to engage the audience with the actual mathematics itself. The way to do this is by guiding the audience in doing real mathematics, albeit at an elementary level.To achieve these goals a collaboration is planned between the applicant and another research experienced mathematician, coupled with the publishing expertise of a small Lausanne based pub- lisher specialised in education-themed iBooks. The practical objectives are as follows:- to publish an interactive iBook based on the mathematics surrounding the applicant’s research - to publish (as a free resource) iPad material for use in workshops - to lead interactive workshops based on these materialsKey attributes of this application are the unique combination of the applicant, collaborator and publisher, the pedagogical approach to research communication, its timeliness in connection with the availability of new technology, and the proposed use of this technology in face-to-face interaction between researchers and public.
-