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Mathematics in Art as an Entry to Connecting Mathematics and the Physical World

Sun, April 11, 12:20 to 1:20pm EDT (12:20 to 1:20pm EDT), SIG Sessions, SIG-Research in Mathematics Education Poster Sessions


Mathematical modeling requires connections between real-world context and mathematical ideas. Connections depend on how students choose and mathematically treat attributes of real-world objects. To study K-12 students’ authentic movement between real world and mathematics, we ask them to explore a previously unveiled work of visual art in which mathematics, especially geometry, is explicitly and implicitly present. Our attention to shape complements common attention to quantity in mathematical modeling and symmetry in art. Informed by visualization literature, data analysis revealed use of notably different intrinsic and extrinsic information and approaches to art and mathematical objects and relationships between them. The study is the first in a set of studies that explore how students engage in components of mathematical modeling individually and collectively.