Lando: ”You look absolutely beautiful. You truly belong here with us among the clouds.”
Princess Leia: [coolly] “Thank you.”
Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back
Sometimes I see something that just blows my hair back. This is one of those times. The videoes I’m referring to are a visual series about mathematics and spacial relationships, and I recommend that you watch them all. The home website is Dimensions; from there you can watch the entire series. Lest you mistakenly think I’m brilliant, the credit must go to Diane Flynn Keith who publishes the rave-reviewed ClickSchooling Ezine with 10,600+ subscribers. If you’re ready to save time and money with fun, web-based curriculum ideas, get your FREE subscription now at ClickSchooling.
Age Range: 12 and up (Don’t let that stop you from sharing aspects with younger children/students.)
My thanks to MaryAnna for recommending this terrific website that will open even the most math-reluctant minds to the beauty and dimensions of mathematics. Created by three math enthusiasts (with terrific credentials) this site offers a free film on mathematics that references the work of renown mathematicians, scientists, artists, and others in a multi-media presentation that is sure to amaze and (hopefully) make the subject matter understandable. The film is divided into 9 chapters as follows:
*Chapter 1, Dimension Two – Learn or review what meridians and parallels are, and “enjoy the spectacle of the Earth rolling like a ball!”
*Chapter 2, Dimension Three – Mixes “elementary” math with imagination and philosophical elements and provides some exercises to make sure you’ve understood the material.
*Chapters 3 and 4, Fourth Dimension – Contains more difficult mathematical concepts. However, the viewer is encouraged to pause the film and consult a reference page for additional information. As the creators explain, “you can always sit back and enjoy the pictures!”
*Chapters 5 and 6 – Contains an introduction to complex numbers that could also be used as a refresher course. As the
designers explain, “If you know nothing about complex numbers, you should push the pause button as often as you like, and try to understand using the references that we propose. These chapters are the most “school-like” of the film. To thank you for your efforts, chapter 6 ends with an amazing deep zoom scene.”
*Chapters 7 and 8 – Get an introduction to the Hopf fibration. Again the film creators explain that even though it’s not
beginner’s stuff, “it is quite pretty and deserves to be understood.”
*Chapter 9 – Shows the proof of a theorem of geometry that is relatively “elementary.” As the designers explain, “Without proofs for theorems mathematics would not exist, and we wanted to make this very clear at the end of a film that is essentially about mathematical objects.”
Each lesson or “chapter” of the film is 13 minutes long. Watch it in segments or sit down and watch the whole 117 minutes in one sitting. You are encouraged to use it in a way that works for you “based on your interest, your prior knowledge on the subject, or simply on your mood of the moment!”
Diane Flynn Keith
Copyright 2009, All Rights Reserved
Permission to copy the above review in its entirety was obtained from the author.