This assignment consists of three parts, all more or less preparatory in nature. For parts 2 and 3, you can write the results on paper and hand them in, or e-mail them to me at gunn [at] math.tu-berlin.de.
Part 1. Evaluation
This course is about interactive mathematical visualization. Before we begin doing our own visualization, it's useful to try out some existing examples. Based on this experience, I then want you to articulate what elements contribute to a successful (or unsuccessful) experience.
The images at the bottom of this page are linked to Java webstart applications that I have written in the last few years while here at the Technical University. They are by no means finished applications, but I have chosen them since they all have some rudimentary on-line help document (or manage to get along without it) , and each one treats a different theme. Choose one from the category Differential Geometry and one from the category Fractals. Run the applications (either at home or on a computer in the lab in MA 316). Finally, print out and fill in evaluation forms for each application, and bring them to our next meeting.
r Fill out the evaluation forms I passed out in class (or pick up a couple at my office 319) and bring them to our next meeting.
Note: You are expected to read the on-line documentation to discover features of the application which the author intends you to know about.
Part 2. Virtual Reality: First Impressions
Thursday morning we visited the PORTAL and experienced a variety of demos, some mathematical and some not. I would like us to discuss this experience at our next meeting. In order to prepare for this discussion, here are some questions to consider:
- How does the experience in the PORTAL compare to that provided by a desktop computer display? (for short, we refer this as the workstation environment) How does the viewer interact with the content? What sensory experiences does he/she have? etc.
- You probably have all heard of virtual reality. Was this your first experience of it, and if so, how did it differ from your expectations?
- What do you think might be some advantages/disadvantages of the PORTAL compared with the workstation, in the realm of mathematical visualization?
- Did you have any spontaneous ideas about mathematical themes which would be particularly interesting to experience in the PORTAL?
Part 3. Project preparation
In preparation for your semester project, spend some time to review your relationship to mathematics in order to choose a theme for your project. (Of course this decision will also be influenced by the mathematical themes introduced in the lectures, but it's never to early to start to think about it). What sorts of mathematics appeal to you? Have you previously done some mathematical visualization that you would like to develop further? Did you have a particular topic in mind when you chose to attend this lecture? Write a page in the language of your choice to answer these questions, or similar ones of your choice, that help you begin to plan your semester project.