How do things curve? How can you build things that curve? More fundamentally, what does it mean to curve? This course will take a hands on, intuitive approach to these questions. We will follow two parallel paths:
Crafts: To understand geometry with our hands, we will build many curved spaces. Each one uses different craft mediums and exemplifies techniques for creating curvature.
Math: The mathematical framework for exploring curvature is called differential geometry. We will build an informal understanding of two dimensional geometry, including the shape of curved surfaces and the counterintuitive life of an ant on a curved surface.
We will explore, we will discover, and we’ll have fun! Each class, we’ll build an arts and crafts project illustrating that day’s topic. For more open-ended exploration, there will be 3 mini-projects over the semester. These go deeper into the crafts and topic from class. At the end of the semester, everyone will bring their mini-projects for a class-wide show and tell.
The course is meant as a general-education math course. Coming from math, this course illustrates geometry emphasizing physicality and intuition. Coming from art, this course is a friendly, visual introduction to some beautiful ideas not seen until upper level math classes. If this sounds interesting and fun, then this course is designed for you!
Attendance is required, though two classes may be dropped. Assignments consist of three mini-projects over the semester, each about 3-4 hours. For more details, see the syllabus on the website.
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