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Curved Geometry and 3D printing (MTH 117 & 448)

Director: Assistant Professor Jeff Jauregui, Mathematics

A Maker-related module was developed by Professor Jeff Jauregui in the Mathematics Department for his Multivariable Calculus and Differential Geometry courses (MTH 1 17 and 448) The modules will focus on the design (using the software Mathematica) and physical construction (by 3D printing) of a number of three-dimensional models that illustrate key concepts in multivariable calculus and differential geometry.
For students in the multivariable calculus courses (and occasionally even in the higher-level differential geometry course), visualization of complex 3D objects is usually the most difficult aspect of the class. Even when their instructor is able to present a good drawing of a 3D object, students can fail to grasp the important details. In many cases their drawings indicate fundamental misunderstandings of 3D geometry and perspective. The physical models will allow students to hold the concepts in their hands and study these objects from all angles, to truly “see” what they represent, which helps them connect better with the material.
These physical models will be used to help with summary and review of the course material, and as part of the final exams. This last concept is somewhat novel: the 3D models will be available to students to physically hold and touch to help understand select questions on the final exams.

Union College OSH