Connecting campuses to promote excellence in math and science
See current events & news

Seeking People Interested in the Educational Uses of Immersive Technology

 

A call to people interested in immersive technology. 

Christopher French at Grinnell College would like to connect with people interested in the use of immersive technology in education.  He describes some of the work in immersive technologies in the next paragraph.  If you would like to join a conversation about the educational uses of this technology, please send an email to Chris at FRENCHC@grinnell.edu. If enough people indicate an interest the resources of the Midstates Consortium could be used to facilitate the formation of an affinity group focused on this subject.

At Grinnell, I have been working with students on exploring possibilities for using immersive technologies (Virtual Reality in particular) for exploring geometric concepts in mathematics.  I am especially interested in projects that give users the chance to learn about the historical roots of ideas in mathematics and physics, through the chance to interact with objects that cannot always be built physically; for example with the vector fields that Faraday envisioned, or with evolving Kummer surfaces.  More broadly, there are other related projects going on at Grinnell that are not science oriented, but which may overlap with scientific interests.  For example, the director of GCIEL (the Grinnell College Immersive Experiences Lab) is working with an English professor to build an experience for the Oculus Quest that would introduce users to characters and objects in Beowulf and related poetry.  The project would allow users to examine objects such as weapons, armor, and jewelry within a virtual mead-hall.  Users could also travel in the region around the mead-hall; to get an accurate model of the region, my colleagues plan to travel to Denmark and Germany and use drone photogrammetry.  I am looking for others interested in the pedagogical affordances of VR/XR technologies, in order to exchange ideas and potentially collaborate.