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Doodling in Math Class

January 6, 2011

Please share with math and other teachers

I have never heard any art teachers discourage students from doodling. However, I have heard teachers of other disciplines. We know from the research that some students need to be moving, twirling, doodling or some other motion while they process information. When I was sent this link I went to the front page and watched the first video and thought, wow, this is so cool, someone who is a big time doodler, the art teachers will love this. Then I dug a little deeper on the website and learned more. YOU do not want to spend some time checking out this website and learning about Vi. Vi Hart calls herself a recreational mathemusician. Hmmmmm… I googled it and lo and behold it appears that there is not much info on this career, topic or whatever you want to call it. At least I couldn’t find much. If anyone else knows about mathemusicians please let me know. I did learn about Professor Larry Lesser, another practicing mathemusician. Seems like the kind of person who perhaps has presented at a music conference that maybe you’ve attended. Anyway, Vi is from Long Island, NY and has a blog that is filled with all kinds of useful information and ideas that would be fun to share and do with students. Here is what she says about herself:

I love music that is fun, and I love music that is interesting, but above all I love music that is beautiful. I prefer writing for real, classical instruments, because of the added emotion and interpretation a performer adds to each unique performance.

I like most creative activities that involve making a lot of noise, mess, or both. Aside from composing, I love improvising on various instruments, drawing, sculpting, and other methods of making things. My main hobby is mathematics, with special interests in symmetry, polyhedra, and surreal complexity. This usually manifests as collaborative research in computational geometry and other areas of theoretical computer science, or as mathematical art. I think the human brain is incredible and strange, so I have developed a great interest in dreaming and consciousness. As a result, I am a trained hypnotist and a lucid dreamer. The human body is pretty neat as well, so I enjoy dancing and judo. I always love to learn new things—variety is the food of creativity!

She has videos that are about doodling in math class that you definitely want to check out. And then check out her version of The 12 Days of Christmas that is called The Gauss Christmath Special. And who says that math has to be boring? Check out How to eat Candy Buttons like a Recreational Mathemusician.

Thanks to Anita Bernhardt for sharing this link.

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