Chris’s fascination, curiosity and wonder into this topic shines through and I love the thoughts he has shared with us. They are ideas that inspire listeners to consider a unique perspective and I have been inspired!
To try and capture aspects of the essence of what was shared here are some key thoughts I’ve recorded:
Consider Abstract Project Ideas (not answering literally) here are examples of thinking of math ideas/concepts in other disciplines (relating it to concepts in other disciplines, or thinking of them in the context of another discipline)
-What are parallel colours?
-What are like terms in poetry?
-What is the inverse function of a people’s history?
(these require you to define/revisit the mathematical definition of the idea/concept and then play around with it to see what it might mean or how it could be applied in a foreign context e.g. an inverse times an inverse function is its identity; could we play with that idea, identity, in the context of a people’s history?)
Getting children to think about how these things are like each other or how they are not, gets them doing complex work
Quoting Chris’s concluding words: “I think there’s times when the voice of a math class should be dominant, and at other times the humanities voice should be the dominant one, but there will be times (and I think this is what’s really wonderful in a canon) where those two melodies/voices will intersect and they’ll create an entirely new voice made up of the independent voices. And I think that is a really beautiful and ideal version of what I imagine is the goal of interdisciplinary math projects”
PS: I enjoyed the example he shared near the beginning where he gave his kids a project to compare/illustrate/have a metaphor/isomorph the idea of an integral (something hazy becoming clear –> rectangles under a curve approaching infinity), or more specifically Riemann sums, to something else. (One person compared it to the process of the map of America becoming more and more accurate after it was found that it was very inaccurate)
Great take aways! I couldn’t agree more that Chris’ session was a fantastic one and certainly helped me to think about mathematics more broadly rather than in the often isolated fashion we are used to.