Florestan Brunck
MSc Mathematics
BLUE Fellow
|
Summer
2020
Innovating mathematics education through films, novels, games, and puzzles
BLUE Fellow
Summer
2020

Background

The goal of my project is to produce new ways and new devices to teach mathematics, be it short films, graphic novels, video games or physical puzzles. Very little thought is spent on pedagogy in mathematics, especially in higher education and at more advanced levels. Assimilating and mastering mathematical concepts is one of the hardest cognitive tasks that humans can perform. Unfortunately, the inherent difficulty of the subject is quite often paired with a total lack of incentive and a characteristic dryness that sometimes almost completely drown out the beauty and elegance of the subject. Conventional teaching methods are perhaps effective for a small subset of students but in my opinion go completely against our innate ways of learning and playing with things. On the opposite, we are wired to care about narratives, stories and games. Utilizing the reward systems and powerful directives that we naturally have for the latter to teach difficult concepts is something I haven't really seen anywhere yet. Engineering stories, videos games or puzzles that transport us in a context where the motivation for learning difficult concepts is natural is what I would like to achieve.

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