A calculator that uses facial expressions as input, made during 2020 with Spark AR Studio.
At Mathspace I led an after-hours group where we discussed future possibilities for digital learning tools. At one session we focused on the inaccessibility of mathematical notation as it stands. Oftentimes the complexity of notation, rather than the content, is what stands in the way of students being able to successfully grasp a mathematical concept.
It is true that the precision of the notation allows us to communicate very particular and specific things, and some would consider mathematical notation one of the biggest technological leaps in history, but too often the context for these notational choices is far removed from the context in which the student may be learning to use it for the first time.
- Why don't we do better than symbolic representation in these cases?
- Should we be developing a new math notation for when precision is a lower a priority?
- If we replaced symbolic notation with body movements, what would a geometric proof look like? A dance?
As a step in that direction, I decided to make a calculator where different facial expressions mapped to different binary mathematical operations.
Could we design a new physical notation to use when precision is less important?