—GEoGebra is contributed by 2020 NEST Fellows Erik Knutsen and Sarah Mauney.
The idea for this project began when Erik Knutsen (PhD in Mathematics) took Sarah Mauney’s (MFA in Dance & Choreography) beginning contemporary dance class. Sarah utilized a movement methodology to teach the body’s most foundational patterns for movement, known as the Bartenieff Fundamentals. In learning the Bartenieff Fundamentals, Erik wondered if there was a way to use dance to help understand mathematics in higher dimensions, specifically considering the parameterization of multi-variable functions. Erik approached Sarah about applying for the NEST Fellowship based on his desire to give mathematics students an embodied experience of the concepts they are studying. To each Bartenieff fundamental we have applied a family of curves, given by functions one could encounter in a calculus course, to describe how a dancer’s body might move. Parameterizations of multi-variable functions can then be chosen by evaluating the functions. This video shows how the families of curves from which one can derive multi-variable functions are related to the Bartenieff fundamentals. Their work represents a way for mathematicians to physically conceptualize functions through dance, and a way for dancers to illustrate the body as a finely tuned, complex mathematical instrument.
Erik & Sarah hope you enjoy watching, moving, and experiencing the results of their labor!