Hyperbolic Crochet Secondary School Outreach Summer 2011

“Hyperbolic Geometry is the Cinderella of Geometry; the most beautiful and least appreciated!” Dr. Sean Lawton


In our efforts to expand mathematical knowledge and share the joy and beauty of the subject, EAGL gave presentations on hyperbolic geometry to local secondary schools in the Rio Grande Valley. At the presentation students were first asked to take a survey to evaluate the student's opinion about mathematics. Once each student in the room took the survey, Dr. Lawton and his assistant, Claudia Carranza, proceeded to our presentation on the history of the hyperbolic plane. After the presentation the students took the survey again. The results can be found on our Survey Results page. We then taught students how to make their own hyperbolic planes in yarn following Daina Tamina. Students that make one can contribute to our growing community art project hallmarking relationships between art and math and education. Lastly, we left teachers with a lesson plan concerning the hyperbolic plane using Thurston's "hyperbolic paper".

Here are some quotes from participants that attended the presentation:

“Hyperbolic plane is like a cool start to imagine a whole new world inside me. It’s like math beyond our everyday math.” Joseph Obnial, Palmview high school senior

“Interesting yet hard to grasp the concept that hyperbolic geometry exist in this world.” Illyana Cantu, Palmview High School senior

“This was probably the funniest and the best way of understanding Hyperbolic Geometry. It has encouraged me to want to understand math more and think differently about it.” Erik Garcia, Palmview High school senior

“I enjoyed learning about a radically different geometry that I’m used to. I look forward to becoming more involved with this outreach project.” Velia Garcia, Palmview High School senior

"Amazing way to find out and learn advanced math. I enjoyed the presentation and I am interested in taking the project to my classes. You made math really fun to learn.” Alicia Alfonso, Palmview High School Math teacher

“The presentation is very informative and very interesting. The presenters were very knowledgeable and did a very good job in presenting this. Very abstract math concept in a very cool way! He indeed made a positive impact to students.” R. Alvarez, Palmview High School Math Teacher

“It was a joy to share my college experience, as a new graduate with students on the verge of entering. Also, as a future classroom teacher, it was a fantastic experience that allowed me to gain confidence in front of the classroom audience.” Claudia Carranza, UTPA math major

“Seeing students' minds open to new possibilities and becoming interested in mathematics prior to college is a reward…" Dr. Sean Lawton, UTPA professor

Palmview Highschool was not the only school we visited. Many other schools participated in the hyperbolic crochet experience. Click on the following link to view the schedule and schools visited by Dr. Lawton and his team: Visited Schools. EAGL would like to thank GEAR UP for making it possible for the visits to take place and the teachers for giving up some of their time to learn hyperbolic geometry.

Brown Middle School

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Economedes High School

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Lincoln Middle School

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McAllen Memorial High School

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Travis Middle School

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