Date & Time: Wednesday, May 22, 2013, 11.15 - 12.15
Venue: Ramanujan Hall
Title: Exploring and Discovering Mathematics through Evolving Technological Tools
Speaker: Prof. Wei-Chi Yang, Radford University, Radford, VA 24060
Abstract: In this talk, I will use examples to demonstrate how 2D geometry software packages have helped me making conjectures and how Computer Algebra System assists me proving my conjectures analytically. Several examples involve optimization problems, and we shall see how real-life problems can be explored using our mathematics knowledge and available technological tools too. For example, we will see how a 2D geometric proof of Mean Value Theorem (MVT) can be extended to one in 3D. Furthermore, how the 3D MVT is linked to optimization problems using Lagrange Multipliers. We will also see how the caustic curve in optics is related to what students learn as early as in a pre-calculus course, and how we can explore the concept of caustic surfaces in 3D. Many examples will be explored within the time limit.
Evolving 3D geometry software allows me to extend my observations from 2D to 3D. Do we agree on adopting technological tools timely and appropriately so mathematics concepts can be extended from 2D to 3D and beyond? Can we make Mathematics fun, accessible, challenging and theoretical at the same time?
About the speaker: Professor Dr. Wei-Chi Yang at the Department of Math and Stats at Radford University, Virginia, USA. He received his B.S. from Taiwan, M.S. and Ph.D. from University of California at Davis. His original research was in theoretical Henstock and Kurzweil Integration and presently working on the computational integration. He founded the Asian Technology Conference in Mathematics (ATCM: http://atcm.mathandtech.org) in 1995, and the Electronic Journal of Mathematics and Technology (eJMT: http://ejmt.mathandtech.org) in 2007. Professor Yang was the recipient of the 2009 Radford University Foundation Distinguished Creative Scholar Award (http://www.radford.edu/NewsPub/August09/0827awards.html). He had co-authored a book 'Exploring Mathematics with Scientific Notebook', and published numerous journal articles and papers in conference proceedings. Professor Yang had traveled to over 30 countries around the world, given over 300 presentations regarding the innovative use of technological tools in teaching, learning and research in Mathematics since 1992. Complete CV can be found at http://www.radford.edu/wyang/YangWei-Chi.pdf