Prof. Justin Dimmel (University of Maine, U.S.A.)
I report on the design and development of HandWaver, an immersive virtual environment for making and transforming spatial inscriptions: representations that are inscribed into space itself, rather than onto two-dimensional surfaces. Spatial inscriptions make it possible to construct, explore, or transform three-dimensional figures directly in three dimensions, without mediating those figures through flattened two-dimensional diagrams. This makes it possible to explore mathematical figures at larger scales and from different perspectives than what is possible with small, two-dimensional diagrams. I describe the current version of HandWaver in terms of its gesture-based user-interface and report on an in-progress study in which we are attempting to capture the natural movements people use to create mathematical figures in space. The overarching goal of our work is to develop a geometry of movement, whereby people can use their bodies to create spatial inscriptions that represent geometric figures.
More info about me: Justin Dimmel is assistant professor of mathematics education and instructional technology at the University of Maine, where he directs the Immersive Mathematics in Rendered Environments (IMRE, imrelab.org) research lab.