About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3078-3082
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-613-5538-9
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain

EXPLORING LINKS BETWEEN INFORMATICS AND MATHEMATICS AT AN UNDERGRADUATE LEVEL

A.P. Cláudio1, I. Perez da Silva2

1LabMAg/Informatics Dept. of Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon (PORTUGAL)
2CELC/Mathematics Dept. of Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon (PORTUGAL)
There is a general concern in our faculty with pedagogical/research experiences involving more than one scientific area. At the pedagogical level it is not easy to implement this kind of experiences in the curricula of the courses, especially during the first cycle (first three years). In this context, the experience we describe, involving Informatics and Mathematics was particularly successful.
In general, informatics students see no point in studying mathematics. Moreover, they can easily get scholarships to work in some extra informatics projects during the first years, so, it is rather difficult to make them change their total lack of interest in mathematics, at least during their stay at the university.
During the last year a colleague of the Mathematics Department, I.P. da Silva, that wanted to implement a puzzle illustrating some mathematical results, approached me asking to try and see if some of my students of Computer Graphics of the course of Informatics Engineering could get interested in implementing the puzzle (just by fun, no money!). I thought it would be rather difficult still we decided to try. The puzzle was quite a perfect theme for an assignment of the discipline. We carefully prepared an assignment that consisted in implementing the foundations for the puzzle, using OpenGL (Open Graphics Library).
A group of three students, with the best mark in the assignment, accepted the challenge of producing a complete version of the game to put online. They have worked enthusiastically during the following semester. The students understood the importance of the mathematical results used to conceive an efficient algorithm of the game, which is completely studied and links to some open mathematical conjectures [1]. The game was presented at a recreational Mathematics colloquium (http://ludicum.org/rm09/) and a prototype is available on the website http://labmag.di.fc.ul.pt/virtual/LOZ/.
Thrilled with this first result, we decided to use a recent grants program for first-cycle students of our National Science Foundation and proposed two grants for informatics students, hoping to attract students to start an online repository of combinatorial games. Nine students applied and the two that have been chosen (with very good mathematical skills) have just start working in October, using Adobe Flash instead of OpenGL. We expect to have good results very soon.

[1] I. Perez da Silva, On fillings of 2N-gons with rhombi, Discrete Mathematics, 111(1993), Pages 137-144

@InProceedings{CLAUDIO2010EXP,
author = {Cl{\'{a}}udio, A.P. and Perez da Silva, I.},
title = {EXPLORING LINKS BETWEEN INFORMATICS AND MATHEMATICS AT AN UNDERGRADUATE LEVEL},
series = {4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2010 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-5538-9},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {8-10 March, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {3078-3082}}
TY - CONF
AU - A.P. Cláudio AU - I. Perez da Silva
TI - EXPLORING LINKS BETWEEN INFORMATICS AND MATHEMATICS AT AN UNDERGRADUATE LEVEL
SN - 978-84-613-5538-9/2340-1079
PY - 2010
Y1 - 8-10 March, 2010
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2010 Proceedings
SP - 3078
EP - 3082
ER -
A.P. Cláudio, I. Perez da Silva (2010) EXPLORING LINKS BETWEEN INFORMATICS AND MATHEMATICS AT AN UNDERGRADUATE LEVEL, INTED2010 Proceedings, pp. 3078-3082.
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