Matheon 2004-2008: Z3 - Visualization of Algorithms

The project develops visualizations and didactic concepts for teaching mathematical algorithms in schools. Understanding how an algorithm works is crucial and often accomplished best by simulating it in some way. Computers provide the means to make these simulations efficient and fun, compared to classical pen-and-paper approaches.



Financial support:

DFG Research Center Matheon "Mathematics for key technologies"


Jun 01, 2004 — May 31, 2008

Our part of this project deals with providing visualization and interaction for a broad range of different algorithms bundled into a website called VisBook. The website has the appearance of a book, enabling students to easily skim through all available visualizations.

VisBook covers the following aspects by providing appropriate Java applets:

  • Geometry
  • Ordinary Differential Equations
  • Dynamical Systems
  • Vector Fields
  • Optimization
  • ...

Another part of the project is realized at the TU Berlin:


Report: Summer school “Lust auf Mathematik” 2008

Selections of the "Visbook" applet collection were presented at the annual summer school "Lust auf Mathematik", which took place at the "Jugendbildungszentrum Blossin" from June 23- 28.

In a small group of 6 highly gifted pupils, attending junior high school, we introduced and discussed higher mathematics concerning topics in continuous and discrete geometry. Among those discussed were parameterizations of curves and surfaces, tangential spaces, triangulation of surfaces and image deformation.

For this purpose, we explained the basic theory necessary to understand the crucial point of each of the selected "Visbook" applications in order to be able to work with them. Therefore, the participants were not only confronted with new methods and theories in differential geometry, but also experienced the aura of applied mathematics by working directly with selected "Visbook" applets and geometry software.

Among the presenting groups, the obligatory presentation by our group was chosen to be first price by the audience.