L NVI'CP.s, SI FL'I'RID\ Featured Scholar
LUndergraduate A llison Corey
Research 2006 - 2007 University Scholar
L.:Iurs t' I :u I rientor: Paul Fishwick
Su hi'i'lli o'n
ranging from jazz to tap to hip-hop to lyrical over
Archives the past 15 years. The senior digital arts and
sciences engineering major has now found a way
Scholar Profiles to incorporate her love of dance into her academic
program, using the art to enhance mathematics
Contact t Staff education.
University Scholars Program "Mathematical notation can sometimes be daunting for the K-12 student who is exposed
Undergraduate Research to text-based representations," Corey said. "One approach to reduce the student's
Resources anxiety is to augment traditional notations with ones that the student may find
compelling. In particular, we wanted to create a computer-based visualization of simple
Search: mathematical algebraic structures by exploring the use of dance and theatre as means of
representation. The advantage to using dance is that it is engaging, immersive, and
Enter Search Terms highly interactive-normally adjectives not used to describe mathematical notation."
The purpose of Corey's research project for the University Scholars Program was to
create an effective method of representing the structure and behavior of various
equations through dance-based performance. Using dance as an alternative to traditional
text-based representations, students who would otherwise struggle and become
frustrated by the mathematics discipline can become engaged in the representation and
behavior in a physical time-based manner. A simulation of a sample production of
theatrical dance pieces was created to show relationships between dance movement
(both individual and formation-wise) and equation representation.
Throughout her work on this project, Corey has discovered several ideas and methods of
representation for mathematics and computing. "The goal of the created animation was
to enhance mathematics education through the catalyst of performing arts," Corey said.
"These visual representations can easily be portrayed through movement and dance, and
will hopefully allow the more visual learners a way to access the Information presented."
For Corey, the best part of her experience as a University Scholar was the opportunity to
work one-on-one with a professor who is an expert in the field. She said she had the
opportunity to learn a tremendous amount of Information about both her degree program
and field, as well as the process of conducting research and writing an academic research
"The most beneficial thing that I gained this past year from working on a larger research
project was idea generation," Corey said. "A large portion of the work that I did dealt
with brainstorming and creating new representations for mathematical structures. I
learned a lot about the process of creating an academic project and documenting
results." She said she also enjoyed learning the various software packages including
Blender, the open source three-dimensional modeling and animation system used to
create the dance simulations.
Corey is scheduled to graduate in May of 2008 with a B.S. in digital arts and sciences
engineering. After graduation, she will be working for Lockheed Martin Simulation
Training and Support as a software engineer. She said it is probable dance will continue
to be a big part of her life, even if her research moves into other areas.
"Dance has been an outlet for me as I grew up and still serves as an outlet for me
today," Corey said. At UF, not only is she able to continue to dance as a member of
Dancin' Gators, a student-run dance organization, Corey can take her passion into the
classroom. Who knew dance and mathematical principles fit so well together? As Corey
has discovered, it turns out they make great partners indeed.
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