Amongst my final three slides, I was most curious about the question “How can music enable people to touch algebra?”, for several reasons. Firstly, two different modes can be explored, and I am very keen on how one mode can be translated to another; secondly, both topics appeal to me for emotional and rational reasons; thirdly, I am interested in how complex concepts can be made easier to understand, not just as an intellectual exercise, but it also satisfies a deep yearning for understanding these mathematical patterns and to share them with others. I have decided not to go with algebra (which is a very very large topic) is to be used, instead selecting a more specific mathematical discipline or subset.
I attended a tour of the various theaters at Lincoln Center to get close to shared experiences of music. This was a poor choice as music was not played at any of the venues, though music and performance did inform the design of the center.
For this round of observations, I am gunning for joy: how to incorporate a strong feeling of happiness into the experience. As such, I wanted to understand how people (myself included) reacted to music, in particular how they felt it or showed joy. Similarly for math, which has been entrenched in students’ minds as a dry and rigid subject, it is crucial to find moments of joy.
I thought about the most ready places to find music, based on my previous experiences in NYC. Bryant Park was ruled out as no performances were scheduled any time soon, 42nd Street Times Square Subway’s usual performance spot was empty that day I went down (Sunday). I was lucky to find 34th Street Herald Square to be populated by a lively jazz group, my observations here are about them and their audience.
Math was a bit more difficult, being hard to find a math classroom at such short notice. I decided on MoMath due to several reasons: their exhibits run the gamut, from the well designed and engaging to the static and didactic, and I can learn a lot in terms of interaction design; it is usually well frequented by parents and children, and I could observe adults and children; I have been to this museum on several occasions, and on each visit I could observe someone experiencing joy.
(coming soon once i figure out the rotation issue)