The Algebra Artist

  • The Algebra Artist

    Darin Beigie
    Students create drawings with online software and are inspired to think holistically about graphing algebraic equations and inequalities.
    Graphs of algebraic equations are usually brought to life by studying them in the context of real-world applications. The slope of a line has meaning when used to study how life expectancy in the United States has grown over the last century (Murdock, Kamischke, and Kamischke 2002) or how a spring’s length depends on the number of attached weights (Winter and Carlson 1993). Abstract settings for graphs of algebraic equations can also be a rich source of student intrigue and deep learning. A classic example is the target-oriented software environment of Green Globs & Graphing Equations (http://www .greenglobs.net/), in which students create graphs to destroy a random collection of thirteen circular green targets in the coordinate plane.