Multimedia Technology for Mathematics and Computer Science Education

A project within the DAAD-Sonderprogramm “Akademischer Neuaufbau Südosteuropa” in the framework of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe

Overview and Aims

The project aims at a long-term impact on the improvement of education and research in mathematics and computer science at the participating Universities in south east Europe.

The project is a university cooperation in mathematics and computer science of the Freie Universität Berlin with the University of Belgrade, the Serbian Academy of Sciences (SANU) in Belgrade, the University of Niš, the University of Sofia and the University of Technology and Economics in Budapest, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje, the University of Zagreb, and Fachinformationszentrum Karlsruhe. The project continues a previous DAAD project with the University of Belgrade and the Mathematical Institute of SANU.

Aims of the Cooperation:

  • Knowledge transfer in the field of multimedia technology in education and research in the fields of mathematics and computer science

  • Establishing of local competence centers in multimedia technology and their cross linking in a network

  • Development and use of new multimedia content and software for mathematics and computer science education

The cooperation includes the use of 3D visualization tools in mathematics and computer science education, the development of interactive course material and electronic books, as well as the continued upgrading of the local infrastructure to host scientific web services and publications at the participating institution.

Scientific Aspects

The scientific activities of the project are related to the following three areas:

  1. Visualization applied to research activities such as differential geometry, non-linear dynamics, special functions, and computer science

  2. Multimedia courseware for mathematics and computer science

  3. Electronic publications and databases for communicating mathematics.

1. Visualization in Research Activities

All participating groups are experts in differential geometry and many of them are developing and using interactive software. Therefore geometry is a good starting field to bring new technology into the classrooms of south east Europe. Each participating group in south east Europe has proposed a set of topic to be investigated and visualized for university courses. Additionally each group will apply the developed multimedia tools to their own field of expertise.

  • Visualization in differential geometry

  • Algorithm visualization in computer graphics

  • Discrete geometry of polyhedral surfaces

  • Classic and basic q-hypergeometric functions

  • Modelling chaotic dynamics using neural networks

  • Geometry of skew-symmetric curvature operators

  • Crystallographic groups in Euclidean and non-Euclidean spaces

  • Geometric problems in mechanical engineering

2. Multimedia Courseware for Mathematics and Computer Science

Multimedia courseware is the heart of modern teaching material and distant learning projects. Early visualization tools required specialized hardware while modern web-based tools will be usable by all students from any place of the world including from home. In this project we will base the development on established software components and adjust the modules to the specific needs of the scientific topics.

  • Extension and translation to English of the electronic book “Analytic Geometry” developed within the previous project

  • Development of electronic course material for teaching special functions

  • Writing an e-book on modelling of chaotic dynamics using neural networks

  • Interactive programs for visualization of geometric transformations and projections for teaching CAD and descriptive geometry

  • Crystallographic groups in 2D and 3D, visualization of their orbifolds and fundamental domains

  • Courseware in elementary and differential geometry

The developed courseware will simultaneously be used within regular university courses.

3. Electronic Publications and Databases for Communicating Mathematics

The developed courseware and electronic modules such as Java applets must be viewed within the scope of mathematical publishing. Here our activities will ensure that the developed material is consistent with long-term archiving and searching database. In cooperation with Zentralblatt für Mathematik we will develop meta-tags for mathematical applets in the same way as it was done for electronic geometry models.

  • Development of meta tags for mathematical applets

  • Archiving and searching applets in electronic databases