Mathematical Eyes on Figure Skating

Diana Cheng, Tanya Berezovski, Cherie Farrington
Proceedings of Bridges 2012: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture (2012)
Pages 623–626 Workshop papers


The presenters will offer a workshop integrating mathematics and figure skating in the classroom. Figure skating is an Olympic sport as well as an art form that takes place on semi-frictionless ice. Activities in this workshop will focus on algebraic reasoning and geometric angles. Participants will learn steps and turns that can take place on the ice, and map videos of 3-dimensional skating programs onto 2-dimensional paper. Participants will also consider several different angles: the angle formed by a skater's blade and the ice surface, and the angle formed by the skater's two legs; and discuss ideal angles as they pertain to art. Lastly, participants will explore applications of conservation of momentum, a physical concept, as they relate to partnered skating. The goal of the workshop is to offer many opportunities for participants to see a mathematical point of view of a popular winter sport.