Thinking Visually: Triangles as Units of Area

Paul Gailiunas
Proceedings of Bridges 2017: Mathematics, Art, Music, Architecture, Education, Culture
Pages 579–582 Workshop Papers


Much mathematical education emphasizes verbal communication, either teacher exposition or possibly group discussion. Practical activities are often presented as “how to” instructions, and although they may have significant potential for mathematical exploration the mathematics can easily become secondary. At a more advanced stage the emphasis shifts to algebraic methods, which are generally so powerful that more visual approaches may be undervalued. Although there are some resources available that are designed to stimulate a visual approach to mathematics more would be welcome. The workshop will present an opportunity to explore some ideas and challenges based around the concept of area with particular (but not exclusive) reference to triangles. The challenges vary in difficulty: some could be used in primary education, others are more demanding.