If you’re looking to teach kids about symmetry, a new app called Heart Collage is a great start!
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Available on Google Play and the iTunes Store, Heart Collage guides you through a series of photographs to create a composite image, using a system called integration. Integration is the mathematical concept that big objects are made of small objects. The idea itself is easy and versatile. Integration is one of the fundamentals of calculus.
The app can be used to create many shapes, as well as hearts. Heart Collage can create perfectly symmetrical images like the one above. The same mathematical skills and logical thinking are present throughout the creation process, no matter what shape the user creates. The possibilities are endless!
I did a mini-interview with Heart Collage creator Chiu-Ki Chan about the app and its relationship with math.
Do you like math? Are there any ways it influenced you to create Heart Collage?
Will you be disappointed if I tell you I did not think about math at all when I created Heart Collage? That’s the beauty of it though – math is everywhere, even when I am not thinking about it.
What kinds of mathematics did you have to take into account when creating the structure of the collages, to make sure the collection of images form a specific shape?
Symmetry plays a large part in structure of the collages. The heart shape is symmetric vertically, but the diamond shape is symmetric both horizontally and vertically. Things get really interesting in the alphabet series. Take a look at letter J:
The letter itself is not symmetric, but I want to create it with as few photos as possible, so I had to find symmetry within the letter. As you can see, I have mirroring for the top horizontal bar and the curve in the bottom, even though I am not mirroring the whole letter.
If you play Heart Collage with your kids, talk about symmetry and integration – and share what kids notice and what they say with us!