FW: [Edu-sig] On the front page

James Harrison jhrsn@pop.pitt.edu
Thu, 27 Apr 2000 15:21:24 -0400

on 4/27/00 1:25 PM, Arthur Siegel at siegel@eico.com wrote:

> But, if we are going to allow ouselves to use 3D computer graphics as an
> educational tool - and I am adamantly pro doing so, shouldn't one of the main
> points in doing so be to expose as much of the underlying mathematical
> framework of it as a stduent can handle at whatever level we are teaching.

Yes...if you're trying to teach mathematics.

To be fair, Alice is a 3D world-building tool specifically designed to be
usable with as little training as possible by non-engineers and
non-mathematicians. The research that I've seen around the use of Alice by
students relates primarily to interface and virtual reality.

It's conceivable that a system like Alice might be used in a psychology
setting, for example. In that cases, any interaction with the underlying
mathematical framework of the display beyond the simplest required to do the
job would be an example of "cognitive overhead," i.e., unnecessary cognitive

Jim Harrison
Univ. of Pittsburgh