Rainbows and Calculus
Class: Honors Math 2212: Calculus II
Students: James Barksdale and Edgar Gonzalez
Instructor: Jeremy Brazas
Institutional Assistance: Digital Learning Initiative, Honors College
Technology: Bamboo tablet, condenser microphone, Sony Vegas, Open Broadcaster Software, Desmos, and Mathematica
Edgar Gonzalez and James Barksdale created Rainbows and Calculus as part of a semester research project where they were required to choose a topic of interest to them that involved mathematics at least as advanced as Calculus II. It is evident that these two students learned more than the mathematics of their topic. The project helped the students understand that “math can be found everywhere and something as simple as a rainbow can have an intricate explanation. A rainbow becomes even more interesting once you understand the different laws of physics and mathematical equations that are occurring.” The topic could be a purely mathematical topic or an application of mathematics but students were strongly encouraged to incorporate a digital component into their project. They had a great deal of freedom in their choice of topic and format. They chose a specific video creating tool among numerous choices, taught themselves to use it, and created a product the shared their knowledge with other students. The ability to complete this project illustrates many components of digital literacy.