Susan Gerofsky

Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education (and musician)
Dept. of Curriculum & Pedagogy, University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC, Canada
My work in mathematics education aims to develop multisensory, multimodal, embodied and arts-infused ways to teach and learn mathematics at the secondary school level. I research ways to integrate sensory and full-bodied mathematical representations with more traditional symbolic, geometric and problem-solving pedagogies to offer learners memorable, visceral experiences as cognitive resources in making sense of mathematical relationships and ideas.

Through my background in music, dance, drama and filmmaking as well as mathematics and linguistics, I am most interested in teaching mathematics via the performing arts.
Sarah Chase: Dancing combinatorics, phases & tides
Production & editing: Susan Gerofsky, Picture & sound: Dale Devost & Melissa Devost; Special thanks to Phil Byrne
Acclaimed Canadian modern dancer Sarah Chase uses combinatorics to create choreographies, and uses combinatoric choreographies to explore (and teach) phasing phenomena in nature and human relationships via the body moving in time and space. The setting of the film is the idyllic Tribune Bay on Hornby Island, BC, Canada, where Chase develops her dances inspired by tides, seasons and her community.

This film accompanies Paper #59 in the Bridges 2013 program, Learning Mathematics Through Dance, which discusses Sarah Chase's work.
Steel Phoenix: The Geometry of Longsword Locks
Producer: Susan Gerofsky; Filmmaker: Claire McCague; Sound: Rich Hamakawa; Crew: Phil Byrne, Nick Byrne, Andy and Karen; Dancers and musicians: Steel Phoenix, Vancouver, Canada.
This short film follows up on a live workshop on the geometry of longsword locks from Bridges 2009.

In traditional English longsword dancing, a team of dancers makes intricate moves while joined together by their wooden or metal 'swords'. An impressive element of the dance is the variety of traditional geometric, symmetrical sword locks (often stars) created through the movements of all the dancers. The film showcases a longsword dance and the locks created by the physical algorithms of the conjoined dancers' movement. After showing the dance, questions are offered to spark mathematical explorations by secondary or post-secondary students. These questions include topological and geometric ideas about crossings, angles and edges, and logic-related questions about categorizing lock types and discovering whether new locks could be created through analysis of the physical algorithms that create them. Slow-motion and repeated views help learners explore this rich source of geometry.