Susan Gerofsky

Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education
Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy, University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC, Canada
As a mathematics educator, I’m interested in helping students learn about mathematical patterning and structuring through hands-on, whole body activities and arts-based approaches. Multisensory, aesthetically-pleasing realizations of mathematical patterns have been shown to help learners at all levels build more meaningful understandings of abstract mathematical concepts and notations.

The idea of 'dancing braid into being' came from a visit to a textile museum in France, where I saw bobbins on a braid-making machine dancing a 'hey'. I experimented with students doing the same, to help them think mathematically, and build their understanding of group theory through experiential learning.

Unexpected results included the discovery of a sorting algorithm with the threads of a 2-colour flat braid. A math + fashion application of this beautiful diagonally woven circular braid arose too, as we danced a dress into being directly onto one of our dancers!
Dancing braid into being: Exploring mathematics through dance
00:04:11:00
Produced by Susan Gerofsky; Filmed by Jhaycee Caranoo and Roanna De Guzman; Edited by Megan Yeung; Thanks to Phil Byrne, Burnaby North Secondary School, Burnaby, BC, Canada
2018
As a mathematics educator, I’m interested in helping students learn about mathematical patterning and structuring through hands-on, whole body activities and arts-based approaches. Multisensory, aesthetically-pleasing realizations of mathematical patterns have been shown to help learners at all levels build more meaningful understandings of abstract mathematical concepts and notations.

The idea of 'dancing braid into being' came from a visit to a textile museum in France, where I saw bobbins on a braid-making machine dancing a 'hey'. I experimented with students doing the same, to help them think mathematically, and build their understanding of group theory through experiential learning.

Unexpected results included the discovery of a sorting algorithm with the threads of a 2-colour flat braid. A math + fashion application of this beautiful diagonally woven circular braid arose too, as we danced a dress into being directly onto one of our dancers!