“Mathematica – The Theorem of Pythagoras” by Blinn

  • ©James (Jim) F. Blinn  California Institute of Technology (CalTech)


SIGGRAPH Video Review:




    Mathematica - The Theorem of Pythagoras


Company / Institution / Agency:

  • California Institute of Technology (CalTech)


    Mathematica is the pilot episode for a series of video tools to teach high-school mathematics. In this three-minute excerpt, several proofs of the Pythagorean Theorem are demonstrated through animation of the geometry, as well as with “algebraic ballets.” The connection is made to real-life problems with a minimum of live footage, and 85 percent of the lesson is computer graphic animation. Mathematica was produced at The Computer Graphics Laboratory of JPL. Animations were first critiqued by a group of high-school teachers. Since the success of The Mechanical Universe and its porting to video disk, special attention was given to the potential for Mathematica’s use in a similar interactive setting.

Additional Contributors:

    Animation: James Blinn, Sylvie Rueff
    Project Director: Tom Apostol
    Funded by: ACM SIGGRAPH and the Educational Foundation of America
    Software developed in-house at The Computer GraphicsLab/JPL
    Hardware: Vax11/780, GouldIP8500, E&SPS-2, SonyBVH2500

Animation / Video Overview: