“An Interactive Course on Fractals and Chaos” by Laxer and Klebanoff

  • ©Cary Laxer and Aaron Klebanoff

  • ©Cary Laxer and Aaron Klebanoff

  • ©Cary Laxer and Aaron Klebanoff

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Title:

    An Interactive Course on Fractals and Chaos

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Abstract:


    This paper describes a course that teaches fractals and chaos via significant student interaction with computer software. The course was developed and taught jointly by the authors (a computer science faculty member with expertise in computer graphics and a mathematics faculty member with expertise in chaotic dynamical systems). Exercises for students to investigate properties of chaotic dynamical systems were developed for computer algebra systems (Maple and Mathematica). Interactive computer-graphics-based software developed by the instructors provided the ability for students to investigate fractals. Lecture material provided the theory on fractals and chaos and the relationship between them. Project work allowed the students to reinforce their understanding of the concepts. Students learned both mathematical and computer graphics concepts in the course, and could receive course credit either in mathematics or computer science.


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