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spacer spacer spacer spacer April 03, 2008
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Imagine RIT

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Each issue of News & Events will feature a project to be showcased at Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival on May 3. This week’s spotlight:

Walk-In Mobius Trihedral Kaleidoscope

Presenters: George Thurston, Ronald Jodoin and Bernard Brooks; College of Science, physics and mathematics departments

Brief description: Presenters will construct and display a large version of the Mobius trihedral kaleidoscope. An observer can insert a straight object, such as a stick, in alternate positions to form, together with its reflections, a cube, an octahedron or a tetrahedron. In addition to being startling, this clearly demonstrates common symmetry elements of these regular polyhedra.

How is the exhibit creative and/or innovative: This is a pedagogical innovation in that it provides a highly interactive, visceral experience of the consequences of reflection symmetry in three dimensions. The lessons involved can be presented to students at levels ranging from elementary school to college.

Exhibit experience for visitors: The exhibit can appeal at a variety of levels, ranging from the pure enjoyment of the striking reflections, to the mathematics of groups of symmetries and of dualities of the regular polyhedra.

For more information on the Innovation and Creativity Festival, visit www.rit.edu/imagine.

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