Wednesday, 09 August 2017 18:51

UMaine researchers developing virtual reality software for use in math, geometry classes

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ORONO - It's like stepping into a video game-- but educators are hoping it can be used in an academic setting.

Undergraduate and graduate students alike have been working together in a lab at the University of Maine to develop a virtual technology that can be used by all ages.

The program is called the handwaver, and the goal is to help students better understand math and geometry by actually seeing it in a 3-d environment.

"One thing you can do with virtual objects that you can't do with real physical objects is you can investigate them by superposition, you can put them inside each other really easily to understand how their volumes might relate to one another," said Justin Dimmel, Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education and Instructional Technology at the University of Maine. "That's just a simple example of the kinds of things you can do in these virtual environments."

The technology is still in its early stages, and the team is working to perfect it.

Professor Dimmel hopes to get this on the radar for Maine teachers so they can prepare for the future.

Kayla Fish

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Kayla joined the ABC 7 & FOX 22 news team in May of 2017. She got into journalism because she loves talking with people, and she's incredibly grateful to share the stories of Mainers throughout the region.

She got her start in broadcasting way back in middle school as a member of a morning announcements TV broadcast club, and her love for the news industry took off from there.

Kayla graduated from Penn State University in 2017 with degrees in broadcast journalism and Spanish. During her time as a student at Penn State, Kayla was an executive producer and reporter for the "Centre County Report", an Emmy award-winning student-run newscast. She studied abroad in Ronda, Spain and traveled to Panama with an international reporting class. Kayla kept busy in college, spending four years working as a student manager in the dining hall.

Kayla grew up in the village of Shawnee-on-Delaware, located in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania, so transitioning into life in Vacationland was a piece of cake! A self-described winter fanatic, she loves all things snow related, including hitting the slopes on her snowboard. She also likes hiking, kayaking or doing anything outdoors. She loves meeting new people so if you see her around, be sure to stop and say hi!