Sound is the form of energy which most of us seem to take for granted. Maybe the prevailing impression which encourages this attitude is the acceptance that it is as natural and abundant as air. For people who experience temporary or permanent loss of hearing, the perception of sound and acoustics do have significant implications which create limitations and demands for sizeable adjustments to their other senses of perceptions and to the environment in which they operate. Acoustics, which is the science of sound, provides animals with added awareness of their environment. It facilitates a useful form of communication. For humans, this is most significant in the development of the spoken language, an art which is common only to mankind.
I do have a great interest in exploring the mathematics of acoustics and the acoustical effects on architectural designs. This knowledge will allow students to practice mathematical solutions to acoustical problems. Hopefully this exposure might instill a keener awareness of sound quality in the general environment.
I am an eighth grade mathematics teacher at the Betsy Ross Arts Magnet Middle School in the city of New Haven, Connecticut. The school has a diverse ethnic population of African-Americans, Asians, Afro-Caribbeans, Caucasians, and Hispanics. The Afro-American population accounts for about sixty percent of the total population. The curriculum allows students to complete their studies in the basic academic subject areas and still retain a strong focus on the visual and performing arts.
There is this constant complaint among our student population that mathematics is boring. One of the suggested solutions to this problem is the integration more of relevance in the presentation of the subject matter. An approach that investigates the acoustical effects on architecture and the environment might somehow provide that missing relevance. The proposed units of development will be geared for the students in the pre-algebra and algebra groups since the science requires some form of algebraic manipulations. The primary objectives are:
1) To provide practice in the basic skills of algebraic manipulations
2) To provide practice in the application of basic mathematics in science
3) To offer an interdisciplinary approach to mathematics
4) To determine the nature of good acoustics
5) To develop proposals for providing good acoustics