Advanced Mathematics

May 19th, 2015
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The study of algebra, geometry and other advanced mathematics topics by blind individuals presents several challenges. One of the most serious of these is the fact that blind students cannot visualize the graphical representations of complex mathematical concepts which aid sighted students in their understanding of those concepts.

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Advanced MathematicsThe study of algebra, geometry and other advanced mathematics topics by blind individuals presents several challenges. One of the most serious of these is the fact that blind students cannot visualize the graphical representations of complex mathematical concepts which aid sighted students in their understanding of those concepts. An obvious example of this problem is the difficulty in representing three dimensional objects which may be the focus in the study of certain advanced topics such as geometry. However, even basic concepts often taken for granted can present difficulty for a student who is blind as he or she pursues more advanced study. An individual who is blind and who is employed as a programmer-analyst at a major university illustrates this in her comment:I have been totally blind since birth and have studied algebra, geometry, and calculus. I found geometry especially difficult because I lacked the understanding of many spatial concepts ... I found that I had difficulty understanding such concepts as how four walls meet the ceiling, and I actually stood on a chair to study this (Dick & Kubiak, 1997, p.344).Specific issues and guidelines related to the facilitation of the students use of tactile displays and graphics to aid in such study is described in thesection on tactile graphics.A second problem relates to the fact that a student who is blind cannot visualize complex mathematical expressions in their entireties. He or she must

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