Bridges 2012 Workshop Paper
(Proceedings pages 607–612)
Together with the workshop participants, we investigate various
ways to express combinatorial structures through persons and/or
physical objects in motion. For instance, the six permutations of
three elements can be presented by three persons in a dance. Each
person represents an element. They stand next to each other, and,
five times, two appropriately selected neighbors swap places. Each
swap can be artistically executed. Alternatively, the three persons
can hold three physical objects to represent the three elements,
and they exchange objects to present the six permutations.
This is a discovery workshop, where I will guide you through some
of the combinatorial structures that I have investigated. Even
simple combinatorial structures give rise to interesting mathematical
questions when trying to present them through persons and physical
objects. The design of a choreography can lead to surprising insights.
There will also be room to work on designing your own choreography
for a combinatorial structure of your choice. Finally, we reflect
on possible applications in education.