Using Vi Hart’s hyperbolic space tweet with kids

Yesterday Vi Hart tweeted about an amazing program you can use to explore hyperbolic space:

The program, which (I think) came from joint work by Andrea Hawksley, Vi Hart, Henry Segerman, and Mike Stay, is here:

A program to explore hyperbolic space

The youtube video in Hart’s tweet shows her playing with the program and explaining a little bit about the different shapes you see. After watching that video I thought it would be fun for the boys to explore the program without any explanation of what was going on. I was really interested to see how a kid would react to seeing this 3 dimensional hyperbolic geometry for the first time.

Here’s what my older son had to say:

 

and here’s what my younger son had to say:

 

This is such a fun program to let kids play with. The boys noticed many strange properties of hyperbolic space without knowing they were looking at a strange new space. It really is amazing to have resources like this right at your fingertips!

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