Tangram

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TanTab: Bridging the Virtual and the Physical

Project Team

  • Dr. Francis Quek Professor; Center for Human Computer Interaction
  • Chreston Miller PhD Student (Display Part)
  • Sharon Lynn Chu PhD candidate
  • Xiao Lin PhD Student
  • Yannick Verdie Graduated-MS Student (Image Processing Part)
  • Anurodh Joshi Graduated-Masters student

Note: This is a recently completed project that is currently dormant

Project Description

TanTab is an interactive tabletop system that uses tangrams (a traditional puzzle with 7 geometric shapes) to mediate geometric learning while supporting group play among children, from PreK to Grade 3. The system affords physical and graphical interaction by supporting three modes: the physical, the virtual and the parametric.

Keywords

Interaction design, Geometry, Education, Physical manipulatives, Tangible interaction, Tabletop systems, Learning technology, Embodied interaction

Motivating Factors

Previous studies have shown that using tangrams as physical manipulatives produce better geometric problem solving, while virtual manipulation on a screen supports better understanding of formal geometric parameters. However, no commercial system up to date is able to bridge between fully intuitive physical manipulation of forms (tangrams) and explicit control of geometric parameters through the virtual. TanTab aims to serve that purpose.

For more details about the studies, see itemL webpage.

Technical Details

TanTab consists of an interactive tabletop surface featuring an Apple 30-inch Cinema display embedded in a coffee table, coupled with an overhead camera. The system embodies two major features relevant to embodied interaction: a seamless transition among three modes of interaction and the inclusion of shared activity.

For more technical details, see this website.

Images

File:AERA09 technical video mobile v4.flv
This video was done for AERA09 conference.

Tangram01.jpg Tangram03.jpg

Tangram02.jpg

Publications

  • Quek, F., Miller, C., Joshi, A., Verdie, Y., Ehrich, R., Evans, M., Chu Yew Yee, S. and Chakraborty, P. (2010). TanTab, A Tangram Tabletop System. Disney Research Learning Challenge Finalist. SIGGRAPH ’10, Los Angeles, CA.
  • Evans, M.A., Wilkins, J.L.M., Dreschel, E., Verdie, Y., Miller, C., Woods, E.M., & Dogusoy, B. (2010). Technology to Facilitate Collaborative, Co-Constructive Learning: A Multi-Touch, Tangible User Interface for PreK-2 Mathematics. Submitted to the British Journal of Educational Technology.
  • Michael A. Evans, Jesse L.M. Wilkins, Yannick Verdie, Chreston Miller, Elisabeth Drechsel, Eric Woods and Berrin Dogusoy. Technology to Facilitate Collaborative, Co-Constructive Learning: A Multi-Touch, Tangible User Interface for PreK-2 Mathematics. ICLS 2010.
  • Evans, M.A., & Wilkins, J.L.M., Ehrich, R.W., McNeill, D., & Quek, F. (2009). Second graders geometric reasoning with peers and manipulatives: Requirements for a multi-touch, tabletop learning technology. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Conference, San Diego, CA, April 13-17, 2009.
  • Evans, M.A., & Wilkins, J.L.M., Ehrich, R.W., McNeill, D., & Quek, F. (2009). Facilitating collaborative inquiry: A Tangible User Interface for PreK-3 mathematics instruction. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Conference, San Diego, CA, April 13-17, 2009.

Acknowledgements

This research has been supported by NSF grants: Social Organization, Learning Technologies & discourse: System Features For Facilitating Mathematical Reasoning In Pre K-3 Students, NSF (ALT) IIS-0736151, and CRI: Interfaces for the embodied mind, IIS-0551610.