ERIC Number: EJ728185
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Mar
Spiral Growth in Plants: Models and Simulations
Allen, Bradford D.
Teaching Mathematics and Its Applications: An International Journal of the IMA, v23 n1 p41-47 Mar 2004
The analysis and simulation of spiral growth in plants integrates algebra and trigonometry in a botanical setting. When the ideas presented here are used in a mathematics classroom/computer lab, students can better understand how basic assumptions about plant growth lead to the golden ratio and how the use of circular functions leads to accurate spiral growth simulations. Using Mathematica, students can experiment, explore and discover how varying a small number of parameters leads to a wide variety of simulated plant forms. The Mathematica code presented here can be easily modified for experimentation and easily rewritten for use with other maths software packages such as Maple and Matlab.
Descriptors: Plants (Botany), Computer Software, Models, Algebra, Trigonometry, Computer Assisted Instruction, Computer Simulation, Mathematics Instruction, Educational Technology, Discovery Learning, Teaching Methods
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A