I’m continuing to work through Daniel Shiffman’s book, Learning Processing, and I have just finished the chapter on conditionals. I wrote a program that animates a rectangle and ellipse, and depending on their positions in the window their colors and shapes change. You can click here to see it run in openprocessing.org.

Coding is the hot topic in education these days, so I decided to teach myself a computer language. I chose Processing, because it creates nice computer graphics, which I think will appeal to my students. I’m using Daniel Shiffman’s book, Learning Processing, which is very entertaining and understandable. He assumes the reader knows nothing about coding, and that’s a good thing in my case!

Processing uses simple commands like ellipse(centerX, centerY, width, height), or line(X1, Y1, X2, Y2). If you’re familiar with coordinate geometry, then coding in Processing is a piece of cake. And did I mention it’s open-source, which means it’s completely free? The Processing website (linked above) has a fantastic reference that covers all of the commands and their parameters.

Here is my first project, which is the result of working through the first three chapters. I think I’ll call him Hypno-Dog, because I made his eyes change color.

My Algebra Two students are in the thick of learning about conics – parabolas, ellipses, circles, and hyperbolas. I’ve just finished recording a series of screencasts about them, and I am posting them below for your enjoyment.

Why are they called conics? Well, we can construct them using cones, as illustrated by this demo, courtesy of Irina Boyadzhiev via GeogebraTube (I wish I could embed it, but WordPress won’t allow it):

It’s been a very long time since I posted a fractal, so here’s one I made today with the Chaoscope program. It’s an Unravel attractor, rendered in Light mode at 2,000,000,000 iterations: