Project led by Dimmel, Pandiscio selected for MIRTA accelerator program

A team from the College of Education and Human Development is developing a mathematical manipulative that uses sunlight to model multiplication as a continuous growth operation. The project is part of the latest cohort selected to participate in the University of Maine’s Maine Innovation Research and Technology Accelerator program (MIRTA).

Faculty lead Justin Dimmel, an assistant professor of mathematics education and instructional technology, is collaborating with Eric Pandiscio, an associate professor of mathematics education, senior biology student Emma Reedman (pre-med with minors in psychology and interdisciplinary studies), and external partner Mitch Stone to refine a handheld version of the device for use in K–12 math classes, and a larger version to be installed in public gathering spaces such as parks and playgrounds. Stone is the director of parks and recreation and the deputy director of community development for Orono. As a physical representation for the multiplication of fractions, the SunRule allows K–12 students to use sunlight to explore fundamental mathematical concepts.

More information about MIRTA and other projects selected for this year’s cohort is available on the UMaine News and Office of Innovation and Economic Development websites.