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RiSE Colloquium: Justin Dimmel et al.

October 3, 2022 @ 3:00 pm4:00 pm

Maine Center for Research in STEM Education (RiSE Center)
Colloquium Series


Justin Dimmel, Eric Pandiscio, Gregory Ondo, Samuel Hoey

University of Maine

Monday, October 3, 3:00–4:00 p.m.
Barrows 123 and Zoom
(link and passcode available by email)

Multiplication by Sunlight and Movement:
The Design and Installation of an Interactive Mathematical Sculpture


Physical representations of multiplication are discrete collections of graspable, familiar things, such as blocks, chips, cubes, or rods. They allow for natural, movement-based explorations of multiplication by grouping and tallying. By contrast, pictorial representations involve non-tangible diagrams that can be drawn to any measurable length. They allow for visual explorations of multiplication as continuous scaling. The discrete/continuous divide across physical/pictorial representations of multiplication frames a design problem: How could a physical, manipulable tool realize a continuous model of multiplication? One such solution to this problem is the SunRule, an analog device that models multiplication through movements that control lengths of light daggers and shadows. We examine the mathematical underpinnings of the SunRule, analyze its affordances for modeling multiplication as enacted through movement, and discuss the UMaine/Orono collaboration that resulted in the installation of a SunRule in Webster Park.


Justin K. Dimmel: Justin Dimmel is an associate professor of mathematics education and instructional technology at the University of Maine. Dimmel completed both an MS in mathematics (2013) and a Ph.D. in mathematics education (2015) at the University of Michigan. Prior to pursuing his graduate degrees, Dimmel worked for five years as a mathematics educator and school administrator at independent, adventure-based boarding schools in Massachusetts (The Shackleton School) and the Bahamas (The Island School), where he gained experience with place-based education. At the University of Maine, Dimmel leads the immersive mathematics in rendered environments (IMRE) laboratory. His recent work investigates student interactions with diagrams that are inscribed in immersive spaces.

Eric A. Pandiscio: Eric Pandiscio is an Associate Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Maine, where he teaches content and methods courses for current and prospective K-12 teachers. He has been part of numerous professional development projects and institutes, focusing on innovative curriculum, pedagogy, and connections to state standards. He holds a Bachelors degree from Brown University and a Masters and Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin. His research interests include the acquisition of proportional reasoning skills, diagrammatic thinking in geometry, connections between geometry and algebra, and most recently, continuous representations of multiplication.

Gregory Ondo: Gregory Ondo is associate professor of sculpture at the University of Maine. Born in Pennsylvania, Ondo attended Homer City High School and later earned his BFA in Sculpture from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Ondo studied with sculptor James Nestor, and was greatly influenced by Nestor’s intensity and dedication; as well as his formal sensibility and often location-driven works. Ondo studied ceramics and sculpture in the 3D areas of the University of New Mexico, where he earned his MFA. Ondo also worked in UNM’s Land Arts of the American West program, which was started in 2000 by Bill Gilbert and based on ten years of field programming at Acoma Pueblo and Juan Mata Ortiz, Mexico. Ondo joined the University of Maine in 2006, where he maintains a studio filled with stone, metal, and various other materials that he can be seen wrestling with daily. Some public projects include: the Northern Lights permanent installation at St. Joseph’s internal medicine; Glow, a granite and glass sculpture currently installed in Southwest Harbor, ME; and the Bottleneck woodfire kiln, made from the earth on which is sits, Llaves, NM (1999-present).

Samuel Hoey: Sam Hoey is a sculpture studio technician at the University of Maine. Hoey is a graduate of the University of Maine’s sculpture program.

To be added to the Colloquium email list and receive the Zoom link and passcode, please email the RiSE Center:

To request a reasonable accessibility accommodation, please contact the RiSE Center by email or phone: 207.581.4672.


October 3, 2022
3:00 pm–4:00 pm
Event Category:


RiSE Center
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