IB Math Students Problem Solve Real-World Situations in Unit on Voronoi Diagrams
January 07, 2021
The Mathematics Department at Léman Manhattan strives for students to think critically, communicate effectively, problem-solve, and apply math in real-life situations. Starting in the fall of 2019, Léman adopted the newly launched IB Diploma Programme Mathematics curriculum. The updated curriculum focuses on developing the skills of analysis, abstraction, and generalization, risk awareness, and statistical literacy, algorithmic thinking, modeling, and inquiry.
The new curriculum includes two new subjects/routes, Analysis and Approaches, designed for students who wish to become fluent in the construction of mathematical arguments and develop strong skills in mathematical thinking, and Applications and Interpretation, which is suited for students who are interested in developing their mathematical knowledge in order to effectively describe our world and solving practical problems.
Recently, students in Applications and Interpretation have been focusing on Voronoi Diagrams, a partition of a plane into regions close to each of a given set of objects. Voronoi Diagrams have applications in a variety of fields including science and engineering, city planning, public health, and 3D programming. As part of the unit, students solved problems relating to the optimal location for polling booths and toxic waste dumps. Students also looked at historic examples of how scientists have used Voronoi Diagrams to solve public health and safety issues, including one from a Cholera outbreak in 1854, just one example of how this problem-solving method can be used in many real-world situations.