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Abstract Detail

Teaching Section

Lu, Pei-Luen [1].

A theory of geometric application in plant morphology.

Mathematical biology and Theoretical biology are regarded as important interdisciplinary fields of academic study. After the genomics revolution in the late twentieth century, scientists started to show interest in these disciplines. In biology, plants are a dominant life form on earth. Most plants obtain energy from sunlight via photosynthesis and supply resource for most food networks. Although civilizations were built upon the basis of sustainable agriculture (economic botany), few people appreciate plants. The integrated research between mathematical biology and botany becomes important in recent years but few studies are associated with both research and education. This study develops an approach of theories of Euclidean geometry and solid geometry for plant morphological structure by using a popular horticultural plant, Dracaena marginata Lam. (Ruscaceae) native to Madagascar. First, this study considers that the shape among branches of trees or among needlelike leaves are polygons whereas the appearance of the tree, with the exception of the trunk, are spheres. Second, this study provides explanation and a theorem by a simple mathematical geometric proof. The recommendation of this study is to use plants as examples when teaching geometry in high school to help students make the connection with their natural surroundings and mathematics. This in turn may help to enhance students' interests in botany or mathematical biology or both, and to expose students to plant diversity.

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1 - Department of Botany, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 3190 Maile Way, Room 101, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96822, USA

Mathematical biology
Science Education
botany education
K-12 education.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Ball Room & Party Room/SUB
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2008
Time: 12:30 PM
Number: PTS001
Abstract ID:313

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