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Symmetry Under Transformation
Cubical Maze Module
Toward following the vision of Leonardo da Vinci to see Art and Science as one.
Let’s Not Underestimate the Mind of the Child
CONSTRUCTION BLOCKS (Binary Processor)
Full-spectrum COGNITIVE TOOL
"The scientist is always working to discover the order and organization of the universe, and is thus playing a game against the arch enemy, disorganization."
Norbert Wiener, The Human Use Of Human Beings, 1950
Let’s not underestimate the mind of the scientist ... the child.
This is the story of Spatial Thinking (space, representation, process: multifaceted, interconnecting competencies, human and robot), the holistic approach — manifested by a cubical maze module, the Sommer Cube (S3) -- the rational in conflict with the intuitive, and why it is important.
In particular, Wayfinding: spatial problem solving critically examined as cognitive tool, in conjunction with an overdue definition of Play, in operational intelligence terms, as Adaptability: cognitive payoff. Unleashing the instinct to think.
S3 creates an efficiency, as algebra (“al-jabr”: reunion of broken parts) facilitates the solution of geometry problems by other means (Cartesian Plane) — illumination of diverse problem sets (classes) across a broad range of disciplines. CHALLENGES / GAMES
With Hands and Mind.
Ask Albert Einstein, Frank Lloyd Wright, Buckminster Fuller, etc.
The S3 initiative: introducing S3 play to a wide audience; proposing Spatial Thinking and Learning Research / Children’s Museum partnership, as well as S3 availability in homes and schools.
A simple block and ball networking system which leverages full-spectrum cognitive / perceptual processing: learning algorithms, and the art of design, with an emphasis on advanced thinking and intuition -- and self-reflection (not "mere facts", but principles); functional relations, particularly goals and feedback (What information is relevant? What are my assumptions? Are they justified?)
Thus, S3 is about simultaneous mental (rational and non-rational) and manual rotation, giving form to binary and analogical information, a coupling between physical objects and binary information where bits are directly manipulable and perceptible.
Rolling Ball “Tilt-Switch”
Formal early childhood education needs a powerful learning / research tool (research on spatial cognition and documentation on the transfer of skills and logic acquisition from S3 to STEM -- complex and real world stimuli).
Thus, S3 addresses the need for more learning proficiency than problem solving competence: situation awareness, creativity, and the careful construction of logical arguments, and their limitations. Scientifically verifiable Spatial Thinking (spatial: ability, reasoning, cognition, concepts, intelligence, environmental cognition, cognitive mapping, mental maps, etc.) tools and learning opportunities are needed, for pilots, astronauts, surgeons, etc., as well as teachers and students, diagnostic as well as development.
S3 achieves this by leveraging full-spectrum cognitive / perceptual processing, advanced thinking and intuition (essential for Science Technology Engineering Mathematics, STEM, and its inseparable partner the Arts -- therefore STEAM) with Hands and Mind. (S3 learning / development research is a first step toward rigorous, scientific demonstration that STEAM is as effecitve as STEM.)
“I was particularly taken with the possibilities the S3 offers for strengthening spatial, mathematical, and problem-solving skills in children, beginning in the preschool years. The S3 readily engages and captivates children, sustains their attention, and challenges and stretches them cognitively. Moreover, it enables children to calibrate their own complexity of play--making the S3 ideal for any age and age-mix of players, child-child or child-adult. We have much scientific evidence to indicate that children benefit enormously from such collaborative endeavors, both cognitively and socially.”
Laura E. Berk, Ph.D. Child Development, 8th Edition (May 13, 2008, cc m.s.)
Science Technology Engineering Mathematics -- the future of the U.S. is on the line.
Research "results suggest that spatially enriched education could pay substantial dividends….”
"At present, it seems that inadequate attention is being paid to the teaching of STEM in early childhood education. Less than 5 percent of time in formal early childhood education settings is devoted to STEM learning, according to research presented at a recent conference on fostering STEM trajectories organized by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center and the New America research institute.”
Think of that black swan which disproves the contention that all swans are white (S3 is a physical hybrid as well as a hybrid of ideas), like the promise of Spatial Thinking, a long overdue consolidation of important scientific inquiries and educational initiatives.
STEM development should be about power -- first, the power of abstract reasoning and then its practical application -- right from the beginning (bottom-up, in addition to top-down). Spatial processing -- (teaching and learning).
"Spatial ability and STEM: A sleeping giant for talent identification and development” for the U.S. and the developing world.
The Smart Block.
Binary and Analogical Reasoning
(switch from fixed to changing values).
S3. What it is. What it does.
Adventure By Topology
Or go directly to OVERVIEW.
An architecture of complexity.
S3 is about exploration of situation awareness, transformation of parts and whole, square and circle, feedback and symmetry -- adaptation to accelerating rates of change and complexity of system and environment: a cognitive development tool (manual / mental rotation studies). Network topology, physical and logical -- with hands and Mind.
"Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine”
S3 is transformative, a kick-start, a self-generating, self-sustaining, escalating causal loop: an exploration of deep causal structure (in "hard science” terms); an evolutionary cycle of cognitive development where the manipulator is both agent and object of change.
S3 is predicated on the tension of switchiness (compound cognitive, perceptual, mechanical flip-flop and schedule of reinforcement): switching of relative motion and form, and navigational strategies.
Flip-flop of manipulator frame of reference: egocentric >> allocentric) and patterns of thought (higher levels of abstraction) in a paradoxical environment, and why and how to get the most out of them: a partnership of feedback and symmetry.
Control under continuously varying context (among eccentrically rotating “local" and expanding “absolute" coordinate systems) — multivariate, celestial mechanics.
Thus, S3 is about Apex reasoning, patterns of thought exceeding the parameters normally experienced in logical operations -- where all the rules change; discovering order in what is seemingly random, in starkly contrasting conceptual frameworks, different problems sharing a common medium.
S3 is about variations on a theme of square and circle, juxtaposition across three dimensions.
A counterpoint of logic and intuition.
Asynchronous Binary Processor (0/1) four bit (0/1) -- nibble
Each S3 reorientation simultaneously reprograms the four "gravity feed” tunnels differentially, nonlinearly; each acts as a binary (0/1) logic gate (rolling ball "tilt-switch") to impede (0) / allow (1) ball flow.
(Note that S3 nonlinearity -- change in one variable which does not produce a directly proportional change in the result -- even in the single S3, is effectively a nonlinear expression / experience which allows one to intuitively graph the output as a curve -- very exciting stuff for the manipulator with a questioning mind. And that’s just the first S3.)
A tangible demonstration of basic behaviors (consciousness) of the brain through mechanical concepts (switches): a cubical maze module (four tunnels = four binary (0/1) switches = gate array) offering a development of choices (control flow) to create linearly independent / dependent paths, using a ball, or symmetry in mathematics.
A programmable logic component (In Field Programmable Gate Array terms), a combinational logic block which contains four tunnels, effectively an array of unconnected, gravity-dependent switches to be programmed by the user as the block is rotated in space, which can be connected to other logic blocks to create multiple adaptive, simultaneous, routes by reconfigurable interconnects.
S3 turns four switches on / off differentially, unpredictably, with each rotation: sort of purposeful, having apparent agency, independent intentions and decision making; reconfigures / “randomizes” routing with each rotation (note compound reinforcement of manipulator).
In summary, to repeat, S3 is about simultaneous mental (rational and non-rational) and manual rotation, giving form to binary and analogical information, a coupling between physical objects and binary information where bits are directly manipulable and perceptible.
In other words, the S3 physical state embodies the binary state of the system, as well as the analogical. (think Tangible User Interface -- TUI)
With Hands and Mind.)
And it’s fun. (CHALLENGES / GAMES)
Consumer Knows Best …
Scientifically verifiable Spatial Thinking toys are needed -- today.
Unless toy manufacturing reflects what people want, it can win ROI, but lose the customer base.
Putting today’s "education-minded consumer" into the strategic planning / intelligence driver's seat.
Spatial Thinking. Classic Toy. Full-spectrum cognitive engagement across market segments.
S3 Business. (PITCH DECK)
How to cite this material:
Sommer, M. S., (2016). Sommer Cube: Symmetry Under Transformation. Retrieved from www.sommercube.com.html
, a proposed Spatial Thinking and Learning Research / Children’s Museum partnership, as well as homes and schools