The Mathematics behind the Art of the Death Spiral

Diana Cheng and Tetyana Berezovski
Proceedings of Bridges 2014: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Culture (2014)
Pages 493–496


In light of the recent 2014 Winter Olympic Games, mathematical modeling problems involving algebra, geometry, trigonometry and calculus are presented via dynamic geometry software in the context of pairs figure skating. An aesthetically pleasing and athletically demanding pairs figure skating element, the Death Spiral, is discussed. Activities related to the pairs Death Spiral which are suitable for middle and high school students are provided in this workshop. Workshop participants use Geometer's Sketchpad on their laptops as an educational platform to conduct interactive investigations related to these modeling problems.