Image Creation by Equation

Math homework can sometimes evoke the same emotions as The Scream by Edvard Munch, but Jennifer Rui ’25 took that to the next level when completing a recent assignment for Mr. Chenoweth’s Precalculus Honors class. 

After studying several equation forms during the year, particularly polar and parametric equations at the close of the winter term, precalculus students in sections D and F were assigned a project requiring them to create an image using several equations. 

Simple graphs were created in class over time, but students had to prove they could distinguish different graphs by identifying their uniqueness and properties. Image creation has proven to be a fun way to do this. 

Born out of the anticipation of remote learning, this project was originally developed prior to the COVID pandemic. Its popularity has continued, as well as its propensity to connect with other disciplines. 

According to Chenoweth, the assignment serves two purposes, enticing the students to be as creative as possible and encouraging them to create their own equations combining several functions and equations relative to what is learned in class over time. As students put their thoughts on paper, they can recognize how mathematics is used daily around us. “We tried to connect with several other disciplines across the spectrum, especially regarding STEAM,” Chenoweth said. “Notwithstanding, throughout the discussion of the project details, I told them that they should make sure they have some fun with their project as well.”

The results, like Rui’s Scream, cover a plethora of ideas and creative expressions from the whimsical to the futuristic with a few familiar pieces in-between. But how did they really do according to their teacher?

“They did an excellent job. This collection of students took this assignment to another level. They set the bar really high. Next year students have a new challenge before them.”

Cover images (l-r clockwise): Katya Skinner '24, Nate Heller '25, Jinn Park '26, Steven Li '25, Charlotte West '24, Becca Healey '24.

Top left: Jennifer Rui '25.

Below: Levi Maquire '25.