# teaching machines

## Tricube

A month ago one of my sons’ toys inspired me to try and model it in Madeup. Here is the original set of magnetic blocks: And here is my first attempt at modeling them using Madeup’s dowel command with rounded bends: Notice the hole in the middle. Given how the rounding is implemented, I was […]

A couple years ago, my wife and I picked up some colorful blocks at a toy store. Each block is a quarter of a cylinder. The square faces of the blocks snap together with help from two magnets inside. There are just enough blocks in the set to make this fascinating shape: I’m struggling to […]

## Goodbye, Positional Parameters

I dearly miss the year that I spent talking about shapes and math with elementary and middle school students through the lens of Madeup and 3D printing. Would that those days return! While I wait for the global health crisis to subside, I might as well fix a few bugs in Madeup—by reimplementing it without […]

## University of Canterbury Seminar

Hi, I’m Chris and I teach people to teach machines. But I am a reluctant computer scientist. Sometimes I get concerned that the thing I know the most about is not directly linked to my survival. My father knew how to keep machines running. My wife grows vegetables. In a post-apocalyptic world, they would be […]

## Parametric Puzzle

Check out these these parametric equations: $$\begin{array}{rll}x &=& \cos v \cdot \cos u \\y &=& \sin v \\z &=& \cos v \cdot \sin u\end{array}$$ Do you know what they do? They are most assuredly not magic. Here, let’s rename the variables, and you can try again: \begin{array}{rll}x &=& \cos \textit{latitude} \cdot \cos \textit{longitude} \\y &=& […]

## Flatcaps in Libigl

Madeup’s dowel solidifier has one job: thicken a sequence of line segments into a solid. But what if the sequence isn’t a polyline, but rather a branching structure like a tree or a fork? One could model each branch as a separate dowel and hope that nobody looks too closely at the joints, but that’s […]

## STEM in Education 2018 Workshop

Welcome to the notes for the Computational Making with Madeup workshop at STEM in Education 2018. It’s my hope that you read the abstract for this workshop, and you consent to our stated goals: In this interactive hands-on workshop, participants will learn to build models using Madeup and gain skills and resources they can use […]

## Sensing Shapes

In the late 1600s, William Molyneaux posed a question to a friend: Suppose a man born blind, and now adult, and taught by his touch to distinguish between a cube and a sphere of the same metal, and nighly of the same bigness, so as to tell, when he felt one and the other, which […]

## Stolen Rings

Recently, I stole something precious from a friend. I was sitting in Andy’s office, and there it was. An interesting shape. Three rings nestled inside each other. They could rotate independently, but if any translated, the others would follow. I had to have these rings. So, I stole them. Well, I stole the idea of […]