As one of the most beloved series in children’s literature today, the Harry Potter books excite students of all ages with the adventures of living in a magical world. Magical objects (e.g., bottom-less handbags, the Knight Bus, time turners, and moving portraits) can inspire generalizations to mathematical concepts that would be relevant in an undergraduate geometry or topology course. Intuitive explanations for some of the magical objects connect to abstract mathematical ideas. We
offer a typology with a total of five categories, including Three Dimensions in Two Dimensions, Higher Dimensions in Three Dimensions, Two and Three Dimensional Movement, Higher Dimensional Movement, and Higher Dimensional Traces. These categories attempt to explain supernatural events from the wizarding world using mathematical reasoning in order to increase engagement in topics from topology to differential geometry. Our pedagogical goal is to pique student interest by linking these abstract concepts to familiar examples from the world of Harry Potter. Put on your Ravenclaw robe or Gryffindor scarf and join us!
Klanderman, Sarah; Schut, Alexa; Klanderman, Dave; and Boerman-Cornell, William, "The Topology of Harry Potter: Exploring Higher Dimensions in Young Adult Fantasy Literature" (2017). ACMS Conference Proceedings 2017. 14.
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