RDorit Research Proposal

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Robert Dorit (rdorit@smith.edu)
Spring 2011
Type of work
Independent Study, 1 to 4 credits
Knowledge required
Java and some graphics programming. A knowledge of Processing a plus. Knowledge of Mathematica useful.

This project is an effort to create a dynamic visualization of the shape space of snail shells.
Shell shape can be mathematically described in a fairly straightforward manner, and models are now available that allow us to explore how changes in one or more parametrs alter the resulting shape .

(see http://demonstrations.wolfram.com/ModelOfShellGrowth/ for an example)

We would like to integrate this modeling with a visualization of possible shape space. Ideally users would be able to point anywhere in this idealized three-dimensional shape space and see the resulting shell shape. In addition, we might wish to link the resulting shape with any extant or fossil forms that lie in close proximity.