Wolfram Computation Meets Knowledge

Wolfram Summer School


Mariano Cano Santos

Educational Innovation

Class of 2017


Mariano was born in Nîmes, France, in 1969, and has lived in Catalonia since 1978. He has an undergraduate degree in physics (University of Barcelona, 1993), a master’s degree in didactics of mathematics (University of Barcelona, 1995) and a PhD in educational technology (Universitat Rovira i Virgili, 2010). In 1994, he entered the Secondary Mathematics Teacher Public Corp of the Generalitat de Catalunya. He is also specialized to teach technology, physics, chemistry and computer science in high schools, and has been working as a teacher trainer in several Department of Education programs and other universities’ institutions.

Over five academic years (2005–2006 to 2010–2011), he has assumed administrative responsibilities within the Department of Education as a supervisor of vocational studies and educational planning in Catalonia, and he has been part of the public committees and examiners for the recruitment of secondary teachers in the public education system.

In 2010, he achieved the administrative degree required to run and lead mathematics departments in the public high schools of Spain. And during the 2013–2014 academic year, he was the school supervisor of Institut Sòl-de-Riu as a member of the school’s executive team.

Computational Essay

Aristotle’s Wheel Paradox »

Project: Galileo’s Inclined Plane Experiment

Goal of the project:

The goal of this project is to develop a STEM learning unit for secondary-school students mixing mathematics, science and coding. With this work, I want to reproduce (taking data from the real world) and analyze with the Wolfram Language Galileo’s experiment with an inclined plane to explore and deduce the physical law of falling bodies.

Summary of work:

The code in the project modeled a ball (in the approximation of little friction) falling dawn an inclined plane. Along the plane, three points can be moved to check the passing of the ball; when the ball passes the points, bells will sound. The slope of the plane and the positions of the bells can be changed with slide controls. The planet in which the experiment is simulated can be selected with a popup menu indicating the gravitational data available in Wolfram|Alpha. All the dynamic graphics are inserted in a Manipulate dynamic module frame. After the ball has fallen, we extract the values of the time-space checkpoints to analyze the data.

Results and future work:

This three-week project at the Wolfram Summer School 2017 will be part of a bigger educational project; I expect to start a series of open learning materials for sharing and contributing to Computer-Based Math, the Wolfram Demonstrations Project and the Computational Thinking Initiative.