Vector Graphics Use Functions

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Lesson synopsis

yoga logoFor a half century computing technology has played an increasing role in how we create visual imagery. Vector graphics was the original method for rendering images on a display screen. It fell out of favor in the 1990s as increasing memory size allowed raster, or bitmap images, to be stored. Within the last decade there has been a resurgence of vector graphics to efficiently support graphic displays as large as billboards and as small as postage stamps. Vector graphics are dependent upon functions. This lesson introduces vector graphics and functions through a collaborative design activity.

Age Levels

14 - 18 years


Introduce students to:
how vector graphics technology works, and contrasts with raster graphics.
how smooth scaling occurs.
the role that functions play in vector graphics.
how modern mapping software is implemented as vector graphics.

Anticipated learner outcomes

Students will:
describe the difference between vector and raster graphics.
create a vector image by hand and write the related functions.
draw an personal logo using a set of functions.
explain how mapping software is more flexible with vector graphics.
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Liz Gerber - Image credit Lisa Beth Anderson
Liz Gerber
Liz Gerber - Image credit Lisa Beth Anderson

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Gerber's work funded by the US National Science Foundation and the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance has appeared in peer-reviewed journals, including Transactions on Computer Human Interactions, Design Studies, and Organization Science.
As an award-winning teacher and researcher, Liz has touched the lives of more than 6,000 students through her teaching at Northwestern's Segal Design Institute and Stanford University's Hasso Plattner's Institute of Design and through her paradigm-shifting creation, Design for America, a national network of students using design to tackle social challenges.

Image credit - Lisa Beth Anderson

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Listen to what Professor Moler has to say about his life’s work:

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