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RIGID MOTION: A Story about Ninette De Las Peñas


Story by Didith T. Rodrigo

Illustrations by Mika Aldaba

Ma. Louise Antonette N. De Las Peñas is a mathematician and full professor based in the Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City. She was the eldest of two girls born to a family in Zamboanga City. Dr. De las Peñas has a BS, MS, and Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of the Philippines. She began working as an actuary at a large accounting firm and then returned to academia after a few years to get her doctorate. She is best known for her work in mathematical crystallography, color symmetry, hyperbolic geometry, tilings, group theory, and technology in mathematics education. Because of her reputation as a researcher, she was elected member of the Commission on Mathematical and Theoretical Crystallography in 2014. She was the only woman on this commission and the only representative from Southeast Asia. Her research has garnered many national-level awards including the 2014 Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Republica National Award for Outstanding Research, the 2014 National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) Award for Best Scientific Paper, and the 2010 National Research Council of the Philippines Outstanding Achievement Award in Research in the Mathematical Sciences. Her published paper and lecture entitled “Weaving Mat(h)s” discusses the geometric elements and algebraic structures of indigenous Philippine woven mats. Her methods of analysis of Philippine cultural heritage have resulted in consultancies with Philippine museums. Aside from cultural preservation, her research has possible applications in math education. Ninette explains: “We want to capture the thinking process involved when these weavers create these designs. Clearly the creation reflects a high level of algebra and geometry. If we can capture this thinking process then we can use it to also make our students and other children understand math better.”

Copyright © 2017

ISBN: 978-971-569-907-5

8 x 10 inches | 20 pages | full-color | C2S paper

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