ARH 1000 Art Appreciation, special MDC Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) “Mathphobia” project

Instructors:                   Marilyn Gottlieb-Roberts, Dept. of Art & Philosophy

                                    Hours posted Room 3604-11;; Tel. 305-237-3066; Fax 305-237-3819

                                                Pavlov Rameau, Dept. of Mathematics

                          ; Tel. 305-237-7569

Suggested Texts:           “Symmetry Space and Shape”, Kinsey & Moore, Key College Publishing, 2002.

                                    “Perspective for Comic Book Artists”, David Chelsea, Watson-Guptil, 1977.

                                    “Understanding Comics”, Scott McCloud, HarperCollins, 1993.


CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION: Research on the role of art and the visual media in everyday living in the home, the school, and the community. 

GOALS (what):  This experimental class integrates study in art and math.  It is intended to demonstrate that mathematics and art are each intuitively and conceptually accessible to “the ordinary person.” 

METHODOLOGY (how): The instructors conduct illustrated lectures and workshops.  As individuals and in cooperative Study Groups, students teach one another about their research and what they have learned through experience and guided reading and writing assignments.  In lieu of a final exam, students submit a 6-page comic book based on a reflective journal of individual success and challenge throughout the semester.

OBJECTIVES: (why) this class aims to give you enough information about math and art to engage your curiosity and confidence and encouragement for to future exploration.

SEMESTER GRADE is based on a total of the following (for detail see GUIDE TO ASSIGNMENTS, p 2):

1.            25% STUDY GROUP PARTICIPATION.  1) 8% - Geometry; 2) 8% - “Understanding Comics”; 3) 9% - individual oral presentation to class of FINAL PROJECT (6-page comic book).  Self-grade ratified by group consensus (see grading scale, below):


2.            25% PROJECTS.  13% - Three sets of four exercises chosen from “Symmetry, Space & Shape”; 12% - 4 original designs exhibiting 2-D symmetry.  Grading for both: on time = A, late (without written request for late penalty deferral on due date) = C.


3.   ___ 50% FINAL PROJECT (in lieu of final exam).  40 % - submission of 6-page self-reflective comic book (with COMIC BOOK COVER PAGE, p.6). 10% - Submission of comic book “story board”.  Self-graded (see grading scale, below); instructor’s review of student self-grading is final.

Self-grading:    A         my best work; if I continue to invest this much care and attention in my life, I can expect my potential to be fully realized (see Late Penalty, below)

                        B         my good work, if I continue to invest this much care and attention in my life, I can expect that my potential will be at least partially realized (see Late Penalty, below)

                        Gentleman’s C - at least I handed something in; if I give this kind of care and attention to my life, I will probably get by (thank goodness I have a rich daddy and don’t need to work for a living).  Ungraded assignments

                        Late penalty: less 10% unless student submits a note requesting “late penalty deferral” on due date; in that case, grade of 60% will be recorded until assignment, without late penalty, is submitted.

Extra credit:  Each Extra Credit Ö can convert a grade-lowering absence to “excused” and can raise a PROJECT grade by 10%; remaining Ös can each raise Final Grade by 1%.  Extra Credit may not be used as a substitute for missing work, nor to raise FINAL PROJECT grades.  Ö to ÖÖÖÖ  points awarded according to level of involvement in the project.

·    copy the form and composition of a comic book panel or a flash page, or of a movie still; don’t worry too much about literal copying; aim for the big geometric ideas under the composition and the animating spirit of figures.

·    create your own comic book image by applying the drawing and composition style of a favorite comic book artist.

·    submit a written explanation of the mathematical principle behind any exercise in “Symmetry, Space & Shape”

Attendance:                 Your first two absences are automatically excused but each unexcused absence will lower your final grade by 1%.  Two tardies (arrival after roll is called) equal an absence.

Classroom Conduct:   At any point in the semester, the instructor reserves the right to drop any student from the class for habitual absence or tardiness, or for behavior that disrupts the learning environment for the other students.

Personal electronics:   Please turn off cels and pagers before entering the classroom.  With prior permission, for a limited number of times you may leave to answer a mute page.  Use of personal radios, TVs, CD or cassette players not permitted during class hours.



·         Each group will elect a Chair.  Throughout the semester the Chair will act as coordinator for group activities.  In discussions, the Chair will assure that each member of the group has a chance to be heard and that the group’s time is used well.  The Chair will also be responsible for delegating responsibilities for group projects.  If you are absent, get lecture notes from members of your Study Group. At the end of the semester, the Study Group may petition instructor for up to 5% extra credit for outstanding Chair performance.

·         The Chair makes a copy of Study Group names, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses (below) for the instructor.  Each Study Group member makes a personal copy.                                                            

Group #  ______            
















SUGGESTED SUPPLIES FOR MATH LABS (may want to chip in for purchase by  Study Group): tape measure, ruler, compass, tracing paper, cardboard, scissors, scotch tape, colored pencils, small square mirror, paper cash register tape, non-photo blue pencil.


SUGGESTED SUPPLIES FOR COMIC BOOK: ½ size poster board for story board,  2 pieces of 8 ½” x 11” poster board for layout grid rendered in magic marker, ruler, unlined 8 ½” x 11” paper, tracing paper, non-photo blue pencil, HB (or 2-B) pencil, pink pearl bar eraser, Pilot pens in 3 widths (extra fine, fine and medium).  



1.            25% STUDY GROUP PARTICIPATION.  Please refer to your semester calendar for the dates and specifics of these assignments.  Because you must first understand a thing to teach it and because teaching facilitates understanding, you will learn by doing.  Style of presentation is your choice – learn effective presentation techniques through a critique of your own presentation and those by the other Study Groups: repeat presentation methods that are most effective, avoid those that fall flat.  You can make PowerPoint presentations (if you don’t already know how to do one, this is a great time to learn how effective and easy they are).  You can make up a mnemonic poem or song, stage a quiz show, perform a skit, a dance, a rap – the more fun you and the class have, the more likely you are to achieve your objective: to help the class understand and remember the material you have mastered.  1) 8% - Geometry – research your assigned topic on the internet or in an encyclopedia, use Professor Rameau as a resource during and possibly following the Math Lab sessions; 2) 8% - “Understanding Comics” – Professor Gottlieb-Roberts will email each Study Group Chair an electronic copy of the assigned chapter from “Understanding Comics”.  Keeping the 50-minute time constraint of each class in mind, edit the pages as necessary for your presentation.  Pay special attention to the composition of each two-page spread and to the variety of visual rhythm McCloud uses from spread to spread, how that rhythm underscores what he wishes to communicate; 3) 9% - individual oral presentation to class of FINAL PROJECT (6-page comic book).  You may want to go scan your finished comic book in order to project it as background for your presentation.  For first two presentations the Study Group Chair submits

               grades for all members following presentation with self-grade by each member ratified by group consensus; after presentations of comic books, students submit individual self-grade (see grading scale, above). 


2.            25% PROJECTS.  Please see semester calendar for specifics and deadlines.  12.5 % - Three sets of four exercises chosen from “Symmetry, Space & Shape”; 12.5% - 4 original designs exhibiting 2-D symmetry.  Grading for both: on time = A, late = C or can instead submit a note requesting “late penalty deferral” on the due date; in that case, grade of 60% will be recorded until assignment is submitted without late penalty.


3.      ___ 50% FINAL PROJECT (in lieu of final exam).  40 % - 6-page comic book. Throughout the semester you will keep a reflective journal of the successes and challenges you have found in this class; this journal is then the subject matter of your FINAL PROJECT, a 6-page comic book.  The comic book is a relatively new idiom with no real rules although if you want guidance, there are many useful comic book technique and style texts available on-line and in your local art store.  Or study comic book artists you like and copy them.  Most comic book artists use an organizing uniform grid under each page; this lends unity and continuity to the comic book and is discussed in some detail in “Understand Comics”, especially Chapter 3; many artists prefer a 2 rectangle by 3 rectangle arrangement for each page’s basic layout, then feel free to combine or break up the rectangles for expressive reasons.  Also, as do the masters of the comic idiom, you may want to pay attention to cinematic composition (underlying geometric patterns in individual frames, rhythmic arrangements of light, medium and dark shapes in individual frames and frame-to frame continuity) and story-telling structures like framing (long shots [including the pan and traveling shot], full shot, medium shot, close-up, extreme close-up and iris shot) and editing (flash-backs, cross-cutting, and montage).  Feel free to find your own voice in images and materials – stick figures can be quite expressive once you know what you want to communicate.  Share what you learn with your Study Group, plan session to work together on your comic books.  ART-MAKING IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN – ENJOY YOURSELF!!!!!  This is story-telling and is no less natural than telling a good joke.  10% - Submission of comic book “story board”.  Comic book artists have learned from filmmakers and cinematic animators the value of illustrating a beginning, middle and end to their story to help relate text to image, to plan visual continuity and the compositional “big picture”.  A storyboard is a sketchy version of your finished comic book and will also help you to plan the layout of each 2-page spread.  Both projects are self-graded (see grading scale, above); instructor’s review of student self-grading is final.  Thanks to Roselyne Pirson of the Florida Center for the Literary Arts and to rah 1000 2004-1 students  



for their suggestions and enthusiasm for the comic book medium.




The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Stephen Covey’s book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, has become a fixture on many North American Ivy League reading lists; it is a step-by-step program to better your life. You may want to keep a journal to record your observations of the effect of the application of these habits in your own life.

Habits of Character

1.     Be pro-active.  This means that you take responsibility for your own life and understand that your behavior is a product of the decisions you make, and that these decisions are based on your values.

2.     Begin with the end in mind.  Begin today with an image of the end of your life as the criteria by which you examine everything else in your life.  “All things are created twice;” things first happen mentally then physically.  Decide your value system or personal “mission statement” then write this into your heart and mind.

3.     Put first things first.  Take control of your life and its relation to your “mission statement”.  This will help you focus on your priorities if you first break your activities in four quadrants.  In the first quadrant place activities that are both urgent and important.  The second quadrant is for activities that are not urgent but that are important.  In the third quadrant place all the activities that are urgent but not important.  In the fourth quadrant are all activities that are not urgent and not important.  The most important quadrant is quadrant two.  The more you say yes to the activities in quadrant two, the smaller quadrant one becomes.  The activities in quadrants three and four can be disregarded. Your must reorganize your life around your “mission statement” and the activities of quadrant two.

Habits of Personality

4.     Think win/win.  Seek solutions so that everyone wins.  This is not a technique; it is a total philosophy of human interaction and allows you to find solutions to let everyone win.  In order to do this; you must be nice, courageous, confident, and brave.  Win/win is the balance between courage and consideration.  The alternative to win/win is win/win or no deal. Win/win or no deal is when there cannot be a win/win situation in which all involved parties can agree to disagree agreeably.

5.     First seek to understand.  This is the most important habit in interpersonal relations.  A person must have the ability to actively listen.  Empathetic listening is the key to this habit.  Most people tend to listen to reply, and not to understand; this can be a problem.  If you truly listen to understand, you will be more effective when communicating with others.

6.     Synergize.  Synergy is when two people come up with a solution that works for both parties involved.  This is not the same as compromise.  In synergetic communication, you simply open your mind to new possibilities and alternatives.  When people communicate with respect and creativity, they learn, gain insight, and find better solutions.  That is the key to synergism.

7.     Practice the habit of self-renewal.  If you do this right, completely, and regularly, you will, automatically, develop the first six habits.  This seventh habit is that you preserve and enhance the greatest asset you have: yourself.  This habit is the renewal of your physical, spiritual, mental, and social-emotional self.  For the physical dimension, exercise about a half-hour a day, maintain good nutrition, and manage stress.  The spiritual dimension is reading, visualization, planning, and writing.  The social-emotional dimension is service, empathy, synergy, and intrinsic security.  All these dimensions combined together can better help you deal with stress in everyday life and feel renewed on a daily basis.

These habits will only work if you apply them daily and in all of your activities and you believe that these habits will work for you. 


Thanks to former ARH 1000 student Anton Nafteliev for his summary of Covey’s work.


Chart your weekly progress; note at bottom the cause of any change in your grade.



























































































































































































































































Name                                                                                        Time and day of class meeting             


______ Student self-grade for this 6-page comic book, based on the following criteria:


A                           my best work; if I continue to invest this much care and attention in my life, I can expect my potential to be fully realized (see penalties, below)

B                           my good work, if I continue to invest this much care and attention in my life, I can expect that my potential will be at least partially realized (see penalties, below)

Gentleman’s C - at least I handed something in; if I give this kind of care and attention to my life, I can expect to at least get by (thank goodness I have a rich daddy and don’t need to work for a living)


I agree that this grade fairly and accurately represents the effort put forth for this comic book.


Signed (Study Group members, including the Author)                                        Date




















_____ Instructor’s review of student self-grade


10% off for each departure from required standard:

▪ FORMAT: 3 2-page spreads

▪ MATERIALS: 8 ½” x 11” xerox copy of black-inked original (color optional)

▪ SUBMISSION: self-graded COMIC BOOK COVER PAGE signed by Study Group members.

▪ DEADLINE: submitted on time or with “late penalty deferral” before last day of classes


_____ Final grade, less any penalty



Dr. Pavlov Rameau can be reached at:

Mailing address
P.O. Box 12646, Miami, Florida 33101
Electronic mail  
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On MSN or Yahoo, use screen name: pavlovrameau; on AOL, use: doctorrameau.
or at the Foundation for the Advancement of Higher Education, Inc. FAdHiEd: To help all people reach their highest potential!
Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site.  Copyright © 2003-07 Pavlov Rameau, Ph.D.  All rights reserved.  The opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily reflect those of Florida International University.   They are Dr. Rameau's and should be interpreted with the sense of humor that is at their source.   Copies, links and references to other authors are protected under the "educational purpose" section of the U.S. copyright laws.  Last automatically updated 09/12/2010 10:48:33 AM. 
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