IU Southeast
Fall 2012 23
now, it is most often found in science
and engineering.
There are people who are developing
large-scale 3D printers that can print
a house with concrete,” he said. “And
scientists are using it to print blood
capillaries.”
With all the possibilities, Harper
believes using 3D printing technology
at IU Southeast will allow for
collaboration across subjects
including art, math, informatics, and
engineering. It provides a unique
opportunity for cross-disciplinary
study.
IU Southeast Professor of
Mathematics Chris Lang
certainly, without any
question” believes the
technology has a place in
various subjects. In fact,
he spoke with Harper
about the ability to
use 3D printing in
calculus courses.
The 3D printers open up the
possibility of creating 3D models
that might help students understand
how to apply calculus to discover the
volume of an object, for example,”
Lang said. 
When a student in an upper-level
calculus class is tasked with finding
the volume of an object, textbooks only
provide a two-dimensional rendering.
A 3D model would provide students
with a tactile representation of the
object and could help learners who
respond more to visual rather
than analytical learning.
While Lang is primarily
interested in using the
technology in his math
courses, he also has great
respect for Harper’s use
of the technique in The
Open Crowd Project.
It’s a really great idea,
and it has been executed
beautifully,” Lang said.
You look at these models
and you can truly recognize the people.
It really is impressive.”
From an artist’s perspective, The Open
Crowd Project is a new way to connect
people, Harper said. It reinforces a
sense of togetherness between people
who may otherwise be strangers and
adds a new layer to how the world
communicates.
Part of the responsibility of an artist is
to help interpret the world around us,”
he said.
It’s the
opportunity
to stand next
to somebody
you’ve never
stood next to
before.
Brian Harper
Harper holds a finished
print.