Jean-Marie Laborde invented the concept of dynamic geometry in 1985. He studied at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Mathematics. In 1970, he joined the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS). His doctoral thesis (1977) was devoted to geometric methods for the study of certain classes of graphs, specifically hypercubes, with connection to Automatic Theorem Proving. In 1981 he founded a group of researchers to start the project Cabri (computerized sketchpad), originally devoted to graph theory. He was appointed in 1994 Director of Research at CNRS leading the EIAH team (Computer Environments for Human Learning). At that time, he developed significant cooperation with Texas Instruments (Dallas) to adapt Cabri-Geometry SW on their graphing calculators. He has been a professor and lecturer at various universities in many countries and has supervised more than 15 Phd dissertations. Since 2008 Jean-Marie has led the development of Cabri technology at a new level, offering 2D and 3D direct manipulation in mathematics. He has received various honors including a Doctor Honoris Causa from St Olaf College (MN) in 2007, and he was Named Knight of the Legion of Honor on Bastille Day, July 14, 2012.
Technology enhanced teaching/learning at a new level with Dynamic Mathematics as implemented in the new Cabri.
During the 1990's, dynamic geometry environments (primarily Cabri and Geometer's Sketchpad) enabled the teaching and learning of mathematics to be reconsidered: for the first time it was possible for teachers to engage students in authentic mathematical exploration to enable a better understanding of mathematical concepts. However, a major issue has been that ordinary teachers, already very busy, have had little time to carefully design and create interactive activities. Only a limited number of teachers and students have hence been able to take full advantage of the power of the new tools. Today, a number of factors are about to change this situation completely:
- the potential of enquiry-based teaching and learning is almost universally recognized;
- increasingly powerful hardware such as tablets are available for lower and lower prices;
- the possibility of creating new kinds of software, designed to enable ordinary teachers to customize and adapt interactive activities to the needs of individual students.
The above points have inspired the rewriting of Cabri, beginning in 2008, in order to make it a real and accessible bridge between the natural world and the more abstract world of mathematics. I will also report on what we have found when using the new Cabri in schools.