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Prism’s VR Algebra Learning App Breaks Down the Maths of a Pandemic Outbreak

rism’s VR Algebra Learning App Breaks Down the Maths of a Pandemic Outbreak
The year 2020 came as an utter shock to the world. The sudden outbreak of the COVID-19 virus pushed everything into an unprecedented condition, upending the normal course of life. However, with vaccines rolling out gradually across many countries, including the United States, we are slowly but steadily regaining the normal pace. Life seems to get back into normalcy after an unbelievably long period of mandatory lockdown and social distancing protocols. However, the part of the reviving process will presumably include more scientific studies on the pandemic and figuring out a way to confront the disaster better in the future, if it may strike again. To this end, it is equally important to understand the rapid progression of the deadly virus that resulted in the global outbreak in such an unprecedented manner.

Pandemic

In an effort to make people understand the mathematics of the viral outbreak better, Prism has brought their new VR Algebra game called Pandemic. It is a thought-provoking and engaging learning gaming experience, particularly designed to illustrate the mathematical progression of the viral outbreak. Powered by a host of “multimodal sense-making tools”, the immersive educational game will have you solve numerous sorts of critical problems relating directly to the COVID-19 pandemic using your algebraic thinking skills. Pandemic by Prism is now available in beta version on both Oculus Quest and Oculus Quest 2 mixed reality headsets produced by the Oculus App Lab.

Better Understanding

Anurupa Ganguly, CEO and Founder of Prism, remarked that poor understanding of Mathematics and lack of sound relevance have been the root causes of high attrition rates in the field of STEM education. She stated that despite being a district math leader, she did not have the necessary tools to bridge the gap. This is what motivated her to found Prism of Reality. With her venture, she strived to close the gap by actualizing real-world, hands-on mathematical solutions. However, this was not possible to realize until recently till the necessary advancements in technology were realized, she stated. Further, she added that Prism built their beta learning module, Pandemic, intending to develop learners’ proficiency in Algebra and exponential functions while enabling them to solve crucial mathematical problems pertaining to the global pandemic.

Image Credit_ Prisms of Reality Inc.
Image Credit_ Prisms of Reality Inc.

According to Ganguly, Pandemic will feature the following game mechanics:

  • Joining task forces
  • Exploring hands-on virus containment strategies
  • Discovering the exponential functions underlying the problem
  • Determining the point when the city hospitals will be overwhelmed by the increasing number of cases
  • Becoming fluent with equations and graphing
  • Understanding how algebraic modeling can inform public health and administrative policies
  • Using sensory experiences to cultivate mathematical intuitions

Immersive Gameplay

The beta algebra learning module currently offers about 45 to 60 minutes of immersive gameplay and is dedicatedly engineered for users 8 years of age and above. According to the creators in Prism of Reality, the complete launch will feature approximately five modules, namely quadratics, exponentials, statistics, systems of equations, and linear functions.

Pandemic is now available via SideQuest, Oculus App Lab, and Steam for $8.99.

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