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How does the mp3 format work and what does it have to do with math?

Source: CAMMP

In the module on mp3 compression, students discover how to reduce the storage space of music. In the past, it was possible to play about 30 minutes of music per page with a long-playing record. Then the CD's were developed, which can play about 80 minutes of music. The development of the mp3 compression method was groundbreaking. On an mp3 player with a capacity of one gigabyte you could store more than 540 minutes, i. e. 9 hours of music.

During the course of the module, the students will first get to know how music is presented on the computer. Then they will find out their own criteria for a compression procedure and will create it themselves. At the end of the day, they can compress selected songs with their own process. The guiding question is always: How much compression can I compress so that there is still good quality?

The pupils always work together as a team of two on one computer. Simple MATLAB programs are created there, which have been simplified so much that no knowledge of the program or other programming is required. The module is action-oriented, since the pupils have to test their own hearing in order to develop criteria for compression. Thus, at the end of the module, different methods can be available and their results can be compared. Specialist competences from the fields of analysis and trigonometry are promoted.

Since the module can be varied in its difficulty, classes from grade 9 onwards can take part in this CAMMP day. For advanced courses, the level will be adjusted accordingly.

Duration: from 5 hours (incl. lunch break)
Contents: Functional equations, trigonometric functions
Previous knowledge: functional concept
Participants: Mathematics courses from grade 9 upwards
Created by: Jonas Kusch, Lars Schmidt
Registration: Appointments can be arranged individually by e-mail.