Using golf balls, string and tape, Greg Faulhaber's Multivariable Calculus class constructed a 3D model of a hyperbolic paraboloid as their final project.
"I came up with the idea one day in class when we were trying to visualize a 3-D object," Faulhaber said. "Even the software we were using couldn't help me get the point across that I was trying to make. So, I said out loud, 'I wish we could somehow create a classroom size 3-D graph to use.' We all liked the idea but weren't sure how to do it."
"Then, about a week later, I was in my garage and saw a couple of plastic whiffle golf balls and thought, "Bingo!" He bought 150 golf balls, borrowed the string from Amy Brand in the Art Department, and the students worked on it throughout the second semester. They hung all the "points" and made some corrections during exam day.