Education Technology

NUMB3RS - Season 3 - "Pandora's Box" - Thinking Backward

Published on 10/17/2008

Activity Overview

In "Pandora's Box," Charlie uses a wavelet-based deconvolution algorithm to 'unsmear' a smudged fingerprint. A deconvolution algorithm analyzes a picture, sharpens the edges, and restores details "thus finding the picture beneath the smear." Finding such an algorithm to determine a clear image of a fingerprint is an example of solving an inverse problem.
Students explore two inverse problems after considering a simulation of a deconvolution algorithm on the graph of a function.

Before the Activity

Download the attached PDF and look over the Teacher Page.

During the Activity

Discuss the materials from the Student Page with your class.

After the Activity

Encourage students to explore web sites and questions from the Extensions Page.