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.