Tomography: Where Mathematics,
Biology, and Technology Come Together
To Solve Problems in Many Areas
This Module provides a real-life example that uses skills from Algebra II
and Geometry, including
• modeling using e and exponential functions,
• solving systems of equations, and
• visualization in 3-D,
to understand one of the important tools available to physicians in understanding
the status of the human body.
The Module starts with an introduction to tomography, then introduces
some basic mathematics used in computed tomography (CT scans). The
Modulelooks at the biology of thehumanbody, what anatomical conditions
can be observed using various kinds of scans, and the differences between
CT scans and positron emission tomography (PET). Many students have
heard of (or even have had) an MRI, CT, or even a PET scan, so the topic
has inherent interest to students.
In addition to medical imaging, applications are provided to autopsies,
structural soundness, archeology, and other topics that are increasingly
Throughout the Module, there are many activities, worked examples,
homework problems, and various assessment tools.