MoSAIC | Mathematics of Science, Art, Industry, Culture

Abstracts/descriptions

Violeta Vasilevska Associate Professor of Mathematics, Utah Valley University The Math Behind Origami Folds In this talk we will explore various math ideas/concepts that lie behind the ancient Japanese art of paper folding – Origami. Also, some surprising practical applications of the origami techniques will be discussed. Fun with Math and Origami During this origami workshop participants will learn how math can help with constructing amazing modular origami models. Participants will learn about 3-edge coloring of planar graphs, and then use that to make 3-colored origami Buckyballs!

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David Reimann MoSAIC Project Manager; Professor of Mathematics, Albion College Mathematics in the Art of M.C. Escher Despite having little formal mathematical training, M.C. Escher's artwork explored a wide range of mathematical concepts such as tessellations, perspective, symmetry, duality, geometric objects, topology, paradox, dimension, self-reference, and infinity. We will see examples of his work and discuss their mathematical components. Mathematics in the MoSAIC Art Exhibition We will walk through the art exhibition gallery, look closely at the artworks, and explore the mathematical themes of individual pieces and see how different pieces are related through their underlying mathematical ideas. Creating Escher-like Tessellations The artist M.C. Escher was a master at creating interlocking shapes that could be used to fill space without overlaps or gaps. We will learn how to create special shapes in several ways and explore how these relate to symmetry.

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Reza Sarhangi President, Bridges Organization; and Professor of Mathematics, Towson University Starry Night – The Art & Design of the Decagram We learn how the decagram, a special 10-pointed polygonal star, is constructed, how it has been used to dazzling effect in the interlocking patterns of Persian mosaic art, and how it can ignite our own creative thinking. Fun with Mosaic Designs We study two different approaches for creating mosaic designs and to compare them. A traditional and well-known method in this regard is using a compass and straightedge. The other method that will be introduced and discussed during this workshop is the use of the modularity method. Modularity is a special cutting and pasting process of tiles to create tile designs. During this workshop the participants will create a series of designs using a compass and straightedge, and then through some hands-on activities, they will discover that the same designs could be constructed using modularity.

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Christopher K Palmer Digital Fabrication Lab Manager, College of Environmental Design, UC Berkeley Paper and Textile Folding - Synergy of Mediums and Techniques Chris K. Palmer will share some musings on artistic techniques from high tech CNC creasing machines to ancient and modern methods using needle, thread and textile. Paperfolding from CNC Pre-creased Patterns (Saturday) Spiral wrappings of polygons and polyhedra called Polyposts and PolyPouches will be folded from a variety of pre-creased patterns. Shadowfolds - Sew Folding (Sunday) Can you tie your shoe and thread a needle? Then you can make a simple Shadowfolds sew fold pattern from the Shadowfolds book by Chris K. Palmer and Jeff Rutzky. Hear the story of the development of this technique from the artist in person.

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Sharon Kennedy Director of Education, Sheldon Museum of Art, UNL Erin Poor Assistant Curator of Education, Sheldon Museum of Art, UNL Jessica Masterson Intern, Sheldon Museum of Art, UNL Geometry, Art and the Body in Space Explore the science behind a painting, then use technology and geometry to create a sculpture! Looking closely at a painting from the Sheldon Museum of Art’s collection, participants will explore scientific references to the brain, and the organic geometries found in our bodies and surrounding environment. Using the painting, Action Potential, by artist Marjorie Mikasen as an inspirational catalyst, we will assemble LED paper circuits, fold them into luminescent geometric forms, then collaboratively assemble them into a site-responsive sculpture.

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Nick Owad Graduate Student, Department of Mathematics, UNL More about conic sections than you thought possible Conic sections were among the first types of equations to be rigorously studied for their connections between geometry and algebra. We discuss these connections and consider different ways to sketch these shapes without having to use the equations.

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Jonathon Gregory Assistant Curator of Exhibitions, International Quilt Study Center & Museum, UNL Ernest Haight's Engineered Quilts Ernest B. Haight received a B.S. in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Nebraska in 1924. Upon graduation, he returned to his family’s farm near David City, Nebraska, where in the evenings and through long winters he applied his engineering skills to solve quiltmaking problems, create innovative processes, and make over 400 quilts.

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Jesse Ross Co-owner, Clementine Ceramics Chemistry and Ceramics We will explore several ways in which Chemistry plays an essential role in the production of ceramic form and surface. We will begin with the rheology of casting slip which is carefully formulated to flow despite its relatively high specific gravity. We will also address the firing process and how glaze can be dependent on interactions at the molecular level for color.

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Paul Hildebrandt Co-founder, co-inventer, Zometool, Inc. Zometool and Creativity Welcome to the infinitely dimensional universe! We could tell you that Zometool embodies the new math, that “the structure of number is the structure of space,*” that the number of Nobel prize-winners using Zometool, so far, is just a drop in the bucket... but you’re smart enough to figure that out on your own. We don’t need to tell you that creating, discovering, and deepening your understanding of the universe with Zometool is fun, and that Paul is there to make sure you optimize that (sometimes elusive) commodity. So, really, what’s the point of saying anything at all? (Except “see you there!”)

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