# Bridges 2010 Short Paper

Seeing with the Mind: from the Matrix into the Cloud

Pedro Campos and Ana Isabel Portugal

(Proceedings pages 471–474)

## Abstract

In this paper, we aim at showing how to use a mathematical abstraction
as a way of supporting a visual representation. A *matrix* is an
abstract concept that is usable as a support to a data structure,
which can represent objects from the real world. Its essential
functionality is grounded on the order it provides to all its
elements. This connection can be strengthened by another mathematical
abstraction (e.g. a law of movement) which limits the way each
point can move in relation to the others. A *cloud* is a set of
connected water drops, which are therefore close to each other.
If we have a set of drops loosely coupled, the cloud will vanish.
We used the matrix concept and a law which represents the strength
of connection between drops as a way to represent the cloud set
through a restrict programming language, Java, using Processing
as a subset of that language in order to visualize graphically
that object from the real world. The visualization of the screen
cloud is therefore made through its decomposition in points stored
in elements / ellipses / drops inside a matrix. Also, a mathematical
model of the relative movement of the points is used to visualize
the cloud in the place and with the shape the artist wants. So,
the abstract conceptualization imagined in the artistâ€™s mind is
then visually represented in the computer screen and can be
appreciated by others.

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