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Columbia University

Free and open to the public

Come experience the beauty and excitement of math and art!

Host: Columbia University

Venue: Columbia Secondary School

425 W 123rd St between Amsterdam & Morningside Ave.
New York, NY 10027
(events on basement level and floors 4-6)

Link to Google Maps

Dates: Saturday-Sunday, October 25-26, 2014, 10 am – 5 pm

Speakers and Workshop Leaders:

  • Kelly Delp – a professor of mathematics at Ithaca College who will talk about how geometric topology applies to fashion design.
  • George Hart – a research professor at Stony Brook University who is also an internationally known sculptor.
  • Craig Kaplan – a professor at the University of Waterloo who makes amazing graphic art and designs, including Islamic star patterns.
  • Mark Mitton – a professional magician who performs all around the world will demonstrate the amazing power of mathematics.
  • Frank Morgan – a professor of mathematics at Williams College who makes it exciting to study the geometry of soap bubbles.
  • David Press – a mathematical artist and researcher who specializes in 3D string sculptures and documents the 3D string work of artists and mathematicians
  • Phil Webster – a mathematical artist who specializes in applying traditional Islamic patterns to 3D sculptures and fractal 2D art.

Schedule at a Glance:

(schedule subject to change)

SATURDAY

  • ALL DAY, 10-5 – Art exhibition, mathematical short videos, and informal exchange room
  • 10:00 am
    • George Hart – Lecture – “From Mathematics to Sculpture”
    • David Press – Lecture – “3D String Sculpture”
  • 11:00 am
    • Kelly Delp – Lecture – “Playing with Surfaces: Spheres, Monkey Pants, and Zippergons”
    • George Hart – Workshop – “Group Sculpture Assembly”
    • David Press – Lecture – “3D String Sculpture”
  • [LUNCH BREAK]
  • 2:00 pm
    • Phil Webster – Lecture – “Self Similarity in Islamic Design”
    • Kelly Delp – Workshop – “Balloon Geometry”
    • David Press – Lecture – “3D String Sculpture”
  • 3:00 pm
    • Craig Kaplan – Lecture – “Two Shades of Grey: The Art and Science of Halftoning”
    • George Hart – Workshop – “Math with a Rubber Band”
  • 4:00 pm
    • Craig Kaplan – Workshop – “Artistic Halftoning”
    • Kelly Delp – Workshop – “Balloon Geometry”
    • David Press – Lecture – “3D String Sculpture”
    • George Hart – Curator’s Tour

SUNDAY

  • ALL DAY, 10-5 – Art exhibition, mathematical short videos, and informal exchange room
  • 10:00 am
    • Phil Webster – Lecture – “Self Similarity in Islamic Design”
    • David Press – Lecture – “3D String Sculpture”
  • 11:00 am
    • Kelly Delp – Lecture – “Playing with Surfaces: Spheres, Monkey Pants, and Zippergons”
    • Craig Kaplan – Workshop – “Artistic Halftoning”
    • George Hart – Curator’s Tour
  • 12:00 pm
    • Mark Mitton – Lecture – “The Magic of Numbers, Knots, and Möbius Strips”
    • Kelly Delp – Workshop – “Balloon Geometry”
  • [LUNCH BREAK]
  • 2:00 pm
    • Frank Morgan – Lecture – “The Soap Bubble Geometry Contest”
    • Mark Mitton – Workshop – “Do-it-Yourself Mathematical Magic”
    • David Press – Lecture – “3D String Sculpture”
  • 3:00 pm
    • Craig Kaplan – Lecture – “Two Shades of Grey: The Art and Science of Halftoning”
    • Frank Morgan – Workshop – “Soap Bubbles”
  • 3:30 pm
    • Frank Morgan – Workshop – “Soap Bubbles”
  • 4:00 pm
    • George Hart – Lecture – “From Mathematics to Sculpture”
    • Craig Kaplan – Workshop – “Artistic Halftoning”
    • David Press – Lecture – “3D String Sculpture”

Activity Descriptions:

Ongoing Activities

Art Exhibition. The MoSAIC Art Exhibition consists of forty-five works of mathematically inspired fine art traveling to a half dozen venues around the US over the next year.  Curated by George Hart, the artworks were selected to show a wide range of media and mathematical ideas.  Don’t miss this chance to see prints, sculpture, fiber arts, 3D prints, carved stone, clothing, and ceramics by some of the most creative math-inspired artists in the world.
Informal Exchange. Anyone can bring works to display related to math and art.  It is a place to relax and chat with other people having similar interests.  Bring something cool to share!
Math Videos. A continuous showing of videos conveying mathematical ideas and ways of thinking.  If you like Vi Hart’s math videos, you’ll enjoy this collection by a variety of video artists.


Scheduled Activities

3D String Sculpture. David Press will present a visual overview of the use of 3D string sculptures in the worlds of mathematics and art.  The presentation will culminate with a 14 minute music driven light show projected on a large 3D string sculpture.
Artistic Halftoning.
We will work as a group to create a large black-and-white version of an image by placing small black marks on a white background, simulating the action of a computational halftoning process.  The result will be an abstract geometric design that resembles a photograph.
Balloon Geometry. We will build geometric structures out of modeling balloons. This workshop was inspired by Vi Hart’s Bridges paper, Mathematical Balloon twisting for education.
Curator’s Tour. Hear mathematical commentary on selected works in the art exhibit.
Do-it-Yourself Mathematical Magic. Professional magician Mark Mitton will teach you to do card tricks that you can perform for your friends and that get you thinking about the awesome power of mathematics. Cards will be provided.
From Mathematics to Sculpture. George Hart will present and discuss examples of his mathematically informed sculptures, which generally apply computer technology in their design and/or fabrication. These include works made of metal, wood, plastic, or found objects, and often use laser-cutting, plasma-cutting or 3D-printing technologies in their realization. Mathematical and computer science aspects of these designs and their underlying foundations will be discussed. Physical examples will be on hand for people to see and enjoy and a few short videos will be shown.
Group Sculpture Assembly. Participants will help construct an intricate mathematical sculpture designed by George Hart from laser cut wood components.
Math with a Rubber Band. You’ll be surprised at some of the mathematical fun you can have with just a rubber band (and your ten fingers).  In this hands-on workshop, you’ll learn a few rubber band tricks and will see how to think like a mathematician, always seeking to find patterns and generalize.  A rubber band will be provided.
Playing with Surfaces: Spheres, Monkey Pants, and Zippergons. We will tell the story of Mathematician Bill Thurston’s collaboration with Fashion Designer Dai Fujiwara. This collaboration inspired a project between Delp and Thurston building surfaces out of paper and craft foam.
Self Similarity in Islamic Design. Artist Phil Webster will describe how self-similarity (having the same shapes at different scales) was used in a few specific styles of traditional Islamic design. He will then show examples of his own work, as well as other contemporary artists, that either extend these techniques or approach self similarity in completely new ways.
Soap Bubbles. Create soap bubble clusters and discover some of their hidden secrets.
The Magic of Numbers, Knots, and Möbius Strips. Professional magician Mark Mitton will astound you with a live performance featuring cards, ropes, and other common objects. Then he will explain the mathematical principles underlying the tricks that lead to these surprising effects.
The Soap Bubble Geometry Contest. Soap bubbles continue to fascinate and confound mathematicians. The show will include a little guessing contest, with demonstrations, explanations, and prizes.
Two Shades of Grey: The Art and Science of Halftoning. In a photograph or digital image, the brightness of every point can vary more or less continuously.  But frequently, we wish to represent that image using only black ink on a white background, while still conveying the impression of intermediate grey levels, a process known as halftoning.  I will introduce the fundamental ideas behind computer algorithms for halftoning, and ways to abuse those ideas to artistic ends.

Workshop Poster:

To download a 300dpi, 8.5×11 PDF version of this poster, right-click this link and choose “Save Link As…” or “Download Linked File As…”

MoSAIC Poster - Columbia - web

 

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