When asked to contribute a Chronicle about their experience in writing, illustrating and revising the Notices article, in the August 2022 issue, the authors balked at first — didn’t the article speak for itself? Then Zizai Cue and Alex Winn, two students associated with the department of Mathematics at Duke University, proposed a list of questions forContinue reading “Notices article: Q&A with the Mathemalchemists collaborators”

# Category Archives: Theory in Mathemalchemy

## Spotlight on Stereographic Projections

Watch Henry Segerman’s video chronicle.

One of the mathematical scenes that I’ve been involved with is the lighthouse. The top of the lighthouse will have two lights – one projecting horizontally from within a stained glass dodecahedron made by Bronna Butler, and the other projecting up on the the ceiling.

This will repurpose an old project of mine illustrating something called stereographic projection. Stereographic projection is a map from the sphere to the plane. So just like the Mercator map is a way of getting the continents of the globe on a flat piece of paper, stereographic projection is another way to do that.

## Origami in Mathemalchemy

A long time ago, I discovered with origami a way to express fascinating and complex mathematical concepts in delicate, infinite and touching forms: flowers, shells, rocks, … During the last year, my Mathemalchemy’s teammates and I have played with shapes, concepts and colors to “unfold” our imaginary realm. It was, and continues to be, aContinue reading “Origami in Mathemalchemy”

## Prime Play on a Prime Day 3/11/43×473 and 11 are prime, and while we are not in a prime year, 2021 is the product of two consecutive primes.

The Chipmunks Sorting Primes Vignette in a way expresses my path in mathematics which went from a blind acceptance of facts – here’s a formula, plug and chug, and it will work – to understanding that mathematics is a human endeavor, one where we can create the rules and see how it evolves.

## Knots, trivial and otherwise

I think about knots a lot these days, and I think about how complicated those knots are. My work involves knots, and knots within knots. The fanciful sea creatures I’m crocheting are a variant of knots called theta curves. Knots with a mathematical twist While knots, in the mathematical sense, are tangled loops, theta curvesContinue reading “Knots, trivial and otherwise”

## If You Give a Mouse Some Symmetries

In recent years, I have been increasingly absorbed by representing different symmetry structures in various fiber arts: knitting, embroidery, beadwork, and so forth. The underlying mathematics is fascinating and often interacts with each handcraft in subtle ways.

## Converging and Diverging Ball Arches

Two Ball Arches over Mathemalchemy When you first saw Mathemalchemy, what struck you the most? Let’s guess it’s the two arches showing balls (spheres) of different sizes. Although the spheres in both arches become arbitrarily small, the spheres in one arch extend indefinitely, crashing into the ocean and plummeting into its depths. The spheres in the otherContinue reading “Converging and Diverging Ball Arches”

## Dodecahedral Trajectory

Mathemalchemy’s beacon reflects a 2020 breakthrough of mathematicians Jayadev Athreya, David Aulicino and Patrick Hooper.

Bronna Butler, professional artist, math lover and Mathemalchemy team member, demonstrates how her stained glass creation illustrates one of the infinitely many dodecahedral trajectories.

## Primes in the Garden

When people ask me what number theory (my research area) is, we invariably end up talking about primes. When they ask me what I like about my field, I tell them about how I love to see patterns and make connections–something I like about all of mathematics–and about how number theory in particular has problemsContinue reading “Primes in the Garden”

## The Mandelbrot Bakery

Discover the mathematical inspiration underpinning the creation of the Mandelbrot Bakery.

One of Marjorie Rice’s tilings, symmetry, Vladimir Arnold’s cat, dynamical systems and many more mathematical concepts are represented in this charming bakery.