Chronicles

JANUARY 19, 2021

Dodecahedral Trajectory

Mathemalchemy’s beacon reflects a 2020 mathematical breakthrough.

Mathematicians Jayadev Athreya, David Aulicino and Patrick Hooper recently proved that there are an infinite number of straight paths on the dodecahedron that start at one vertex, proceed in a straight path around the Platonic solid, and return to the starting vertex without passing through any other vertices.

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

December 31, 2020

Path to the Garden

About a year ago, I was lucky to have attended Ingrid’s and Dominique’s presentation at the JMM where they introduced their proposal for Mathemalchemy. I immediately offered my support, but admitted that I did not feel qualified to join the group. After all, I am a mathematician, not an artist. Dominique assured me that I’d be welcome, but I remained uncertain. I even drafted an email later that night thanking her for the opportunity, but assuring her that she was mistaken to allow me to join this team. Thankfully, I hit delete instead of send!

December 17, 2020

Primes in the Garden

When people ask me what number theory (my research area) is, we invariably end up talking about primes. I tell them about how I love to see patterns and make connections, how number theory in particular has problems that are simple to understand, but lead to deep and complex theories. These themes are visible in the three representations of primes in the garden.

December 3, 2020

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.

october 29, 2020

The Maquette’s Creation Process

Dominique Ehrmann introduced the Mathemalchemy team members to her Maquette Creation Process. See how the three maquettes helped to create, discuss, question, structure, validate and inspire them.

Mathemalchemy’s final maquette
october 29, 2020

Tess the Tortoise’s Story

When Dominique asked for proposals for Mathemalchemy scenes, I sent her a proposal like this: “Something involving infinity . . . Something involving infinity . . . Zeno’s path (related to Zeno’s dichotomy paradox), a hill whose volume is approximated with cuboids, Koch snowflakes.”

Dominique’s response was polite: “I see that I have not communicated clearly what is needed. I am looking for stories.” Oh, a story! I thought, I can write a story! And so, having chosen a tortoise as a protagonist (a nod to Zeno’s Achilles paradox), I sent Dominique the following tale.

Tess’s shell by Elizabeth Paley and body by Kimberly Roth
october 22, 2020

Conway’s Curios

Even if it’s closed for refurbishement, have a look into Conway’s Curios, a small shop named in honor of John Conway. It will satisfy your need for all sorts of curious mathematical objects!

Conway's Curios Vitrine
While waiting for Conway’s Curios’ opening, take a peek through the Conway’s Curios’ vitrine.