Bridges Math Art 2015


Yuri Vishnevsky, Kelly Delp, Katie, and I make a human cube at Bridges 2015

Conference season is exhausting, so I’m very selective about which conferences I attend. Bridges Math Art is definitely one of my favorites and has a solid spot on my “attend” list every year.

The 2015 conference just ended, and was as amazing and exhausting as ever.

This year I presented a workshop on Fibonacci Lemonade (and other mathy layered lemonade variants). Even though Bridges is all about the junctions between math and art, the art of cooking is rarely represented. The Fibonacci Lemonade workshop diversified the conference a bit with some delicious summer math fun. You can find the full paper on the Bridges archive.

My big projects for this year’s Bridges were a couple of 4-dimensional VR art projects that were made jointly with Vi Hart, Henry Segerman, Will Segerman (monkeys only), and Marc ten Bosch. “Monkey See, Monkey Do” is a project with both 3D printed and VR monkeys arranged symmetrically in 4D space and displayed in the juried art exhibit.

Hypernom” is a sort of 4-dimensional Pacman, where you move your head around and try to “eat” the cells. We showed this in the art exhibit and also had a paper and presentation on some of the math behind the project: “Hypernom: Mapping VR Headset Orientation to S3“.

We’ve been working on these projects for a while and I’m delighted with how they turned out. Look out for upcoming blog posts about these pieces – they deserve to have more said about them than what I can fit in one paragraph in a conference summary post. (Update: Vi just made a post about Hypernom on – go check it out)

I also acted in the play, co-wrote mathy-y lyrics to Hotel California (“Hotel Hilbert”), served on the proceedings program committee, and helped jury the short movie festival. (I know, I know, I could do more conferences with less exhaustion if I just did less stuff when I went to one) Needless to say, it was a pretty hectic conference, and I definitely didn’t get to check out every presentation and workshop that I was interested in.

I did get to see the math dance performance by Karl Schaffer, Laurel Shastri, and Saki, as well as Tanya and Tim Chartier’s mime act. Both groups had some new work that I hadn’t seen before and thoroughly enjoyed.

This year’s art exhibit was quite possibly the most impressive exhibition in the whole time that I’ve been attending Bridges.

Within the mathematical theme that connects the pieces of the exhibit there is a great deal of variation both in terms of medium and focus. Here are six pieces that show some of the depth and variety of the exhibition.

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