Category Archives: Mathematics and the Arts

In Praise of People Who Tell Us How to Play with New Toys

I’ve been thinking about getting a 3D printer for a long time but haven’t taken the plunge yet. Aside from the money, space, and inevitable proliferation of small plastic things to step on, part of me is worried I wouldn’t … Continue reading

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More To Math and Art Than Just Phi

I recently became aware of the mathematical artist Lun-Yi London Tsai. Tsai has a master’s degree in math, and it is clear that he has studied a great deal of math in his life. His mathematical paintings and drawings are … Continue reading

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2, 4, 6, 8, It’s Almost Time to Tessellate

This Friday, June 17, is the inaugural World Tessellation Day. I am normally skeptical of attempts to create new holidays, but I am so fond of filling up the plane with shapes that I just can’t help myself. Emily Grosvenor … Continue reading

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Straws Thingys and Other Mathematical Sculptures

I love an abstract math pondering session as much as the next mathematician (or at least within epsilon), but there’s something immensely satisfying about coming back down to earth and using your hands to make something. At some point last … Continue reading

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Fold Your Way to Glory

Yesterday, I led a meeting of a Teachers’ Math Circle about the fold and cut theorem. This theorem says any region with a polygonal boundary can be folded and cut from a sheet of paper using only one cut. I … Continue reading

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The Creativity of Approximation

As a mathematician, I am frequently frustrated with the world’s stubborn refusal to mirror mathematical perfection. No “circle” made of atoms actually has a circumference-to-diameter ratio of π; no population’s growth is exactly an exponential function. The overwhelming approximate-ness of … Continue reading

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Look Around You: Spherical Videos and Möbius Transformations

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve watched the short video “Möbius transformations revealed” by Douglas Arnold and Jonathan Rogness. It is a beautiful tribute to beautiful functions. As a complex analysis and hyperbolic geometry fangirl, I am … Continue reading

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And For The Mathematician Who Has Everything

I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but as a mathematician, I’ve been on the receiving end of one too many well-intentioned protractor cases and Π-themed pie plates. And I’ll concede, if you are anything like me, it is likely a … Continue reading

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An Ugly Song That Definitely Won’t Get Stuck In Your Head. I Promise.

If you’ve ever had the hook from Call Me Maybe stuck in your head for three days, you know the power of a well-patterend musical hook. It’s these patterns in music that speak to our human brains and often help … Continue reading

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How to Celebrate Math Poetry Month

April is the intersection of Math Awareness Month and National Poetry Month, so obviously we are all celebrating Math Poetry Month. Some of my favorite posts on Roots of Unity have been about poetry. This year, I posted “In Praise of Fractals” … Continue reading

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