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MAA Found Math 2010 - Week 5


FOUND MATH: Trapped at home by the third big snowfall of the season, Eve Torrence (Randolph-Macon College) was inspired to create this “snowball” sculpture.

According to Torrence, "It is constructed using methods described by Bradford Hansen-Smith in his book, Folding Circle Tetrahedra. It is composed entirely of triangles. Most of the triangles have been curled into an assortment of configurations. The 180 triangles are arranged in groups of three, forming curled sides of 60 triangle based pyramids, or tetrahedra. Conventional tetrahedra can be seen at the top and bottom of the sculpture. Groups of five tetrahedra with the same curl pattern are arranged so the bases form a pentagon."

"Finally," she continued, "these 12 pentagons are arranged into a dodecahedron, a shape from solid geometry that approximates a sphere. The curling triangles are reminiscent of blowing and drifting snow while the tetrahedra at the top and the bottom are similar to icicles."

"In the spirit of making do during a storm, this sculpture was made of nothing more than folded paper plates and Elmer’s glue," she added.

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