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MAA Found Math 2012 - Week 34


MAA Found Math: Tong Ginn sent in this photo of "Windswept" on display at the Randall Museum in San Francisco, California. He writes, "A movie would be better but best to see it in person. It consists of more than 500 freely rotating directional arrows, a real live directional field for a differential equation. "Watch a video of "Windswept".

According to the Randall Museum:

Consisting of over 500 freely-rotating directional arrows, Windswept transforms a blank wall into a large-scale observational instrument that reveals the complex interactions between the wind and the environment. The artwork was funded by the Art Enrichment monies generated by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission’s capital projects.

Wind gusts, rippling and swirling through the sculpture, illustrate the myriad and ever-changing ways the wind interacts with the building. Inspired by the maritime wind direction indicators found on sailboats, the arrows, which are mounted parallel to the facade in a grid, serve as discrete data points that provide a sample of the wind at its point of contact with the Museum. The arrows indicate the direction of the distinct air flows that comprise the larger wind phenomenon.

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