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2014 Mathematical Art Exhibition Awards

The 2014 Mathematical Art Exhibition Awards were made at the Joint Mathematics Meetings last week "for aesthetically pleasing works that combine mathematics and art." The three chosen works were selected from the exhibition of juried works in various media by 86 mathematicians and artists from around the world.

"Enigmatic Plan of Inclusion I & II," by Conan Chadbourne was awarded Best photograph, painting, or print. "My work is motivated by a fascination with the occurrence of mathematical and scientific imagery in traditional art forms," states Chadbourne in the exhibition catalog. The set of 24" x 24" archival inkjet prints "are investigations of the subgroup structure of the icosahedral group (A5). At the center of each image is a graphical representation of A5, as formed by orientation-preserving pairs of reflections in circles and lines in the plane. This is surrounded by similar graphical representations of the seven conjugacy classes of (proper, non-trivial) subgroups of A5, with the trivial group depicted as the space outside of the large circular frame. The interstices between the group images indicate the relationships of inclusion between the different groups, with colors being used to distinguish maximal subgroup relationships, and small graphical markers used to indicate the particular numbers of conjugates involved in each relationship."

"Three-Fold Development," by Robert Fathauer was awarded Best textile, sculpture, or other medium. "I'm endlessly fascinated by certain aspects of our world, including symmetry, chaos, and infinity. Mathematics allows me to explore these topics in distinctive artworks that I feel are an intriguing blend of complexity and beauty," says Fathauer, a small business owner, puzzle designer, author, and artist. "This 13" x 13" x 13" ceramic sculpture is based on the first five generations of a fractal curve. The starting point is a circle, and the first iteration produces a three-lobed form. With each iteration, the number of lobes is tripled. The spacing between features is essentially constant throughout a layer, while the three-fold symmetric boundary of the curve becomes increasingly complex. A hexagonal version of this curve is found in Benoit Mandelbrot's book The Fractal Geometry of Nature. This hyperbolic surface is reminiscent of naturally-occurring corals. It was inspired in part by a 3D-printed model created by Henry Segerman."

"Blue Torus," by Faye E. Goldman received Honorable Mention. "I have been doing origami since elementary school," says Goldman. "I was drawn to modular origami by its structure and mathematical properties. The Snapology technique by H. Strobl... has allowed me to dig deeply into the regularity of mathematical shapes finding insight. It has provided insights into mathematical ideas. This 10" x 10" x 2.5" toroid shape is made from over 2400 strips of ribbon. It was the first non-convex shape I’ve made. I love the fact that there needs to be as many heptagons making the negative curvature in the center as there are pentagons around the outside."

The Mathematical Art Exhibition Award "for aesthetically pleasing works that combine mathematics and art" was established in 2008 through an endowment provided to the American Mathematical Society by an anonymous donor who wishes to acknowledge those whose works demonstrate the beauty and elegance of mathematics expressed in a visual art form. The awards are $400 for Best photograph, painting, or print; $400 for Best textile, sculpture, or other medium; and $200 for Honorable Mention. The Mathematical Art Exhibition of juried works in various media is held at the annual Joint Mathematics Meetings of the American Mathematical Society (AMS) and Mathematical Association of America (MAA). Works in the 2014 exhibition will be in an album on Mathematical Imagery.

News Date: 
Wednesday, January 22, 2014