Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Sparks fly when artists and mathematicians meet," by Gareth Cook. BostonGlobe, 6 March 2001, pages A10-11.

Starting with descriptions of the work of sculptor Brent Collins, this articletalks about the affinities between mathematics and art. Some of Collins'sundulating wood sculptures turned out to be minimal surfaces, which are acertain kind of geometric object studied by mathematicians. Collins workedwith engineer Carlo Sequin on a computerized "sculpture generator," whichdisplayed different minimal surfaces, and eventually used one of thecomputer-generated surfaces to create a new scultpure. Mathematicians andartists share similar working styles and inspirations. In both areas, Collinsis quoted as saying, ``when the elegant solution comes, there is catharsis andyou feel like dancing.''

--- Allyn Jackson