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News Release

Moravian College to host 22nd Annual Mathematics Conference

Dr. George Hart, artist and interdisciplinary scholar to discuss mathematical sculpture

Bethlehem, Pa., February 14, 2008— Moravian College will host the 22nd annual Student Mathematics Conference on Saturday, February 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Priscilla Payne Hurd Academic Complex (PPHAC) Atrium on the College’s Main Street Campus. The keynote speaker will be Dr. George W. Hart, an artist and interdisciplinary scholar, whose geometric sculptures are recognized around the world for its mathematical depth and creative use of materials.  The LVAIC Math Competition Award Presentations will be conducted at 10:35 a.m.. Student presentations of research experiences, honors projects, course projects, or interesting ideas developed by undergraduates will begin at 10:50 a.m., followed by lunch at noon. Student talks will resume from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. to the conclusion of the conference.  More than 150 students and faculty members interested in mathematics and computer science attend the conference each year.

Four Moravian College students will be presenting at the conference: Timothy Mills ’09, Lafayette, N.J., will present Spheriosity - A (partial) Computer Emulation of Spherical Geometry; Daniel Fillman ’08, Allentown, Pa., and Ben Mizack ’08, Bethlehem, Pa. will present The Effects of Minimum Wage on Labor Force Networks; and Rachael Todd ’08, York, Pa., will discuss Extending Evan's Conjecture to Latin Cubes.

Hart is a pioneer in using computer technology and solid freeform fabrication in the design and fabrication of sculpture. Examples of his artwork can be seen at major universities, such as M.I.T., U.C. Berkeley, and Princeton University. He has received praise and awards in numerous exhibitions, including a New York State Council for the Arts Individual Artist's Award.  “As a sculptor of constructive geometric forms, my work deals with patterns and relationships derived from classical ideals of balance and symmetry,” explains Hart. “ Mathematical yet organic, these abstract forms invite the viewer to partake of the geometric aesthetic.  I use a variety of media, including paper, wood, plastic, metal, and assemblages of common household objects.”

Hart's publications center on mathematical applications in sculpture and other fields.  His extensive online Encyclopedia of Polyhedra provides a substantial reference, which is used by students and researchers around the world. His groundbreaking Multidimensional Analysis text (Springer Verlag, 1995) gives fresh insight into the structures of linear algebra. His Zome Geometry book (Key Curriculum Press, 2001) takes the reader on a hands-on tour of the structures possible in three-dimensional space, and is designed to spark students' interest in geometry. He is in the process of slowly writing a book on the history of geometry in art.

Hart's mathematical research currently centers on novel polyhedral structures and algorithms for producing them. He has produced algorithms for generating various new classes of polyhedra, which he then presents to the world in sculptural forms. (In past work, he developed methods for efficiently monitoring electrical loads, on which he holds several patents.) He is the associate editor for sculpture of the Journal of Mathematics and the Arts. He is on the board of directors of the Bridges Organization, which runs the Bridges conferences on mathematical connections in art, music, and science. He was co-organizer of a recent workshop on Innovations in Mathematics Education via the Arts.

Hart  received a B.S. in Mathematics from MIT (1977), an M.A. in Linguistics from Indiana University (1979), and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT (1987).  He has worked at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory and MIT Energy Laboratory as a computer scientist. He taught for eight years as a professor at Columbia University, and briefly at Hofstra University.  After two years as a visiting scholar associated with the computational geometry group in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics at SUNY Stony Brook, he is currently a research professor in the Department of Computer Science at Stony Brook. He is the author of over sixty scholarly articles, conference papers, and technical reports.  His web site http://www.georgehart.com illustrates the range of his work.

Students and faculty can still register at the door for $8.00 on the day of the conference..  The buffet lunch is $10.00 for those who register on the day of conference. Student speakers will receive a complimentary lunch.  For additional information please visit the website http://math.moravian.edu/conference.

The Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and the Moravian College chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon, with support from the United Student Government (USG) and the Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges (LVAIC) are collaborating to sponsor the conference. For more information, contact Michael Fraboni, Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at 610-861-1605 or by email: mfraboni@moravian.edu

Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college. Visit the Web site at www.moravian.edu.