02/26/08

Mathematics Conference Offers Art, Equations

Professor Hart's sculptures turn numbers into art.

Moravian College became a math Mecca earlier this month as the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science hosted its 22nd annual Student Mathematics Conference. The event drew more than 150 students and faculty from 25 different schools, and featured seventeen presentations by undergraduates. "It’s become a long-running tradition for many of the schools in our region," says Michael Fraboni, assistant professor of Mathematics at Moravian. "We have schools bring their students from up to three hours away. Last year, one school came in a tour bus." A key to the conference’s success, he notes, is the enthusiastic organization and participation of Moravian’s chapter of Pi Mu Epsilon, the national mathematics honor society. The event kicked off with a welcome address by chapter president Kelly LaTourette. Throughout the day, Pi Mu Epsilon members introduced speakers and helped with many other tasks.

This year’s conference emphasized the overlapping of mathematics and art. Keynote speaker George Hart, professor of mathematics at Stony Brook University, spoke about mathematical sculpture. Some of Professor Hart’s artistic creations were on display in the HUB, along with posters created by Moravian students which explored the connections between math and design, architecture and the visual arts. Original works by students in the Mathematics for Design class taught by assistant professor of mathematics Kevin Hartshorn were also on view in the Paty Eiffe gallery.

Laura Hullfish '10 created an artistic ad quadratum.
Amanda Connor '08 explored symmetry in Gothic and Celtic art.
Cailtin Nelson '09 depicted a horse's mathematical proportions.
Mondrian-like harmony by Sean Cahill '08.
Kristen Ditchko '10's take on the golden rectangle & golden triangle.

Conference details here.