A visit with George Hart

I had the pleasure of visiting renowned polyhedra artist George Hart at his home in Stony Brook, NY this summer. His house is filled with his polyhedral creations -- no surface is left untouched by mathematical beauty in this geometry paradise.

We had a lovely afternoon playing with puzzles and talking math. George took us into his shop and demonstrated a very interesting cut on his scroll saw. By making a single spiral cut as he twisted a dowel down through a blade, he separated the wood into two parts, but not as I expected. The outer piece is hollow, and the inner piece is a wooden screw, like a corkscrew, that can twist in and out of the outer part. All made with one continuous cut. Amazing! Here's a link to a rather amazing explanation and an unbelievable example of four nested spirals made with this method: http://momath.org/home/math-monday-nested-helices/


George is an expert geometer, a supportive colleague, and a fascinating and all-around great guy. Check out more of his artwork at www.georgehart.com, and also check his MAJOR project, the Museum of Mathematics at www.momath.org.

No comments:

Post a Comment