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Henry Segerman’s 30-cell puzzle

Henry Segerman is a mathematician at the University of Melbourne with a keen interest in 3d-printing mathematical shapes. He’s just uploaded a video showing off his latest creation, a 30-cell burr puzzle created in collaboration with Saul Schleimer:

Pretty cool, eh?

As well as providing a PDF describing the puzzle, Henry’s uploaded the design to Shapeways so you can have your very own copy to play with.

Earlier this year, Henry and Saul’s half 120- and 600-cells won the “Best Use of Mathematics” award at the 2012 Bridges Conference.

Knitting Escher patterns

Following on from our maths/knitting post earlier this month, we’ve found a knitting blog full of knitted MC Escher designs. The famously mathematical graphic artist MC Escher was king of tessellating designs with repeated fish, birds and other animals.

Jana, who writes the blog in question, has taken on the formidable challenge of writing knitting patterns for a variety of different Escher designs and not without a deal of success. The designs are all hand-knitted and are ridiculously intricate: while some are made from separate shapes stitched together, there are some which are knit in rows with two colours, using a pattern of her own design. Much maths and knitting respect is due.

All posts on her site tagged with ‘Escher’ can be found here;  particularly noteworthy are a blanket with a fish design, and some beautiful cushions.

(via Rudy Rucker and Edmund Harris on Twitter)

A clue to deciphering Kryptos

Kryptos sculpture

Kryptos. Photo: Jim Sanborn

You may be aware of Kryptos, the sculpture covered in enciphered text and located outside CIA headquarters (and so not accessible to the general public). Three of the four messages on the sculpture have been decrypted, but the fourth remained obscured. Now the Telegraph reports that the sculptor, Jim Sanborn, who is apparently surprised that the puzzle is unsolved 22 years after the sculpture was created – has offered a clue “by divulging six of the 97 letters in that last phrase”:

 On the sculpture, they read NYPVTT. Decoded, they say BERLIN, he disclosed.

The Mathematician’s Shirts

Patches ready to sew

Patches ready to sew

The shirt symbolizes the formality of a male-dominated society and of conformance to society’s rules. Mathematics, too, is a realm of formality and rules populated largely by men. Yet in both shirts and mathematics there is room for creativity and individuality.

In The Mathematician’s Shirt project, artist Madeleine Shepherd and mathematician Julia Collins set about challenging these notions by turning a collection of formal shirts (donated by mathematicians!) into mathematical art. Inspired by the work of mathematicians in Edinburgh, the fabric of the shirts got twisted into 4-dimensional shapes, woven into knots and stitched into different geometries.