You might already know about the idea of crocheting hyperbolic surfaces, invented by Daina Taimina in 1997. Well, since then, the idea has been developed considerably, and I don’t think it would be hyperbolic to say people have got a bit carried away.
Margaret and Christine Wertheim, who are a science writer and a poet/performer respectively and The Institute for Figuring collectively, started work on a crochet coral reef in 2005 using Taimina’s ideas. Since then, it has grown into a vast international effort involving over 7,000 people working together to create something that’s a mixture of mathematical neatness, fascinating art exhibit, and environmental awareness project.
Anyway. the reason I mention all this is that the Wertheims want to publish a book about the project, and they’re raising money to do it on Kickstarter.
Matthew Shlian sculpts paper by folding and cutting it.
As an avid knitter, and mathematician, the birth of a small human in my family inspired me to create a mathematical toy for the tiny person to enjoy while learning about shapes. With my favourite platonic solid being the icosahedron, it was the obvious choice for a knitted toy, and with stellation being all the rage, sticking a point on each face was the obvious next step, especially when it’s such a convenient thing for tiny inexperienced hands to grasp.
Having discovered this wonderful design for a paper Enigma machine, which uses a standard size crisp tube and does a pretty good job of encoding things like an Enigma machine, I decided it was worth trying it out. What better opportunity to use something which can encode secret messages than to send messages between two monthly Maths Jam events via the medium of Twitter? The public sending of the messages would be incomprehensible to anyone not willing to get their hands dirty with a crisp tube and scissors. Unless they’ve got an actual Enigma machine.