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Martin Gardner Testimonials

21 October 2014 is the centenary of the birth of Martin Gardner, the supreme populariser of mathematics (amongst much else) who sadly passed in 2010. Those behind the Martin Gardner Centennial website and associated Twitter account @MGardner100th are collecting testimonials from people inspired by his work.

What does his extensive written legacy mean to you? Are you one of the many who can say things like “I only read Scientific American for Martin’s column” or “The reason I became a [insert profession/hobby here] is because of Martin”?

We’d love you to submit your comments here please. Feel free to say a little about yourself; if you taught physics for 27 years, tell us. If you are an artist or puzzle maker, or a student of computer science or psychology or linguistics, let us know. If you were lucky enough to correspond with or meet the great man, share your story. If you’ve already written elsewhere about Martin’s influence on you, please don’t be shy about giving details (web links, etc). If you’re a well-known author yourself, who knew Martin, please chime in too. Martin didn’t care if his sources or correspondents were amateurs or professionals, and we’re equally broadminded. We actively seek a good cross-section of comments, but we don’t mind repetition either. So many people have similar stories to tell, and we want them all.

Currently testimonials include Keith Devlin (testimonial #29), Cliff Pickover (#24), George Hart (#9), Max Maven (#3), John Allen Paulos (#30) and Colm Mulcahy (#7).

The website says all submissions will be posted following review. Testimonials can be submitted via the website or by email to gardnercentennial@gmail.com.

More information

Martin Gardner Testimonials.

For more about Martin Gardner, listen to the All Squared interview with Colm Mulcahy.

Via John Read on Twitter, who submitted testimonial #38.

Euclid’s Kiss: Geometric Sculpture of George Hart

George Hart is putting on a one-man show of his sculptures at Stony Brook University. He’s posted this video of him walking through the exhibition and describing the pieces on display.

[youtube url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DI1612YhMqg]

George also gave a lecture to open the exhibition, which you can watch on the SCGP website.

Euclid’s Kiss: Geometric Sculpture of George Hart is on display at the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics during September and October.

More information: Euclid’s Kiss: Geometric Sculpture of George Hart

via George Hart on Google+

3D-printed mathematical objects roundup

3D printers are ace. People are using them to make all sorts of cool things. If you can describe a shape to a computer, it’s very easy to send that description to a 3D printer, which will happily smoosh some substrates together to make a real model of your shape. Mathematicians are able to describe all sorts of crazy shapes, in exactly the amount of detail computers need, so they’ve taken to 3D printing like ducks to water.

Thingiverse is just a repository for designs, so if you see something you like you’ll have to find your own 3D printer. Shapeways makes the objects and posts them to you; prices can vary from just a few euros to hundreds, depending on the size of the object and the materials used.

As with all other kinds of mathematical art, there’s a huge amount of repetition of the same few ideas, but also a few really interesting and unique designs. I’ve picked a couple of representatives from each of the popular topics, but do search around if you want a version with slightly different parameters; you’re bound to find something suitable.

For the past few months I’ve been quietly compiling a list of interesting mathematical objects I’ve found on the main 3D printing catalogues, Thingiverse and Shapeways. With Christmas approaching, I thought now would be as good a time as any to share what I’ve found.

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