Press "Enter" to skip to content

Honors College will present 'Math Circus'

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Want to weave an icosahedral bamboo star or help build a piece of hyperbolic geometry glowing like a rainbow? Come to Honors College Math Circus, part of the U of A Come as You Arkansas 150th anniversary celebration.

Everyone on campus and in the community is invited, and there will be activities for all ages, from painting sidewalks with chalk to creating giant pop art that has a mathematical impact. Math stickers, coloring sheets and other supplies will be given away to math and art enthusiasts.

The Math Circus will be located in the Gearhart Hall courtyard from 9 a.m. at 4 p.m. Friday, September 10

Come as You Arkansas is an all-day event that will feature campus-wide meetings with students, faculty, and staff showcasing breakthrough ideas, research, and far-reaching impact from the university.

Chaim Goodman-Strauss completes a sculpture mounted at Gathering 4 Gardener in Atlanta, Georgia in 2008. Photo: James Carey Lauder.

RingMaster of Recreational Math

The master of ceremonies will be math teacher and artist Chaim Goodman-Strauss.

His work to demystify math began 30 years ago, when he managed to lure sleepy teenagers to the University of Texas campus for interactive math shows on Saturday mornings. Over the years, he has developed toys, games, a podcast, and community art events that explore topics from the fundamentals of logic to the shape of the universe.

In association with local artist Eugene Sargent, Goodman-Strauss has created a series of mathematical sculptures that were assembled in Atlanta by attendees of the Gathering 4 Gardner Biennial, honoring Scientific American columnist Martin Gardner.

"There's nothing like getting your hands on something to really understand an abstract concept, plus it's a lot of fun!" Goodman-Strauss said. "I look forward to working with our community to achieve something wonderful right here at U of A."

Hyperbolic Rainbow

The piece de resistance will be the hyperbolic rainbow sculpture. Participants will assemble puzzle pieces cut from children's play mats and learn a bit of differential geometry along the way.

"This frilly mathematical shape appears throughout nature – in lettuce, kale, coral – and demonstrates the negative curvature of hyperbolic geometry," Goodman-Strauss said. "And it's strikingly beautiful!"

Goodman-Strauss is working with attorneys at the U of A to patent the system, which consists of identical parts that arc in hyperbolic curves when fitted together.

Potential uses range from a practical educational toy to a dazzling installation for a corporate plaza. More immediately, he is teaching students how to develop recreational math tools, beginning with an Honors College intersessional forum offered in August 2021.

The students have created stickers and other gifts that will be given away at the Math Circus; they will also serve as captains to ensure the event runs smoothly.

If you are curious about the new Curvahedra sculpture that was recently installed in the Gearhart Hall courtyard, the math teacher and artist Edmund Harriss, who devised the system and took a course that led to this new piece of public art, will also be available to chat with visitors.

Come give us a hand and see how beautiful math can be!

About Honors College: The Honors College at the University of Arkansas was established in 2002 and brings together college students High achievers and the best professors in the university to share transformative learning experiences. Each year, Honors College awards up to 90 freshman scholarships providing $ 72,000 over four years, and more than $ 1 million in scholarships for undergraduate research and study abroad. Honors College is nationally recognized for the high level of students it admits and graduates. Honors students enjoy small, in-depth classes, and programs are offered in all disciplines, tailored to students' academic interests, and interdisciplinary collaboration is encouraged. Fifty percent of Honors College graduates have studied abroad, and 100 percent of them have engaged in mentoring research.

About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas' flagship institution, the U of A offers an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $ 2.2 billion to the Arkansas economy through teaching new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and activity. creative and, at the same time, provides training for professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation ranks U of A in the top 3% of US colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. US News & World Report ranks U of A among the best public universities in the nation. See how the U of A works to build a better world in Arkansas Research News.

Be First to Comment

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *