Friday, April 1, 2011


This week is Spring Break, I've been taking advantage of the week off from teaching to involve myself in some creative activities.

I followed the some directions linked to in this article about urban gardening to create my own SIPs. Currently growing in our window are tomatoes, jalapeƱos, basil, cilantro, and parsley. These plants have the unique challenge of surviving the torments of Butters, the cat who will chew on anything green and dig in anything dirt.

I've also opened up my own etsy shop where I'm peddling some prints of mathematics inspired images. I've been having fun creating these images using a combination of Context Free, Sage, GIMP, and Inkscape. I have a few more designs which I'll roll out soon.

All this creativity and artwork has really got me wondering how far I can push myself artistically. I have no formal art training, but it's something I want to explore more. Aaron and I are currently working on a Math/Art piece which centers around Applied Algebraic Topology, and we'll be getting Whittier students involved in the fall. It's an exciting project and I'm thrilled that we've been able to get such strong support from my college. I'll post more on that later.

I like the idea of pushing mathematics with art and art with mathematics, and I also want to allow myself to work on art projects which do not involve mathematics, and also mathematics projects which do not involve art. (At least in the colloquial sense of art. Mathematics is an art, so suggesting that a mathematics project could be done without art is like suggesting that you could understand characteristic classes without understanding Grassmann manifolds.)

I have an idea for a non-math art project, which I will go into some detail about in my next post. For now, I'll just leave you with this teaser: Towels.


  1. The art/math project is very exciting. Also I'm jealous of your window plants. I mean they sound delicious, not that I want their vantage point of your kitchen. That'd be creepy.

  2. It wouldn't be creepy so much as it would show that you have a healthy appreciation for the finer things in life, like kitchens, and chlorophyll.