08 Mar


This MathStream post about why an icosahedron inscribes in a cube also shows that a dodecahedron fits into a cube in an analogous way. That raised the prospect that it might also be worth building an “Antidodec” analogous to the Anticos. So I quickly mocked one up in OpenSCAD (here’s the two files you need),… [Read more]

07 Dec

Math’s Bubbling (not) Over

Here’s a large-scale model I designed of the Weaire-Phelan space packing, built by the participants of the Fall 2019 semester on Illustrating Mathematics at ICERM in Providence. The title above is a reference to the fact that it is still not established whether this is the most surface-area parsimonious way to divide space into cells… [Read more]

28 Sep


Here’s a picture of FireStar, a large-scale woven small stellated dodecahedron constructed by visitors to the open house of the Institute for Computational and Experimental Mathematics during Providence, RI’s WaterFire festival on 2019 Sep 28.

17 Sep

Woven SSD

It’s high time that S∞ got back to its core: mathematical constructions you can build. Here’s an attractive star-shaped polyhedron made with a weaving technique that I am indebted to Jürgen Richter-Gebert for introducing me to. It’s called the “small stellated dodecahedron,” and is one of the Kepler-Poinsot regular polyhedra. (Unlike the usual five Platonic… [Read more]

30 Jul

Problematic Postcards

If you’ve come here as a result of a puzzling postcard you may have come across, welcome to Studio Infinity! We hope you’ll enjoy looking at some of the other content below as well, but here are the three posts corresponding to the problems you can find on those postcards, each of which links to… [Read more]

29 Jul

More Life at a glance

A few days after the event at TCNJ, students at the PROMYS program at Boston University built another “Life sculpture” in which each layer is a generation and time proceeds downwards. Here, we explored questions of how you might know things like whether the resulting “sculpture” would be connected, or whether it would be self-supporting.… [Read more]

27 Jul

x-y-t Life

Here is a photo of the first 13 generations of the evolution of the “R” pentomino pattern in John Conway’s Game of Life. Each layer represents one generation, and time proceeds downwards. In each layer, live cells are represented by boxes. The color of the box indicates how many generations that cell has been alive:… [Read more]

17 Apr

Spectral Snub

Here’s an image from inside one of a pair of mirror-image snub dodecahedra built by passersby on the Harvard Science center plaza in 2019 April. The completed work, “Spectral Snub”, was on display inside the Science Center for the following four days. Photo courtesy of Stepan Paul.

07 Nov

Deltahedral Torus?

Here’s a torus built from equilateral-triangle Geometiles that I used as a prop for an undergraduate talk at Harvard University in the Fall semester of 2018. Actually, the structure it is based on is not mathematically exact; the triangles theoretically are isosceles triangles of sides 1, 1, and 0.998, but there is plenty of give… [Read more]

21 Oct


This is a placeholder post for pictures of an installation I led on 2018 Oct 21 at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, entitled “Tetrahelix”. It consisted of a double helix, one strand of which was composed entirely of regular tetrahedra connected face-to-face (such compounds can reach any point in space and come arbitrarily close to… [Read more]

21 Oct

Seeing Math through other eyes

As one of their projects, students in my class this fall wrote about something they’ve seen that sparked mathematical questions and ideas for them. The series of posts below shows the results of their work. I hope you’ll enjoy seeing math through their eyes as much as I have.

19 Oct

The Sights and Sounds of Harvard Stadium

By Sara Bobok and Do Hyun Kim Making Math Material Fall 2018   Introduction   Figure 1. Harvard Stadium (Photo taken by Sara Bobok) Pivotal to community building on Harvard’s campus is the Harvard Stadium, a space for sports, theater, and school spirit. Fascinating mathematics are necessary to allow for the Stadium to fulfill these… [Read more]