Sunday, April 20, 2014

Math Awareness and Easter

Happy Spring! Finally all ice from Ithaca Falls is gone. Sasha Sagan wrote a beautiful essay about her father Lessons of Immoratsality and Mortality from my father, Carl Sagan. Very appropriate reading for today. In this essay she talks about The Sphinx Head House where they lived. You can see it in this picture right above the Ithaca Falls.
It is Easter Sunday - people celebrate spring and whatever religious meaning (including none) they have associated with this day.
Finding Easter date is math problem - Easter according to Christian Church calendar is on the first Sunday after first full moon after Spring Equinox.
The date of Easter is primarily used for liturgical purposes. Up to the 8th century AD there was no uniform method for determining the date of Easter but the method favoured by the Council of Nicaea in AD 325 gradually became the accepted method. The adoption of the Gregorian calendar necessitated some modifications to this scheme but it is still basically the same. More here.
Math is connected swith Easter Celebration in some other way too - it appears in Easter decorations. The most beautiful eggs are colored in Ukraine. Here is an example:

In 1974 Ukranian egg designs inspired Ron Resch to build World's largest Easter Egg - the first physical structure designed entirely with computer-aided geometric modelling software.
Saddly Ron Resch passed away in 2012 but here  is some more of his amazing geometry.

 Franc Grom has a different approach to "egg art":

There is even International Egg Art Guild.

I think that Egg Art goes very well together with April - Math Awareness Month. This year its theme is Mathematics, Magic, and Mystery. Lots of fun stuff opens up in this calendar each day of this month. Originally one of the days were for hyperbolic planes but in the course of preparation the board decided that they are not much fun.
That's OK, I am getting ready to fly to Riga where people are having fun with them and helping me to prepare a large project for the sho which will open in Riga this October.
Currently my works can be seen In Simons Center gallery in the exhibit Stitches together with mathematical quilts of Elaine Ellison and crocheted sculptures of Gabrielle Mayer.

Two empty pedestals are waiting for my two pieces which has to come from Berlin where they were exhibited.

1 comment:

  1. Once again, your Mathematical adventures inspire me! I've used Ukranian eggs in my middle school geometry classes, but I hadn't thought of sharing the gigantic sculpture of one with them. Perhaps Monday will be soon enough!

    Your contribution to the Stitches exhibit are stunning!