The Platonic solids as Tiffany lamps, art objects, and stepping-stones to higher dimensions
For two millennia, the regular Platonic polyhedra have fascinated not just mathematicians, but also artists and a good fraction of the general public. When realized in appropriate materials, these shapes yield beautiful art objects. In a more abstract way, they demonstrate intriguing geometrical relationships, particularly when the general idea underlying these objects is extended to higher dimensions.
In this seminar, Hans Schepker will present some of his beautiful constructions realized in glass and metal and tell the audience how he conceives of these shapes and then realizes these artful sculptures. Carlo Sequin will analyze why there are exactly five Platonic solids, and then use these insights to derive the number of completely regular polytopes in 4 and higher dimensions.
Carlo H. Séquin is a professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley. His work focuses on computer graphics, geometric modeling, mathematical visualizations, and on the development of computer aided design (CAD) tools for circuit designers, architects, mechanical engineers, and artists. In his recent collaboration with sculptors of abstract geometric art, Séquin has shown how new frontiers can be opened through the use of computer-aided tools. Dr. Séquin is a Fellow of the ACM, a Fellow of the IEEE, and has been elected to the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences. He has received the IEEE Technical Achievement Award for contributions to the development of computer-aided design tools, the Diane S. McEntyre Award for Excellence in Teaching, and an Outstanding Service Award from the University of California.
Hans Schepker is a German-born American artist whose work incorporates geometrical and mathematical concepts in lighting and sculpture. He uses disparate materials — such as stained glass, Origami, paper model building, crocheting and bead weaving — to teach mathematical concepts to students of all ages in public, private and charter schools in the US and Germany.