Friday, May 1, 2009

Its absolutely impossible, unless you crochet...

Feminine handicraft, euclid and relativity.  Who would have guessed that these things reinforce, even explain one another?  I remember learning about hyperbolic geometry in high school.  But I didn't really understand it. I guess I shouldn't beat myself up about it because a century was spent trying to explain how it was impossible to model.  

Then in 1997 a mathematician at Cornell, Dr. Daina Taimina figured out how to model it by crochet.  And it turns out that models of hyperbolic structures were everywhere, from sea slugs to lettuce leaves.

"We live in a society that completely tends to valorize symbolic forms of representation, algebraic representations, equations, codes...but through this sort of modality...plastic forms of play, people can be engaged with the most abstract, high powered, theoretical ideas.  The kind of ideas that normally you have to go to university to study in higher mathematics...but you can do it through playing with material objects."

I don't know what else there is to say.  Lets play.


  1. She's pretty great- we've referred to her stuff a bit in our museum projects, as it's such an awesome informal education tool.

    What I wanna know is,what's that level you get to before Ted? A lot of people have become supah stars by the time they get to the stage...

  2. have you seen Taimina's book Crocheting adventures with hyperbolic planes? in Amazon you can look inside. That is from where all this cool stuff comes.

  3. Where is a blog about the go-karts?