The Math of Thumb-Twiddling

with George W. Hart
Monday, June 8, 2020
4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.

Twiddling the thumbs is an ancient practice not solely associated with boredom. For some twiddlers, it’s a Zen ritual. For others, it’s an extreme sport. For George Hart, thumb-twiddling reveals fascinating mathematical generalizations. In this mini master class, participants will learn a series of ever-more challenging rubber band “twiddles” and come to understand their underlying mathematical structures.

George W. Hart, a professor emeritus at Stony Brook University, is also a sculptor, mathematician, computer scientist, and educator. His mathematical research centers on novel polyhedral structures and the algorithms that make constructing them possible. His sculpture, celebrated for mathematical depth and creative use of materials, can be seen at M.I.T., Princeton, Duke, and elsewhere. He is a recipient of the New York State Council for the Arts Individual Artist’s Award and a co-founder of MoMath, North America’s only museum of mathematics.

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