FOUND MATH:"Embrace, 2009" by Robert Bosch (Oberlin) was awarded first prize at the 2010 Joint Mathematics Meetings Exhibition of Mathematical Art. Look for photos of the second and third prize winners in the coming weeks.
"Embrace, 2009," is made of stainless steel and brass. Bosch explained his method in the Exhibition's program; "I began converting a drawing of a two-component link into a symmetric collection of points. By treating the points as the cities of a Travelling Salesman Problem and adding constraints that forced the salesman's tour to be symmetric, I constructed a symmetric simple-closed curve that divides the plane into two pieces: inside and outside. With a water jet cutter, I cut along this Jordan curve through quarter-inch thick, six-inch diameter disks of steel and brass. By swapping the inside pieces I obtained two copies of the sculpture. Here, steel is inside and brass is outside."
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