Annalisa Crannell, Franklin & Marshall College
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Abstract: How do we fit a three-dimensional world onto a two-dimensional canvas? Answering this question will change the way you look at the world. We'll learn where to stand as we view a painting so it pops off that two-dimensional canvas seemingly out into our three-dimensional space. We'll explore the mathematics behind perspective paintings, which starts with simple rules and will lead us into really lovely, really tricky puzzles. For example, why do artists use vanishing points? What's the difference between 1-point and 3-point perspective? Why don't your vacation pictures look as good as the mountains you photographed? Dust off those old similar triangles, and get ready to put them to new use in looking at art!
Biography: Annalisa Crannell is a Professor of Mathematics at Franklin & Marshall College and recipient, in 2008, of the MAA's Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics. Her primary research is in topological dynamical systems (also known as "Chaos Theory"), but she also is active in developing materials on Mathematics and Art. Prof. Crannell has worked extensively with students and other teachers on writing in mathematics, and with recent doctorates on employment in mathematics. She especially enjoys talking to non-mathematicians who haven't (yet) learned where the most beautiful aspects of the subject lie.