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Math Horizons - February 2006

Content Teasers for February 2005

Mathematical Connections in Art
George W. Hart

Where mathematics and art meet. A report from the Bridges 2005 conference features the mathematical art works of Rinus Roeloffs, Robert Fathauer, Ergun Akleman, Mary Williams, Irene Rousseau, and Dick Termes.

Opt Art
Robert Bosch

Optimization is the branch of mathematics concerned with finding the best way to complete a task. In this article we showcase it amazing utility by describing applications of optimization to art---specifically photomosaics, domino artwork, restricted tilings, and continuous line drawings based on the traveling salesman problem.

H. P. Lovecraft: a Horror in Higher Dimensions
Thomas Hull

The mathematical underpinnings of this master of terror. Do you know what a vigintillion is?

American π
Larry Lesser

A parody of Don McLean's "American Pie" suitable for any Pi Day celebration!

Dahlia Flowers in Mathematics, Nature, Art and Design
Gwen L. Fisher

The beautiful dahlia pattern has mathematical properties and crossed disciplinary boundaries.

Counting on the Art of James Mai
Daylene Zielinski

Number theory, combinatorics, figurate numbers and graph theory are all involved in the striking works of artist James Mai---an artist with the soul of a mathematician.

Guarding the Guards in Art Galleries
T. S. Michael and Val Pinciu

How many guards must guard an art gallery when every guard must be guarded too?

Play Review: Calculus--A Play by Carl Djerassi
Mary Gray and Shirley B. Gray

There have been great plays written about mathematicians---Breaking the Code, Arcadia, and Proof come to mind. Calculus is not in that league. But it is good fun.

Movie Review: Proof
Stephen Abbott

Given the larger public's tradionally phobic reaction to mathematics, the ongoing popular success of David Auburn's play Proof is rather remarkable. This review considers the film version of Proof , starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Sir Anthony Hopkins, and Jake Gyllenhaal, was released in September 2005 by Miramax Pictures.

Book Reviews
Sarah Gourlie and Jacob McMillen

Sarah Gourlie reviews Origami Design Secrets: Mathematical Methods for an Ancient Art by Robrt J. Lang and Jacob McMillen reviews Flexagons Inside Out by Les Pook.

Alumni Profiles: University of Washington
James Morrow

A big state university with many attributes of a small college. The University of Washington profiles mathematics alums Eric Holton (Quality Control Engineer, IT development specialist, database consultant), Shizu Lee (consultant, economics graduate student),  Kathy Temple (Mathematics Professor), and Thomas Carlson (Master of Divinity program).

REU Spotlight: James Madison University
Leonard Van Wyk

James Madison's REU actively seeks applicants from institutions that are less able to provide research experiences for their undergraduates themselves.

Problem Section
Andy Liu
Hidden Word Crossword and Contest
Laura Taalman

Determine the secret ten-letter word embedded in the puzzle and you could win a Math Horizons t-shirt. Submit your solution here.