When Natural Beauty, Crochet, and Math Collidecomments (3) May 5th, 2009
Check out this video from the Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) conference, featuring Margaret Wertheim speaking about how she and her sister started the Crochet Coral Reef project. She talks about the link between math, hyperbolic crochet, and examples of hyperbolic space in the natural world (especially in coral reefs). Check out their website, The Institute for Figuring (IFF), for an online exhibit on hyperbolic space, complete with general instructions on how to crochet your own model of this space. The sisters started the IFF as a way to "advance the aesthetic appreciation of scientific concepts." Crochet is the ideal medium to show abstract mathematical concepts in three dimensions, and through this project and her presentation at TED, Wertheim reminds us that we can engage people in learning about abstract ideas not only through thinking but also through play.
For more, check out Kayte's post about our visit to part of the reef in NYC, and my post on crocheter Helle Jorgensen.