MHC to host math artist

Mathematician Henry Segerman explores multi-dimensional concepts using 3-D printed models.

By Xiomara Núñez '20

What shape do the solutions of an equation create in space? Can 3-D models help to understand abstract mathematical concepts?

New technology allows mathematicians like Henry Segerman to create 3-D printed models that can be used as instructional aids — and appreciated for their aesthetic appeal.

Segerman’s recent book, “Visualizing Mathematics with 3D Printing,” which Chalkdust Magazine has called “refreshingly original and different,” explores two-, three-, and four-dimensional mathematics, Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometries, symmetry, knots and more.

Segerman, an assistant professor of mathematics at Oklahoma State University, will speak about the book and his work on Friday, Oct. 13, at 4:15 p.m. at Mount Holyoke College. The book includes more than 100 color photographs of 3-D printed models that can be ordered online or downloaded to a 3-D printer. The talk will be held in Gamble Auditorium.

The Mount Holyoke College Art Museum and the Department of Mathematics and Statistics are creating a small display of objects, “Making Mathematics: 3D Models Then and Now,” curated by Carla Gonzalez-Vazquez ’19, to accompany the talk.

“Henry Segerman’s 3-D modeling technology makes abstract mathematical ideas tangible, and his willingness to share the files for his prints widely makes production accessible for anyone with a 3-D printer,” said Jessica Sidman, Professor of Mathematics on the John Stewart Kennedy Foundation. The math department is co-hosting the event with the Odyssey Bookshop.

“Segerman will make connections between the mathematics and the models in his talk and will give students an introduction to 3-D modeling software in a small workshop setting,” Sidman said. “We’re so excited to be bringing him to campus.”