# First brainstorming ideas

On Friday we had our first session of brainstorming mathematical ideas that could be turned into shirty sculptures. Although there wasn’t a good turnout of mathematicians (academics all seem to be away over the summer!) we had lots of ideas emailed to us beforehand so there was plenty to think about.

Take a look at the ideas below and let us know which ones you like best!

– Cut strips into the back of a shirt and braid them;

– Make a Klein bottle shirt by passing a sleeve through the main shirt and sewing up openings;

– Create an Alexander Horned Sphere using smaller and smaller shirts to create the ‘horns’;

– Use seven shirts of different colours and sew them into a torus to demonstrate that 7 colours are needed so that no two regions of the same colour touch;

– Sew shirts into a network or graph, illustrating a particular problem. For example, making a thrackle and designing an accompanying flash game on this website;

– A hyperbolic shirt, sewing in extra material to the hem or sleeves;

– Design a pattern on the shirt which can only be seen when viewed from a particular angle, illustrating work done on integrable systems where a function only looks linear when transformed into the correct coordinates;

– Sew shirts together to incorporate a particular group structure or symmetry, for example the dihedral group;

– Create a ‘hypershirt’, that is, a 3-dimensional representation of a 4-dimensional hypercube;

– Cut a disc out of the front of a shirt and re-sew to illustrate a solution to a puzzle (how to tile the disc with congruent tiles so that at least one tile does not touch the centre);

– Use stuffing to create a 3-dimensional surface representing a particular statistical distribution;

– Cut a shirt into strips and re-assemble using random rules, for example by throwing dice to determine how many strips of a particular colour are used;

– Find a shirt with widely spaced vertical lines, then sew matchsticks on to find an approximation to pi using Buffon’s needle method;

– Use a t-shirt with a distinctive design and cut parts out of it, asking whether the public can guess what the missing pieces are. Image reconstruction is a big topic being explored by mathematicians in Edinburgh!

– Cut and re-sew a shirt (or shirts) to create a Sierpinski gasket or Menger sponge;

– Cut a shirt into strips and re-assemble into a Kakeya set – a picture which contains a line of length 1 in every direction. Amazingly, it is possible to do this so that the picture has as small an area as you want!

Posted on July 24, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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