Most of us can’t tell our secant from our cotangent. But the forms are everywhere, and Nikki Graziano wants to help us see them. Graziano, a math and photography student at Rochester Institute of Technology, overlays graphs and their corresponding equations onto her carefully composed photos. “I wanted to create something that could communicate how awesome math is, to everyone,” she says. Graziano doesn’t go out looking for a specific function but lets one find her instead. Once she’s got an image she likes, Graziano whips up the numbers and tweaks the function until the graph it describes aligns perfectly with the photograph. See more of her Found Functions series at Nikkigraziano.com.
When graphed, this trigonometry function produces an ever-repeating wave of peaks and valleys that mirror the natural curves Graziano sees in plants. (October 2008.)