Posted in communication and networking, physics

What Do Algorithms Look Like? | Co.Design

Mathematicians always say math is beautiful. But for a lot of us, it  can be hard to see.

In a new essay, data visualization god and New York Times Graphics Editor Mike Bostock takes us inside some of the most commonly used visualization algorithms, explaining (and more importantly, showing) how they work.

Bostock delves into some pretty esoteric stuff here–topics like sampling (simplifying images through computer code), randomness (or the lack thereof in most visual systems), and sorting (reorganizing data). But thanks to relatable visual anchors, from simple mazes to Van Gogh’s Starry Night, you’ll walk away understanding a lot of it, and appreciating the rest of it.

Read it here.

discovered via What Do Algorithms Look Like? | Co.Design.

Posted in biology, chemistry, communication and networking, design and architecture, engineering, Illumination, physics

10 Geeky Gifts Inspired by Science |

Some are gross, some are cool, some are geeky gifts for school!

Sorry, it’s Friday, I’m feeling a little Dr. Seussy. But I thought they were worth sharing.

These crafty creations would make the perfect gift for the science lover in your life…

[editor’s note/admission: these are also available for sale for the crafty science lover with no time on your hands, but I make no money from this, it’s just FYI.]

10 Geeky Gifts Inspired by Science |

10 Geeky Gifts Inspired by Science |

10 Geeky Gifts Inspired by Science |

more via 10 Geeky Gifts Inspired by Science |

Posted in communication and networking, design and architecture, physics

The Future Of Sound Art Is A Huggable Ball | The Creators Project

Public art is not always as engaging as this one, or as driven by physics and learning.

Public artworks also don’t often include life-sized balloons— but that hasn’t stopped UK artists Alison Ballard and Mike Blow from creating them. POD is an interactive sound installation that allows viewers to experience the physical life of sound waves through the skins of two, six-foot-tall inflatable spheres. The surfaces of POD pulsate in rhythm with a sound file that plays from deep within the sphMassive Sound Pillows Were Meant To Be Huggedere. Audience members are invited to drape their faces and bodies over these surface, free to enjoy POD’s gentle massage.

The simple premise and no-fuss approach to technology makes the prospect of future collaborations a no-brainer for Alison Ballard AB and Mike Blow MB. With the help and support of Edmund Harcourt, organizer of the one-night-only experimental sound festival Wycombe Listening and head of Hogarth marketing agency, have already begun to implement exciting new directions for POD, including collaborations with spoken word poets, and spatially-organized musical compositions that use the sculptures as instruments.

read the interview with the artists and learn about why they chose a huge sound balloon as their big project at The Future Of Sound Art Is A Huggable Ball | The Creators Project.

Posted in biology, chemistry, physics

Creator Of Artificial Tornado Machine Makes Experimental Art With Physics | The Creators Project

Not much to add, really, just archiving this for my own purposes:

It’s not impossible to feel like you’re surveying Natural History when browsing the works of Alistair McClymont. See, for example, a wind-tunnel like machine that’s designed to hold a single drop of water sustained in mid-air:

more via Creator Of Artificial Tornado Machine Makes Experimental Art With Physics | The Creators Project.

Posted in aerospace, astronomy, chemistry, physics

A NASA Engineer Turned Artist Whose Canvas Is a Huge Fish Tank | Design | WIRED

Have you ever been mesmerized by the swirling of the milk in your coffee (or is that just me pre-caffeinated)? Well, that phenomenon at least is interesting to one other person, Kim Keever.

Artist Kim Keever is like a hydroponic Jackson Pollock. Instead of a canvas, though, he drizzles paint into a 200-gallon fishtank.Keever is reticent to share the secrets of his process, but says that after the Sears Easy Living paints are added to the tank, he has anywhere from five to 20 minutes before the liquids diffuse, leaving 200-gallons of murky brown water in their wake. In the moments where the colors whirl and eddy, Keever shoots thousands of photos, choosing one or two before embarking on the five hour processes of emptying, cleaning, and refilling the tank so he can start anew. “They only need to hold up for that ephemeral moment, and then it doesn’t matter,” he says. “Whatever impermanence exists in the materials is irrelevant once the photo is captured.”Keever’s dabblings in acquatic abstract expressionism are a far cry from his rigid college days, where he studied engineering. During summers, he’d intern at NASA, where he worked on missile skin technology and jet nozzles. He had the grades and work ethic to thrive at the space agency and envisioned a career dedicated to improving booster engines, followed by a creative retirement filled with art making. Ultimately, he traded in his slide rule for a low-rent loft in the East Village of New York City.Keever began his art career in the New York City of the 1970s, surrounded by the weirdo glamor of Warhol’s Studio, the emerging art of subway graffiti, and the novel sounds of Grandmaster Flash and disco. He spent nearly two decades as a traditional painter and printmaker until he discovered the style and subject that would become his trademark in 1991.

more via A NASA Engineer Turned Artist Whose Canvas Is a Huge Fish Tank | Design | WIRED.

Posted in biology, engineering, physics

Wildly Detailed Drawings That Combine Math and Butterflies | Wired Design |

There is a lot of science behind nature, such as butterflies’ flight, and in this case that very phenomenon can be used to visualize math.

Rafael Araujo’s illustrations are bafflingly complex—so complex that you might assume the artist uses a computer to render the exacting angles and three-dimensional illusions. And true, if you were to recreate his intricate mathematical illustrations using software, it probably wouldn’t take you long at all. But the craziest part of all is that Araujo doesn’t use modern technology to create his intricately drawn Calculations series—unless, of course, you count a ruler and protractor.

The Venezuelan artist crafts his illustrations using same skills you and I learned in our 10th grade geometry class. Only instead of stashing those homework assignments deep into the locker of his brain, Araujo uses these concepts to create his da Vinci-esque drawings. In Araujo’s work, butterflies take flight amidst a web of lines and helixes, a shell is born from a conical spiral, and the mathematical complexity of nature begins to make sense.

more via Wildly Detailed Drawings That Combine Math and Butterflies | Wired Design |

Posted in communication and networking, design and architecture, physics

New classes integrate science and art — Brown Daily Herald

Watching dance can be simultaneously breathtaking and emotionally stunning and leave you wondering about the physics behind, “how does the dancer DO that?” Or have you ever tried to explain a concept and found you could only do it by using visuals or big gestures? Both of these concepts are not unfamiliar to science and art educators, and more and more often these two worlds are becoming integrated into one classroom.


In VISA 1800: “Communicating Science” and TAPS 1281: “Artists and Scientists as Partners,” students engage with art and science as two mutually beneficial subjects. A Rhode Island School of Design course called IDISC 1524: “Marine Duck Studio: The Art and Science of Ecocentric Practices” will also be available to Brown students in the spring.

VISA 1800 students focus on communicating scientific ideas through animation. RISD and Brown students — with varying degrees of art and science backgrounds — will explore different ways to demonstrate scientific concepts through artistic mediums.

Senior Lecturer in Neuroscience John Stein and RISD professor Steven Subotnick are collaborating on the best ways for students to develop these skills.

more via New classes integrate science and art — Brown Daily Herald.

There is also an annual competition for a scientific concept explained through dance. Usually they are silly, but some are quite impressive.

There is also a recently-released video of dancers demonstrating statistics. Check it out:

What other dance presentations of scientific or mathematics concepts have you seen that inspired you? Leave them in the comments below.