“In my mind math and art go together,” says George Hart, the New York-based mathematical sculptor and computer science professor who created the work. “People often don’t realize that math is very creative—they think of fixed rules for addition and multiplication, but that’s just arithmetic. Once you get to be a professional mathematician, you can be very creative. You make new proofs and theorems, and they’re judged by how beautiful and elegant they are. Both math and art are about enjoying seeing things and understanding what you are looking at. There are deep fundamental connections there.”
“I think his work is beautiful,” she says. “The way the pieces fit together, the variation and repetition—when you see it you get a ‘wow’ feeling that’s common to both math and art.”
“The design is inspired by math, but the sculpture has to hold together and not fall apart,” he says with a laugh. “That’s where the engineering comes in.
My time in Vienna at IIASA and IMED meeting has been quite productive so far. There were many presentations that were interesting, however, my time in Vienna has been a moment of reflection over science and life in general. It is quite amazing to see how different sciences have evolved very differently over time and blindly considering their individual advancements. In particular I am referring to social and health sciences that have not taken advantage (yet) of what other sciences have been done at least in the last century. What is worrisome though is the lack of integrative vision of these sciences and the belief of their exclusiveness with little openness to other sciences.
Yesterday, walking around the city street of Vienna I was thinking about the intersection of arts and sciences, with particular emphasis on mathematics, engineering and architecture. I think that engineers, and in particular civil and environmental engineers are always at the interface of biology, aesthetic and technicality because any structure that is built has to consider environmental and material dynamics, beauty and the realization of that beauty via quantitative based design.
The matter is that constructions speak for themselves (although normal people never think about the math behind any realized construction), thus the matter of communication still exist. How can we communicate effectively science and the message that science needs to communicate? This is particularly important in public health where controls are also communication strategies that drive behavior. In these strategies there way not be beauty but they should be the byproduct of quantitative studies that analyze the effects of causes and outcomes.