George Hart

George HartYou might ask why this piece is titled George Hart, when the only man in the photo on the left is John Conway. George Hart is related to this picture in three different ways.

First, this picture is of the math department common room at Princeton University. It was taken during a joint event of the WaM and SWIM programs in June, 2009. It shows the Zometool workshop conducted by George Hart that resulted in the construction of the expanded 120-cell, which appears in the photo’s foreground.

The second connection to George Hart is that beautiful shiny object under the lights on the far left. The object is the propello-octahedron sculpture that George Hart created out of 150 CDs. The sculpture has been in the common room for many years, and I have always loved it.

Unfortunately, the sculpture was slowly degrading, even losing some of its parts. I visited Princeton in August 2008 and realized that the sculpture was facing a short life expectancy, so I took the picture of it that is below. I couldn’t find any angle to shoot the photo that hid the lost pieces. The sculpture survived until my visit in June 2009, as evidenced by the first picture. But unfortunately it wasn’t there any more during my last visit in May 2010.

George Hart's sculpture

Oops, I almost forgot. I promised you a third way in which George Hart relates to the first picture. He is the one who took it.



  1. misha:

    Why not get some CDs and crazy glue and repair it?

  2. Tanya Khovanova:


    The sculpture needs some precision cuts. I think George Hart might redesign it to make it more lasting, or might replace it with something else.

  3. misha:

    Somehow I thought that it would not be too difficult to find some lab or a workshop at the university to make the cuts…