Archive for the ‘Math and Art’ Category.

Blindfolded Charades

This is a version of the standard charades game that my son, Sergei Bernstein, invented.

Unlike in regular charades, the person who acts out the phrase doesn’t know what the phrase is and has to guess it. The viewers on the other hand, know the phrase but they are not allowed to talk.

So the actor is blindfolded and the viewers are not just watching; they are actively moving the actor and his/her body parts around to communicate the phrase. For example, if the actor is on the right track, since the viewers can’t say, “Yes, good!”, they might communicate it by nodding the actor’s head.

Sounds like fun, especially for people who enjoy touching and being touched.


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.


A Woman in Numbers

Mature WomanI am used to thinking that a “woman in numbers” means a female number theorist. But not anymore. I just discovered drawings by Svetlana Bogatyr. From now on the expression a “woman in numbers” will convey an additional meaning to me.

I am grateful to Svetlana for permitting me to post several of her drawings. The “Mature Woman” is on the left. “Eurydice”, “Girl in Scarf” and “Holland Woman ” are below.



Girl In Scarf

Holland Woman