Jeffrey Stewart Ely

Associate Professor of Computer Science
Lewis and Clark College
Portland, Oregon

I am interested in applying computer graphical techniques to illuminate mathematical processes and

objects. Ideally, this can lead to a deeper understanding or at least to an increased appreciation

and/or awareness of the process or object. Some of my projects are implemented as billions of particles, others use the ray-tracing technique and hundreds of millions of rays. In either case, I do not use "canned" software, preferring to write the code myself to first principles.


Bucky Madness
20"x20"
Digital Print on Archival Paper
2010

This is my response to a request to make a ball and stick model of the buckyball carbon molecule.

After deciding that a strict interpretation of the molecule lacked artistic flair, I proceeded to use it

as a theme. Here, the overall structure is a 60-node truncated icosahedron (buckyball), but each

node is itself a buckyball. The center sphere reflects this model in its surface and also recursively

reflects the whole against a mirror that is behind the observer.


I was recently surprised to read in David Richeson's book, Euler's Gem, that Legendre proved

Euler's Formula, V - E + F = 2, by projecting a polyhedron onto a sphere and then summing the

areas of the various spherical polygons. I think this fact resonates rather well with this design.