Jeffrey Stewart Ely

Associate Professor of Computer Science
Mathematical Sciences, Lewis and Clark College
Portland, OR
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 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.
Constructing the Inner Apollonian
26 x 16 inches
Digital print on archival paper
2014
Unlike pictures of two-dimensional Apollonian gaskets, most renderings of the
three-dimensional analogue, Apollonian sphere packing, tend to be disappointing
because they do not reveal the interior structure the way that their two-dimensional
cousins do.

This image tries to reveal the inner structure in several ways. First, some of the larger
spheres that obstruct the view have been removed. The negative spaces caused by their removal are plain to 'see'. Second, the observer has been located in one of these negative spaces, affording a more intimate view. Finally, the process has been deliberately left incomplete, giving a sense of both the coarser and finer stages of the construction.