Ally Stacey

Graduate Student in Mathematics
Department of Mathematics, Oregon State University
Corvallis, Oregon, USA

I draw math and color it with crayon. Learning math inspires me to make art which in turn helps me better understand the math. In my undergraduate studies I was inspired by my topology teacher to draw knots and 3 pieces of my math art are on display at Willamette University. Due to my love of drawing knots, I wanted to do knot theory in graduate school. I am currently working in the field of Vassiliev Knot Invariants, working with special trivalent graphs. Since my calculations are literally moving pictures around, much of my recent work is writing up the algebraic steps for examples in my research. I draw them with circle stencils then color them in with crayon and make a colorful background.

4-Wheel Decomposition
45 x 60 cm
Crayola crayon and Sharpie

This is essentially a change-of-basis calculation going from the space of Closed Jacobi diagrams (trivalent graphs with an outer circle) to the space of Chord Diagrams, which are trivalent graphs with all vertices on the outer circle. These algebras are important to the field of Vassiliev Knot Invariants. This is done via what's the called the STU relation which is a way of resolving internal vertices. All algebraic steps are shown in the foreground. Making these helps me keep track of calculations in my research in an aesthetically pleasing way.

5-Wheel Decomposition
45 x 60 cm
Crayola Crayon and Sharpie

This is the same as the previous piece, but with a different diagram.