David Winters

Maggie Walker Governor's School
Richmond, Virginia
To me, the purpose of art is to convey ideas or concepts in a visual manner. There are many concepts, especially in the field of mathematics, that are not easily explained through words but can be more easily understood when displayed visually. In each of my pieces, I tried to blur the line between pure aesthetics and pure mathematics by creating artwork that can stand on its own, but still has the backing of mathematics upon further investigation. Furthermore, I was able to explore different media both physical like the paper and digital such as in the second piece. I hope that my art encourages further discussion and inspires creativity in others.
The Dragon's Tail
23 x 51 x 41 cm
In my exploration of mathematics, I happened upon the dragons curve, a fractal created by folding a piece of paper multiple times and then placing the creases at right angles. The fractal is elegant, but due to the repeating squares, it is difficult to see the path that the line takes from start to finish. In this piece, I cut and folded multiple sheets of paper to create a continuous curve that increases in height from start to finish. This piece illustrates how adding a simple change, such as a change in one dimension, can aid in the understanding of how a shape is formed.
Reading between the Lines
13 x 25 cm
Neural Networks are a new field of study in computer science used to study patterns in large sets of data such as recognizing faces or filtering images on the web. During my research, I wondered about a neural network’s ability to extrapolate from a training set to factor large composite numbers, as it is currently very computationally intensive. When printing out the training set of composite numbers, I noticed patterns in the text due to the increasing number of digits per number, and the fact that the numbers wrap around to the next line. I selected a portion of the data set and added a blurring effect in Microsoft Word to make the contrast less defined.