David Bachman

Professor of Mathematics; Associate Professor of Mathematics
Pitzer College
Claremont, CA

I explore ways in which mathematics can be used to produce form. The results are sometimes precise, pre-planned shapes, but more often they are things that have evolved from the mathematics in ways I could not exactly predict. The discordance between the precision of mathematics and the unpredictable nature of what it can produce is what fascinates me most.

Computational Wings
23 x 35 x 3 cm
Laser etched acrylic

The body of this dragonfly is taken from a photograph, while the wings were computationally generated. A variety of algorithms were used to create them. First, a set of points were randomly populated across each wing and moved by a circle packing algorithm, where the radius of each circle was inversely proportional to the distance from the body. Next, those points were used to create a Voronoi diagram. Main veins were located by a shortest walk algorithm through the edges of this diagram, and those veins were given a variable thickness according to the distance travelled as you traverse them outward from the body.