Robert Bosch and Derek Bosch

Artist/Professor of Mathematics and Software Engineer/Puzzle Designer
Oberlin College
Oberlin, Ohio

The mathematician in me is fascinated with the various roles that constraints play in optimization problems: sometimes they make problems much harder to solve; other times, much easier. And the artist in me is fascinated with the roles that constraints play in art. All artists must deal with constraints, and many artists choose to impose constraints upon themselves. The benefit of this was well expressed by Joseph Heller (paraphrasing T.S. Eliot): 'If one is forced to write within a certain framework, the imagination is taxed to its utmost and will produce its richest ideas.'

6" x 6" x 2"
Nylon (selective laser sintering)

Equivalent is a three-piece, 3D-printed sculpture that consists of three topologically equivalent variations of the Borromean rings. In the Borromean rings, no two of the three rings are linked, so if any one of them is destroyed, the remaining two rings will come apart. For the photograph, we positioned Equivalent on a piece of Lenox china (a wedding gift).