David Stroup/ Justin Lestock

Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Cuyahoga Community College
Parma, Ohio

When I create abstract works, I am driven by emotions. If I feel angry, I may push the material in the direction of the gradient. If I feel docile, I may create a saddle point. In the end, my work generally looks like a bunch of random shapes. To be honest, I sometimes don’t understand what I have produced. The best I can do is look for ways to explain the results to my audience and to myself. Bridging my art to mathematics allows me to create work that is an approximation of my more abstract pieces. It is a tool by which I can begin to understand the things I have created. It also allows me to open a window of understanding for my audience.

2*Pi*int((4-x)*(4x-2x^2), x=0..2)
2*Pi*int((4-x)*(4x-2x^2), x=0..2)
4X5X5 (inches)
3-d printed plastic

This object originated from my work in teaching Calculus. I mentioned to my students that I wished to create 3-d models of the objects we were considering (rotations of regions in the plane about a line - you may remember this in relation to the shell method or the disk method taught in the sections on applications of integration). I originally considered asking our art department to create these models using ceramics. Anyways, a student, named Justin Lestock, suggested doing it on a 3-d printer. He was a shop teacher, so he had some connections, and he did this for me free of cost. The result is this object with 1/4 of the volume removed for the viewing benefit of the students.