Susan Goldstine

Professor of Mathematics
St. Mary's College of Maryland
St. Mary's City, Maryland, USA

For me, the most exciting part of mathematics is communicating it to others. I am especially interested in models that make mathematical concepts tactile or visual. This passion has led me to many artistic projects in the course of my work as a math professor and to some unexpected and delightful collaborations.

Fibonacci Downpour
Fibonacci Downpour
21 x 26 x 26 cm
Merino yarn, cotton thread, embroidery hoop

I based Fibonacci Downpour on Anne Lorenz-Panzer's knitted shawl pattern Not a Drop, released under her professional label Arlene's World of Lace. Her original shawl is rectangular with a distinctive teardrop stitch pattern. Since the drop shapes are formed by bifurcating and then rejoining the vertical lines of stitches, I became curious about ways to decouple the bifurcations and merges to form branched designs.

Here, the vertical stitch lines branch and form drops following a physical version of the Fibonacci recursion. The number of drops and branchings in each row are consecutive Fibonacci numbers. As the Fibonacci numbers are asymptotically exponential, the fabric falls into a more or less pseudospherical form.