Ethan Bolker

Professor of Mathematics, Emeritus

UMass Boston

Boston, MA


I've built mathematical models ever since I read Hugo Steinhaus's "Mathematical Snapshots" more than 60 years ago. Over time I graduated from crude cardboard platonic polyhedra and soma cubes to some constructions friends have graciously called art.


Image for entry 'Variations on a cubical theme'

Variations on a cubical theme

30 x 30 x 10 cm

wood, plastic

1979, 2018

Steinhaus photographed the surprising hexagon that appears when you halve a cube with a plane perpendicular to the long diagonal. His photo inspired this four cube twenty four piece wooden puzzle and 3D printed earrings. Can you see the hexagons? Stranger shapes emerge when you slice into seven parts with six equally spaced planes not quite perpendicular to the long diagonal to create a twenty eight piece for cube puzzle. You can find out more and print your own at