Edmund Harriss

University of Arkansas

Mathematician, Artist, Teacher, Maker, I work to corrupt people into mathematical thinking and experiences through toys, coloring images and more. We do so much work to show that mathematics is worthy and useful (as it is), but less to show the deep sense of joy and play that inspires so many mathematicians in their work. I believe mathematical art and toys are paths into maths that can both lead to deep ideas and motivate the rigorous study required to capture them.

Three minimal surfaces from one piece.
Three minimal surfaces from one piece.
30 x 90 x 30 cm
Lasercut Mylar

Triply periodic surfaces are strange, beautiful three dimensional structure. Here a single unit the 6-branch Curvahedra piece, is put together always linking together in loops of 4, to give approximations of the Schwartz D, Gyroid and Schwartz P minimal surfaces. The difference simply in how the structure loops back on itself as a surface, giving three quite different surfaces, two discovered by Schwartz and one, lying between them as you transform from one to the other, by Alan Schoen some time later. This might be the first time all three have been made from a single system.