Ian Sammis

Site Reliability Engineer
Google, Inc.
San Bruno, California, USA

Creating mathematical art gives me a wonderful excuse to explore parts of mathematics well outside my specialty. The effort to make a mathematical idea aesthetically pleasing forces me to understand the underlying mathematics differently and more completely than I otherwise would.

Epicylic Bezier Flowers (Fig 3)
Epicylic Bezier Flowers (Fig 3)
61 x 61 cm
Digital Print on Paper

Unlike their cubic relatives, sextic Bezier segments aren't terribly useful for design—the relationship between some of the inner knots and the resulting curve is a bit too ambiguous for deliberate design work. I placed the seven knots along a series of epicycles, then plotted curves as the epicycles rotated at relative frequencies. The results were oddly floral, which immediately brought to mind the color plates in the older botany texts that I grew up with. This is my attempt to evoke those pages, with the somewhat noisy background and the entirely spurious "Fig 3" at the bottom.