2023 Bridges Conference Art Exhibition

# Melissa Schumacher

## Artists

## Statement

I have had lifelong interests in math, art, and mixing them together. I have degrees in science and liberal arts, and I’ve taught high school math. I enjoy exploring all possible combinations of simple components to see what patterns emerge, which is exemplified in this image. I’ve been drawing Celtic knots with the method I used here since I learned about it as a teenager.

## Artworks

Celtic knots are continuous loops that overlap with a consistent over-under pattern. One way to draw them is to use a grid filled with dots that show where the loops will intersect and lines that prevent loops from intersecting. (I learned this method from Andrew Glassner’s description of a computer program he wrote to draw Celtic knots.)
Since there are three types of symbols — dot, vertical line, and horizontal line — we can represent base-3 numbers in these symbols and turn those numbers into knots. Here, I counted from 0 to 26 in base 3. Those numbers, from top to bottom, determine the patterns of dots and lines, which determine how the knot will look. Since the process itself is interesting, I incorporated it into the artwork.