As an undergraduate student at Oberlin
College, I decided to do honors research during my senior
year. While I later decided to pursue biology as a career, in
college I double majored in mathematics and biology, and chose
the math department for my honors research. Having enjoyed his
class on Optimization, I decided to work with Dr.
Robert Bosch on the application of mathematics (and
specifically optimization) to making visual art. Dr. Bosch is
well known for making portraits using everyday objects like
dominoes, and for his traveling salesman tour art. You can
view his artwork at his TSP
Artwork and Domino
With Dr. Bosch, I worked on making so-called
"map-colored mosaics" that resembled target images. "Map
coloring" refers to not using the same color for adjacent
tiles. Just as you wouldn't want a map to have the same color
for two bordering countries, we decided to restrain our
artwork to not have the same color value on adjacent tiles.
This led to visually interesting patterns in the artwork,
while creating an interesting mathematical problem. I
successfully earned honors in the department, and worked on a
of MC Escher, pictured below, with Dr. Bosch and Dr.
Robert Fathauer that was displayed at the art exhibition
associated with the 2008 Bridges
Conference on Mathematical Connections in Art, Music,
Architecture, Education and Culture.
In addition to the map-colored mosaics, I
created many other pieces of math art. Two portraits of Waclaw Sierpinski created using
Sierpinski gaskets and Sierpinski carpets were featured at the
2008 Joint Mathematics Meeting and 2009 Bridges Math Art
exhibitions, and I created a similar portrait of David Hilbert out of Hilbert curves.